The invoice is probably the most ignored piece of marketing in business. An invoice should be treated like a handshake: It’s an extension of your business and a scheduled reminder of your business relationship. Providing a great looking, easy-to-understand invoice demonstrates your attention to this principle.
We are all about this relationship in the GreatAmerica Invoicing Solutions Team. Our objective is to make your customer’s billing experience simple and meaningful. My team strives to help your customers spend less time deciphering their bills and more time reaching their business goals.
Billing Excellence: Through the Eyes of a Growing Customer
So what’s the value of an invoice, other than an instrument of payment? To demonstrate what is possible and billing’s impact on the customer experience, let’s run through an example. Consider the customer “Happy Homes Real Estate”.
Phase One: Growing Need for a Single Invoice Solution
Happy Homes Real Estate was a fairly new business, so their first purchase from you was for only a few pieces of equipment. As business grew, so did their need for more printers. They now come to you to lease more equipment, but are concerned about receiving multiple invoices each month.
The Solution: If the contracts have the same print date and due date, they can be invoiced on one document to save your customer time processing and filing. If at any time the customer wishes to change this and have one invoice for each agreement each billing period, it can easily be changed.
Phase Two: Additional Locations Require Cost Allocations
Years later, Happy Homes outgrew their office and acquired other locations. While working with them to expand their equipment, they request the newest agreements be rolled up with their existing ones. However with more than one location they want to make sure they are able to allocate costs correctly.
The Solution: The Invoicing Solutions team can set this customer’s invoices up with an Asset Level Breakdown (or ALB) which allows the customer to see the costs associated for each machine in an easy to read format. The assets can also be grouped and subtotaled according to your customer’s needs, such as location. You can also speak with your GreatAmerica rep about allocating maintenance and service costs to meet your customer’s budgeting needs.
Phase Three: Timing is Everything
Another year passes. Business is good for Happy Homes. They continue to grow and expand their business, and you are responsive to their office equipment needs. Their expansion has also placed demands on their accounting staff, and they need a little more time to process the costs for each location.
The Solution: Providing more time between the invoice print date and due date allows more time to process an invoice. Along with this increase in time, the GreatAmerica Invoicing Solutions team offers its Current Only feature to prevent monthly invoices from overlapping charges, so that the customer can continue to stay on track with ease.
Phase Four: Too Much of a Good Thing? When to Roll it Up
Now Happy Homes is the top rated real estate firm in the state with offices in several counties! This means a pretty lengthy invoice for your customer and they could use a more consolidated document that is still easy to decipher and process.
The Solution: Invoicing Solutions has the ability to consolidate like charges across contracts that are rolling up for your customer. Now instead of having a 40+ page document to go through each month, they have a much shorter one that shows one lump charge for the standard payment.
It’s Not Just Invoicing, It’s Customer Confidence in You
Well thought out invoicing solutions to fit your customers’ needs means peace of mind for your customer. Simplicity means fewer questions, and organization means accurate accounting and allocations. You give them confidence that they will always have the tools to keep on track and allow them to focus their time and energies on moving their business forward. At the same time, these solutions are building trust between you and your customer so that your business is growing and expanding as quickly as theirs!
Resources: For more information about important aspects of financing, check out this blog about bundling - Common Misconceptions of Bundling
Hannah Keast is an Invoicing Specialist on the GreatAmerica Invoicing Solutions Team. This team, a subdivision of the Contract Management Team, is responsible for handling requests around invoice features, preferences, and all new invoice requests. She joined the team in 2017 but has years of customer service and solution providing experience. In the time she’s been at GreatAmerica, she has been passionate about educating customers on how to make invoices work for them.