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How Can Better Billing Lead To Better Customer Retention?

No one is happy to get a bill. Yet, companies that follow a few simple best practices when it comes to billing find that this creates a very appreciative customer base and improved bottom line.

An increasing number of field services firms — in both residential and commercial industries — are seeing clients use credit cards.

As an article on Ecommerce Times’ website mentions, a billing process that provides easy convenient payment options — including credit card payments — isn’t only a necessary evil, but a critically important one. Accepting credit cards is good for a field service firm because it gets paid right away. It’s also good for clients because they get 30 days to pay the bill, which improves their cash flow.

For customers, billing isn’t only about the payment method, but about the overall experience. Billing infrastructures need to take into account things like pricing promotions, subscription reminders and currency exchanges. These billing caveats are essential to the customer experience, adding value to the acquisition and retention processes.

When considering subscription billing services, companies are wise to keep options available for customers when it comes to billing, so they can alleviate frustration and other issues.

The Ecommerce Times article also lists some best practices employed by digital businesses when it comes to billing. Offering currency options improves customer acquisition rates. Implementing account updaters to handle credit card changes adds to revenue. And implementing retry logic to credit card processing can add 15 percent annually to the bottom line, which also helps with customer retention. Reminder emails handled in a professional manner are also good practice.

Companies are always looking for an edge in business. Yet they routinely overlook the billing process, often because of the negative connotations it carries. But this is one of the most important processes for customer retention. As businesses realize this, the billing process and infrastructure will become a competitive advantage when it comes to acquiring and retaining customers.

Source: Ecommerce Times, September 2012