4 min read
Welcome back to Back to Basics - a refreshing revisit of some of the core foundations of credit control. This week we're wrapping up this fantastic series The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Invoices, which has revisited and hopefully refreshed you on the basics of how to get invoices paid on time.
Last week we explored the "how" behind the credit control mantra polite persistence pays. This week we cover off the final habit, Habit 7: Grateful Receipt.
An invoice has one purpose, and one purpose alone: to get paid on time.
At Chaser, we’re nuts about getting invoices paid on time. Welcome back to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Invoices, our series on the most valuable things an invoice can do to get paid on time. These are taken from our Founder & CEO David Tuck’s experience working as a Finance Director and Accountant.
Today is a very special day. We’ve walked the path of spiritual enlightenment and made it all the way to Habit 7. It’s also incredibly exciting because we’ve done it! Your invoice has been fully paid by your customer. It has achieved its purpose in life; it’s reached its Shangri-La.
Firstly a huge congratulations. Getting invoices paid is no mean feat and by doing so you’ve made a really positive impact on your business’ cashflow. But before we rightfully go all Kool & The Gang and enjoy these good times we just need to pause a second. For while this particular invoice’s work is done, the circle of invoicing life still continues.
You may do recurring business with your customer, or at the very least may hope to do business with them again in future. Your invoice will therefore likely have successors that need to get paid on time. And that’s where Habit 7 comes in. Because we have the opportunity to improve the likelihood of those successor invoices getting paid on time with two simple words:
Photo by Art4TheGlryOfGod / CC BY
The power of thank you
You’ve received payment from your customer into your bank account. Your invoice is fully paid. We find that dropping a quick email to your customer to thank them for paying is a hugely valuable thing to do at this point.
Think about it from your customer’s perspective. They’ve received the goods or services they wanted and have paid your invoice. Then they receive a thank you email from you expressing your gratitude and how much you value their custom. This is a great goodwill builder that can only favourably predispose them to paying your future invoices on time. It’s a great opportunity for you. One not to be missed.
One other thing to bear in mind here is whether that customer has other outstanding invoices. Your thanks for paying email is a great opportunity to flag about those other invoices. We find including a statement of that customer’s account with the thanks for paying message can be a very effective way of doing this. It jogs them alongside the positivity of the thank you and improves the likelihood that those other outstanding invoices will be paid on time.
And with that your invoice can ride off into the sunset! It has achieved its purpose of getting paid. And it has laid the foundation for future invoices for that customer to get paid on time as well.
That’s all folks
And that’s a wrap! We’ve completed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Invoices series. Thank you for embarking on this journey with us. And what a journey it has been. We’ve covered:
- The need to be proactive and send your invoices as early as possible.
- Beginning with the end in mind by giving your customer all the information they need to pay their invoice.
- Building on solid foundations by going about your work in a way that makes it as difficult as possible for your customer not to pay you on time.
- Being all present and correct with the information you need to put on your invoices.
- Knowing where your invoice needs to go by sending it to the relevant people.
- Mastering the 3 Ps of polite persistent chasing (in parts 1 and 2).
- And finally, thanking your customers for paying to improve your chances of future invoices being paid on time.
We really hope you’ve found this series useful. Anything you think we’ve missed or would like us to cover more in future blog posts please do let us know. But for now let us just say thank you again for reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Invoices.
We hope that you will see the same improvements in cashflow and stress levels from their continued practice that we have.
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