If you are a B2B service provider or you run a business that caters to the need of a clientele, one of the challenges you will have to deal with is adopting an efficient automated billing system. Preparing an invoice and getting the same to all your customers at the end of every month is only one half of the coin. You also need to maintain an open payment channel that allows customers to pay you what they owe with ease. A rigid payment channel is one of the reasons why many a customer has abandoned a brand for another.
Unpaid invoices pose a risk to every business hence the need to use only a payment model that ticks all the right boxes for speed, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Automated billing is the only option as of today that guarantees business these three features and more. But before you consider using automated billing, it may be wise to consider the negatives associated with traditional billing systems.
Issues associated with traditional billing
If your business is going to maintain traditional billing as a means of collecting payments from customers, here are some of the challenges your team will have to deal with on a monthly basis if they haven’t already started facing these issues.
Built for Mass Market, not individuals
Traditional billing is built for a mass market and not to service the needs of individual customers. Mass market structures are cheap and easy to manage, but they do very little to service the special preferences of individual customers. This remains one of the strongest criticisms against traditional billing and why automated billing keeps growing in popularity by the day.
A Reactive Model
Traditional billing is reactive in nature, not proactive. It is meant to react to outcomes and not suited to adapt to changes in preconceived outcomes. For instance, your business offers the same service in two varieties. 60% of your customers have always ordered Variety A and 40% for B, and both are priced differently. Should more customers begin to favor B over A, traditional billing is not suited to adapt to the change easily, and this could lead to a loss of customers.
Inflexible and costly changes
An extension of the previous point made is that the traditional billing model is quite inflexible and very costly to change. Due to its reactiveness over its proactiveness, accounting for changes in customer’s preferences may cost your business a lot in terms of cash resources.
Bank dependence and poor technical support
Most banks do not have special services for service providers that offer multiple product packages with pricing varieties. If your banker also has poor technical support, this makes the situation a lot worse. Companies that offer businesses automated billing services, on the other hand, streamline their services to meet the individual needs of your customers.
Now that we have taken you through some of the issues associated with traditional billing let us now point out specific reasons why automated billing is the way to go and why you should adopt this innovative payment model for your business.
Reasons why team members should deploy automated billing and why it is the best for your business
At the end of a trading year, when you and your account team are drawing up your profit and loss account and Balance Sheet for the year, as all business administrators do, you need to pay close attention to your expenses. If you realize that your enterprise is spending a significant amount of resources pursuing invoice payments, you need to rethink your payment collection strategy.
Also, if you notice that it takes your team members a long time to prepare and send invoices out to customers, change is required. Here are some of the reasons why implementing automated billing software is needed to improve efficiency.
Automated Billing Minimizes Administrative effort
If you secure an automated billing software and it is linked to other invoice generating software in your organization, there will be a significant reduction in the amount of time spent performing more than a few administrative tasks by members of your team. The great thing about this technology is that it does some of the work previously done manually, and this affords team members more free time to perform other equally important tasks.
Might we also point out that less pressure on your staff will lead to improved productivity in the workplace. Staff efficiency is something every business should strive for.
Improved Cash Flow
Cashflow is the lifeblood of every business. Late payments can significantly affect your cash flow in more ways than you can imagine. For the avoidance of doubt, here are some of the basic reasons why your customers may not be paying their bills on time.
- Insufficient or inaccurate data to generate an invoice for individual customers
- Delays in preparing invoices and sending them to customers before the next billing cycle
- Disputes over billing rates
- Conflicts over extra charges
There are yet many other reasons why your customers may not pay their invoices on time, and whatever these reasons are, they may likely affect your cash flow, which is bad for your business.
Deploying an automated billing system ensures that payments are arranged at predetermined intervals and are regular. This goes a long way to solidify your financial position.
Better Subscription management
Businesses that rely on subscriptions to stay afloat offer their services for a standard monthly fee or a pre-agreed fee for product varieties. If yours is a service that offers the same or different products at different prices, automated billing platform can better help you manage subscriptions monthly.
Subscription collection is not the only thing automated software can help you improve, though. It can also help you collate and store customer consumption data, and today, many software have diverse invoice templates that your business can use to generate invoices for individual customers.
Automated Billing improves Customer relations
Manual or traditional invoicing has long been the standard, and while it has served its purpose and still does for many businesses, automated billing offers a more accurate and concise billing experience. With the data collated by the software, you can track service usage, and you can also communicate with your customers from a position of knowledge should a dispute arise.
Allowing your customers to access their history on an online payment portal is one way to improve relationships. Automated Billing offers transparency that traditional billing doesn’t. If customers trust your billing system and are aware of what they are paying for, their trust in your brand will increase.
Track customer preferences
Another reason why you should deploy automated billing is the valuable data it generates for your marketing and R&D team. Tracking customer preferences at all times will help you determine from a position of knowing what your customers prefer and what they dislike. By merely looking at their consumption patterns, your team will be better able to market the right product to the right audience. The valuable data the automated software generates also offers you healthy insights into how to price products accordingly.
Knowing what your customers want, why they want it and when they want it will help your strategic decision making both in the short and long term.
Automated billing is for the present and one for the future, especially for businesses that cater to the needs of a diverse customer base. All your customers won’t want the same thing, so offering them the advantage of choice in terms of pricing will give your brand a competitive edge. Furthermore, ensuring speedy invoice delivery with accurate details will lead to fewer disputes from customers and timely payments. Lastly, automated billing saves you both the time and resources involved in manual invoicing.
The size and scope of your business enterprise don’t matter if you rely on an efficient technology that promises increased productivity, improved cash flow, and better data management. Tridens Monetization platform offers businesses the opportunity to manage invoices and customer data in a cloud that is cost-effective but yet, highly accurate and sustainable.
Our platform also provides you with a more transparent and adaptable billing method that your customers will come to enjoy and trust. Tridens platform can be accessed on most modern-day devices, and what’s more, it can be expanded to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of your business organization.