Customer billing and payments are as much an opportunity to provide excellent customer service as they are a core operational and accounting function. Leading companies leverage their billing and payments process to achieve far more than just the collections of payments; they use techniques to forge stronger customer relationships and gain greater insight into customer wants and needs.
It is no surprise that technology has transformed the invoicing and billing transaction process between you and your customers over the past decade. Many large corporations have acquired smaller businesses over the years and as a result a system is put in place to communicate between the newly acquired company, the parent company, and the customers. These systems are at times rushed and the complexity of the system limits the customers’ ability to perform any type of self service.
True story: I bought a new home in March. When I received my first natural gas bill in the mail, the bill summary on the front page of the printed statement showed an amount due of $160. That seemed pretty high but I assumed it must have included a connection charge or something. However, when I looked at the charges summarized in the bill summary block on that first page, they clearly didn’t add up to the $160.00 shown in the “Total Due” line item. In fact, I added them and they totaled $100.00. That was confusing. I turned the bill over and there was the $60.00 service charge under “Additional Charges” on the second page.