More and more business is being doing online and in the cloud. Yet, for some reason, many customers still love to receive their invoices by mail. This can not only cost you in terms of labor and shipping, but can actually slow down the payment process. Switching to electronic invoices can save your company money and provide a better experience for the customer.
Why should you switch?
Though it may be a hassle getting some of your customers on board, the long term benefit is well worth the effort. The most obvious benefit is that you will no longer have to manually print out every invoice, stuff it in an envelope, and then mail it the customer. This is a waste of time and resources.
More importantly, your customers can receive their invoices moments after they are generated.
Studies have shown that the amount of time it takes for invoices to travel though the US mail system as increased by over a day since 2014. By removing this antiquated step from your billing process, you not only save time but can actually increase the likelihood of a customer paying sooner. By allowing your customers to receive their invoices in a matter of minutes, they have greater financial flexibility to plan their payments.
This system also allows you to know that the customer has received their invoice. Whether the invoice got lost in the mail, never was sent, or the customer is simply making up an excuse, having records to hold everyone accountable can go a long way.
Why should your customers want to make the switch?
Customers love to have up to date and current information at their fingertips. With electronic invoicing, they can have 24/7 access to all past invoices This can allow them to better bill their own customers, as well as help keep accurate records. Some business also offer discounts or savings when a customer pays quickly. Since the customer is receiving their invoice quicker, they can also better take advantage of these opportunities.
Many small business rely on physical filing cabinets to house their past invoices. This is not only logistically challenging, but also dangerous in the event of a flood or fire. As more and more business switch to electronic alternatives such as Quickbooks, the idea of electronic invoicing becomes more more practical.
Obviously, not every business will want to make the switch. Some may be reluctant or unable to switch away from the old standard. Others may try to switch and find it is not for them. Yet many will find the benefits to be hard to pass up. We have found that the best way to make the switch is to start sending everyone electronic invoices and then allow those who wish to retain an physical copy to request one. While your mileage may vary, this should quickly convert the majority of your customers over to the new system.