Do you find yourself repeating messages to customers every month or few months? Perhaps you rephrase to take different angles or approaches to the same topic. Are you using your monthly invoice design to reinforce information that your customers need to know?
If you said yes, congratulations! Repeating messages is a great way to embed important information in our brains. And, one of the best and cheapest places to communicate these messages is on the bills you send your customers.
If your invoices are well designed, you have ample space for the brief pieces of information that you need to share. Your invoices become like a billboard along the highway, a way to spread vital news.
The messages, of course, will vary depending on the business you are in, but there are generally three areas where almost any company will have valuable information to share with its customers.
Is there information you could share to help keep customers safe? Because of the dangers posed by electricity, gas and even water, utility companies do this constantly. Gas and water companies remind us to call 811 before we dig; electric companies have a long list of warnings to share about everything from safe use of extension cords and other electrical issues that lead to home fires to the deadly combination of water and electricity. These messages sometimes seem like old news, but utilities realize they must constantly educate new customers as they re-educate and remind existing ones.
The number of cases of identity theft is growing, so sadly, there will always be security tips and alerts to share. Security messages can do a number of things: one, they can tell customers the steps your company is taking to protect their personal information, and two, they can remind them of ways to protect their identity in general and in terms of your company in particular. For example, any business does a public service when it reminds customers not to share personal information like credit card or SS numbers with people who call them. Businesses should also explain why they might call a customer and also, in the case of service businesses, how the business’ employees will properly identify themselves when they come to a customer’s home.
Payments are the whole point of an invoice, and there are multiple messages to relay about them. Every bill must clearly show the amount to be paid, when the payment is due and the consequences a customer will face if they pay late. Payment options must also be listed. If your mission is to encourage more customers to turn to online, automated payment options, it is important to tout the benefits of doing so as well as outline the simple steps required to set up online bill payment. As new, younger customers come on board, you’ll want more of them to choose that option from the start. At the same time, you have to continue to offer traditional mail-in, walk-in or pay-by-phone options, so it is also critical to supply information like office hours and locations for in-person payment. Effective invoice design is both informative and helpful to recipients.
If you have questions about how to better use your invoice design to share information about safety, security and payment options, give us a call.
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