Proper Etiquette for Invoicing Customers
No two words define your small business more than customer service.
You can successfully complete a project and still fail in the customer service department. Customer service complaints range from rude field workers to slow response times.
However, one customer service complaint flies under the radar: your field service business needs to establish a first class invoicing process.
The etiquette for invoicing is important for all industries. Whether you run an office cleaning company or provide landscaping services, you must abide by a few tips that ensure you deliver optimal customer service when sending invoices.
List Your Services
Have you ever received an invoice that only includes a lump sum of what you owe? Your reaction is to question the charges since you don’t know what your payment covers.
Clearly list the services you provide on your invoices.
Professionalism starts by building trust with customers, and the trust you build depends on honesty. The invoicing process becomes less onerous, whenever you clearly list why customers must pay you for jobs well done.
Here are a few examples of clearly listed services:
- Flushed Freon from air conditioner unit
- Planted perennials in garden next to home
- Replaced leaky bathroom sink pipe
Customers remember two phases of field service projects: the start and end. The invoicing process concludes every project that you perform. Make it a memorable one by listing the services provided.
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Have a Policy
To prevent customer service issues from bogging down your business, you need to establish policies on your invoice.
Don’t include ambiguous phrases, such as “Due in 21.” Taken literally, the “21” might mean 21 hours, 21 days, 21 weeks, or 21 months. Instead, have your invoice specify the date it is due.
Other terms like “Due upon receipt” might make customers anxious.
Other policies you need to consider include establishing what payments you accept and when the customer can expect to be invoiced.
Provide Contact Information
Whether you send an invoice to a first time customer or a customer that has done business with you for years, you must include contact information.
Including contact information alleviates tension caused by invoices that contain incorrect information, such as prices and services provided. The invoice should include your business address, as well as telephone number and email address.
Offering superior customer service often involves quickly fixing a mistake. You can only correct potential invoice errors by making sure your customers know how to get in touch with you.
If you want to receive prompt payment from clients, you must make it convenient for them to pay you. One of the best ways to ensure prompt payment is to set up automatic payments, especially for recurring jobs like weekly lawn mowing or monthly cleaning.
Professionalism goes much further than sending out invoices. You should also make paying invoices convenient.
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