Providing an online method of payment for your customers is only part of an effective billing process. A major online billing myth is the belief that individual payment gateways serve the same purpose as an integrated customer billing system. Online billing systems work as customer management tools. They provide a flexible suite of business intelligence and analytics tools alongside communication and marketing structures that assist financial management and plan development. In short, online billing systems help you keep your business profitable.
Are these additional myths keeping you from retaining more of your customers and revenues?
“Our company can’t afford an online billing system.”
Begin to scrutinize and compare the costs of printing, labor, technology, supplies and postage and you will quickly recognize the steep costs associated with managing billing internally. Managing your own invoicing is time-consuming and expensive; it generates real and opportunity costs. Careful data entry and tracking is critical in managing business cash flow, but that time is best spent focusing on operations. Small business owners and executives must spend their time perfecting products and services, not on billing and collections. Compound the loss of time with errors in the invoicing process and the result is even more time and money lost – financial and opportunity detriments potentially devastating to a company.
The savings realized in mailing costs, with the additional benefits of receiving payments on an accelerated schedule, faster processing of funds and staying technologically relevant makes the adoption of online billing not only affordable, but necessary.
“We can handle our online billing in-house.”
Minimizing billing as a basic company utility rather than a strategic opportunity to develop and retain your customer base is a mistake most businesses cannot afford to make. The bill presentment and payment process plays a major role in efficacy, cash management and profitability. Technological and systematic best practices in the billing industry change often. Working with a online billing service provider gives your company expert partners in tracking, deploying and responding to these trends. The service provider continually invests in keeping up to date with changes so your company functions in line with regulations and legislation without sacrificing research and development costs and averting salary payments to highly specialized, expert staff.
“My small business doesn’t need that type of service.”
Successful companies, large or small, have in common the creation and distribution of its brand and excellent customer service. Providing invoices that are easy to read and understand reduces the number of calls to your billing service line, getting you paid faster. Responding to and resolving billing inquiries quickly improves customer satisfaction and builds brand loyalty. Business intelligence indicates that consumers consistently choose and rank higher those companies that respond to their requests faster, even if the original request began negatively.
Strategic billing systems allow the addition of targeted marketing and customized messaging. Communicating with customers and clients is the basis of building a long-term relationship. Incorporating relevant information in the electronic invoicing system provides another point of contact with your customers, keeping them informed and you in business.
“Our customers won’t use online billing.”
Increasing numbers of consumers and businesses look for convenient ways to handle and monitor finances and budgets. By providing a method to streamline and integrate customers’ cash management processes, your company offers value beyond the product or service. Additionally, online invoicing and payment processes offer a green alternative to traditional methods, which require mountains of paper and unnecessary fuel and energy costs to prepare and deliver. Going green is a part of many strategic plans, and online billing provides an eco-friendly reflection of your company’s commitment to minimizing the impact of business on the environment.
“It’s not safe.”
Nothing is more important in online billing and merchandising than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure. The highest levels of security and technology are deployed to make sure not only your customer is safe, but also your confidential corporate information is secure from prying eyes. Using an online billing service brings your company into compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard.
Monitoring and testing security controls, networks, restrictions and limitation on a regular basis means you can rest easy knowing you are operating within and beyond the levels of security and safety put forth by the global payment card industry.
Retaining revenues, monitoring charges and payments, communicating with customers and offering branded, flexible payment methods; the benefits of using an online billing service easily outweigh the investment. Combining efficiency, advanced technology and customized intelligence – online billing solutions save you money, help you retain customers and delivers the highest levels of quality and security. Myths dispelled!