Billing and collecting payments from customers has traditionally been a tedious and labor-intensive process for the entire field service industry. While billing is a necessary part of ensuring your business’ fiscal success, it can nevertheless provide a number of challenges that can seriously affect your finances if not handled properly.
Over the last several years, billing technology used within the field service industry has seen significant advancements. With the proper software in place, the billing process has become less complicated. With access to the proper tools, you can streamline this process to make the most out of your company’s billing and make sure payment is never missing or late.
In this guide we will look at how your business can benefit from modern Cloud-based invoicing software, key features to look for when choosing your next software, and strategies to use to make the most out of your billing.
Why Effective Billing Matters
No matter the industry, being able to effectively collect payments is essential to maintaining profitability in your business. Once the technician has provided service, it is vital to ensure that payment has been processed correctly to avoid billing errors.
However, this is especially true for businesses in industries that rely on repeat business in order to stay successful. Subscription-based services depend on consistent, accurate billing to provide the customer with a precise account of services rendered and the cost associated with those services.
Billing Affects Your Clients
Providing customers with timely and accurate billing will allow payments to be collected in a timely manner. A successful billing process will also allow the customer to view a detailed report regarding the services rendered.
Billing Affects Your Employees
Without effective billing, payments can be missed which can affect your ability to pay your employees on-time. An effective billing system can help keep clients happy and new orders coming in.
Billing Affects Your Business
Proper billing is also an essential part of growth; the larger your business becomes, the more clients you serve, the greater the need for organizational efficiencies to avoid failure. Having an effective invoicing and billing system in place can help your company as your customer base increases.
Benefits Of Modern Billing Software
Billing and collections have traditionally been one of the most labor-intensive back-office processes plaguing businesses of all sizes. Luckily, many types of modern field service software systems help companies unlock the full potential of streamlined, automated billing and collections processes.
Consider some of the key benefits modern billing software can bring to your growing business.
Reduced Administration Costs
Automating and standardizing your invoicing process can go a long way toward reducing administrative overhead, especially as your business grows. The more customers you have, the more invoices to send out and the more time it takes to prepare them. Automated billing makes this process as simple as possible, allowing you to scale your billing to match your growing customer base.
Staying on top of the many variables that go into commissions and billing across your stops can cause headaches. Modern software can ease this burden considerably by allowing you to easily calculate commissions throughout the day so that your employees get paid accordingly.
Errors from missing or incorrect information on invoices stalls payment. Automatic invoicing vastly reduces the margin for error, allowing your team to automatically compile costs and quotes while keeping user error to a minimum.
Higher Customer Transparent
Your customers do not want to feel like they are in the dark about what is going on around their property. Many modern billing applications allow users to quickly and easily provide customers with answers to the questions they may have regarding the billing process, services rendered, and the pricing for those services, leading to higher customer satisfaction. This will also help create a better system to resolve any issues or disputes your customers may have.
Many types of software now incorporate customizable dashboards that allow your business administrators to quickly and easily identify your most profitable customers and view their purchasing patterns in order to strategize for success.
Aside from cutting administrative costs, integrating billing software can free up time that would otherwise be used reconciling billing and administrative discrepancies. That additional time can be spent improving your business in a number of ways.
Features To Look For In Billing And Collections Software
Now that you are ready to start streamlining your billing and collections process with helpful software, remember that as with any technology, not all field service software is created equally. As you begin your search for an effective platform, keep the following key features in mind:
Automatic Payments And Custom Payment Schedules
Automatic payments allow a customer’s credit card to be charged automatically once there is an outstanding balance due. This is a simple way to increase your efficiency with a fluid payment process and gives you the ability to set up customers on a credit card or automated clearing house (ACH) automatic payment feature where they can be billed monthly, quarterly, or at other determined intervals with the click of a button.
Custom payment schedules will also allow you to manage your customer population between those who should automatically pay when their billing date renews and for customers who should not be automatically charged. Payment schedules can also be setup (monthly, quarterly, after each service provided, annually) by the type of subscription or product offering for each of your customers.
