Invoicing Essentials: How to Keep Clients Happy With Your Billing
Invoices constitute a significant part of what makes any successful cleaning business function smoothly. Being able to send and receive accurate invoices is integral to not only keeping your business financially afloat but also maintaining professional relationships with every single one of your clients.
But sending out invoices isn’t always as simple as it might seem. Sometimes, even the smallest of mistakes can result in payment holdups, confusion, and other unideal outcomes.
If you’re not using an automated invoicing system, the responsibility to make sure your invoices are in perfect order is up to you. So, what are the key components of a successful invoice, and how can you use invoices as a tool to keep both your cleaning business and your clients happy? Let’s find out.
Points to check before sending out an invoice
Invoices are not like any other document. They’re uniquely integral to business operations and should therefore be taken very seriously when it comes to their layout, formatting, and fact-checking.
Some of the most common invoicing mistakes include missing data, inaccurate information, typographical errors, and incorrect payment details. All of these seemingly small errors can lead to serious issues, such as outstanding bills or dissatisfied clients who decide to take their business elsewhere.
But even if the mistakes are nominal, it’s still important to take a regimental stance on your invoice-fact checking process to keep the standard of professionalism high and ensure your clients maintain a healthy perception of your brand.
Here are five of the most important things to check before sending out your invoices:
1. Congruent invoice terms
There are many different invoice types, and they all have different payment terms to consider. Furthermore, you and your client may have negotiated your own payment terms that need to be clearly mentioned in the invoice.
For instance, if you have agreed to a discount with a particular client or to add a clause that distinguishes the invoice from others, this must be included and correctly calculated. Making sure all the terms are consistent with previous agreements is essential before hitting send.
2. Accurate contact details
Both your business and your client’s contact details should be accurate and current. Both parties should have their full names, business titles, email addresses, phone numbers, and business addresses listed at the top of the invoice, so make sure each aspect of these details is current and correct.
3. The basics
While many different types of invoices exist, some elements should always be intact. Here’s a breakdown of all the invoice basics you should be checking for before pressing send:
- Current date
- Invoice number
- Yours and the client’s company names
- Accurate description of goods and services
- Type of invoice
- Total amount owed
- Payment terms
- Current payment information
- Late payment clause
These are the basic elements needed to create a professional invoice. Without them, your clients may struggle to understand what is required of them or make inaccurate assumptions about how the payment process is meant to unfold. So don’t skimp on the details.
4. Typos, wrong dates, and other errors
You should always do a sweep for silly or avoidable mistakes before sending out your invoices. Even minor errors like misspelled words can cause issues for the outcome of your payment interactions, while more significant mistakes like incorrect amounts of money owed can have serious ramifications.
Before sending out your invoices, have an accountant, supervisor, manager, or delegated proofreader comb through them to ensure that all the information is accurate, legal, and in perfect condition.
5. Current payment information
If you give your clients the incorrect payment information and the money doesn’t arrive on time, you only have yourself to blame. To avoid this from happening, make sure to double-check that all invoices are up to date with your company’s latest payment information. Even if you have a template, ensure that all account details are listed correctly and no digits have gone missing or were deleted along the way.
How to improve your client’s billing experience
Once you’ve perfected the art of a professional, 100% accurate invoice structure, you can move on to enhancing the customer experience of receiving one. You can make this part of your business-level strategy as it will help you to compete in the cleaning industry, create value for your clients, and promote sustainable growth.
Here’s how you can enhance the experience:
- Focus on a great layout. Making your invoices user-friendly and engaging can encourage your clients to pay on time and improve their perception of your brand. Hire a professional designer if you need expert assistance.
- Add your logo to the layout. Don’t be shy! Wear your brand logo with pride. Adding it to invoices makes you appear more professional and improves brand awareness.
- Add an appreciation note. Gratitude is rare in the corporate world, but it doesn’t have to be. Adding a little “thank you for your business” note at the end of invoices makes clients feel appreciated.
- Use invoice processing software. If you don’t already, use invoice processing. It can be a game changer in terms of productivity, speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Many of them are also very affordable and available online.
- Offer more than one payment option. Instead of just listing one payment option—the most common one being bank transfer—give your clients some variety to choose from. This opens you up to a broader client base and makes it easier for all kinds of clients to pay you on time.
Sending out an accurate and professional invoice is one thing, but enhancing it with the power of design and attention to detail can make it even better.
No cleaning business can avoid the task of developing and sending out invoices. But when you have a sound system in place, it doesn’t have to be the administrative nightmare most people think it is. And with a professional, accurate invoice, your business will not only function better, but it also can make clients even happier than before.
With these tips for checking and improving invoices, your invoicing system can become more organized and efficient, helping you make more money and push your company further into the future.