The two primary benefits of automatic payments are the potential time savings and the monetary savings passed on to the customer. Automatic payment schedules erase the wait in between generating revenue and collecting it. The customer also shares in these savings by not taking time out of their day to make the payment themselves. Forgetful customers will often miss payments, and incur unneeded late fees. A recurring bill will eliminate this costly mistake.
When you run the autopay balances frequently, your accounts receivable remains in check. Outstanding invoices with balance ages over a certain period of time can be significantly reduced – the burden of making payments no longer falls solely on the shoulders of the customer.
Individually looking up customer cards and recording cash or check payments can be a long, painstaking process. Payment batches can help alleviate this tedious process by allowing you to enter multiple cash and check payments in one motion, with no human interaction necessary once the process is underway.
Unlike traditional transaction processing which involves human interaction, batch processing takes far less time and can be easily customized to satisfy specific time frames. In addition to speedier payment entry, utilizing batches can create an opportunity to bundle payments.
Batch processing is a great tool for end-of-cycle processing – processing banking reports at the end of a day, generating monthly or biweekly payrolls, and so on. These batches can also be set to trigger on specific dependencies and can be set to auto-trigger if certain conditions are met, further saving time.
By using batch processing, you will be able to process a batch of autopay credit card and ACH transactions, as well as batching cash and check payments, giving you the ultimate flexibility to meet the needs of the daily or weekly operations.
Credit Card And ACH Payment Processing
While there are some customers that prefer to pay by check or money order, most consumers in the modern era are more comfortable with digital payment methods through credit card or an ACH.
One aspect of effective billing is making it as easy as possible for the customer to pay using whatever means are available to them. Look for software that incorporates easy online transactions allowing your customers to pay for your services right from their computer or phone.
Customizable Customer Portal
The more customer-centric your business is the better, and this remains true with billing and invoicing. Look for software that provides customers with a customizable customer portal where they can pay bills, sign agreements, leave feedback, and view their service history all from one location – making payment as easy as possible for them to make and for you to receive.
How To Make The Most Of Your Company’s Billing And Collections Software
Paperless billing is a crucial tool for success in the modern tech-driven world. Not only will removing paper billing statements help increase your customer’s security, it will also save them time and make the overall payment process as simple as possible.
Take It To the Cloud
Cloud-based storage is more secure and less likely to have errors due to poor handwriting or other issues. Modern Cloud-based invoicing software easily supports services that are billed on a recurring basis, as well as free trials, discounts, refunds, renewals, and one-off transactions – meaning you can customize your billing process to perfectly match your business.
Automate your payment processes whenever possible to take the pressure off both your team and your customers, helping prevent payment from ever being missed. Automatically send electronic invoices along with customizable timing schedules after service has been completed or after certain triggers have been activated.
Find a Partner You Can Trust
Incorporating new technology into your business can be a stressful and time-consuming experience, but there is no need to go it alone. Find a trusted partner that understands your industry and the latest software trends – someone that can deliver a customized billing solution that perfectly fits your needs.
Wondering How You Can Improve Your Business’ Invoicing And Billing Capabilities?
Looking for a technology partner that can provide you with all of the above tools for success in billing and invoicing within the world of field services?
Look no further than the FieldRoutes platform, your dedicated Cloud-based and mobile software that automates all aspects of your operations making you more efficient from the office to the field. Don’t delay your revenue. Get paid on-time and make the entire process easy for both you and your customers
Your Partner In Growth
We hope this guide has been helpful. Whether you’re looking to add efficiencies, make things easier for your employees, improve your customer experience, increase sales, or anything in between, FieldRoutes is committed to helping your business reach its full potential. The platform automates all aspects of field service operations for enterprise and small business customers that span office management, advanced route optimization, payment processing, digital sales, marketing, and customer acquisition solutions that accelerate growth, streamline operations, increase customer retention, and maximize revenue. Our operations and marketing suites were built with your customers and employees in mind and can help you grow quickly, scale intelligently, and serve customers relentlessly.
Call for a Demo at 972.702.7156
Join the growing number of thriving businesses using FieldRoutes to acquire new customers, improve automation, and crush the competition.