New Guide: More Efficient Invoice Processing Helps Security Companies Prepare for Entering New Markets
As more and more players enter the security industry, many of which aim for international expansion, it’s easy for revenue from new markets to get gobbled up by rising administration costs. Because of this, a key success factor is eliminating any unnecessary administration, giving more agile competitors a significant advantage. So how can you make your processes more efficient and free up internal resources for international growth? Get started with three smart tips!
The market for home security is hot, but the competition is also intense. Our guide offers many useful tips for streamlining your internal invoicing and payment processes. You can then use those resources to, for example, shorten the response times of your customer service function, develop new services, and enter new markets ahead of the competition.
More markets = more administration?
The way that payment and invoicing works differs from one country to the next due to differences in the underlying legislation and the technical solutions in place. Getting set up in a new market thus requires thorough research and organizational flexibility. A home security company striving for long-term success with its international expansion plan must therefore quickly be able to adapt its offering and customer experience based on the prerequisites in each specific market.
Is your company burdened by inefficient invoicing and payment routines at a time when you are active in one, or just a few markets? If so, there is a risk that the burden will grow exponentially with each new country you attempt to start doing business in.
Don’t fall into the outsourcing trap
Prior to an international expansion, it is wise to thoroughly investigate and decide which functions should be done internally and which should be outsourced to external partners. Invoicing is also frequently associated with administratively heavy processes. It can therefore be tempting to want to outsource all or part of the invoicing function so that you can focus more on the core business. It’s a risky strategy though, since payment is a crucial part of the overall customer experience.
That’s because the time of payment is the primary means of contact between you and your customers. And, one of the main reasons why customers reach out to customer service is because they have invoicing or payment questions. The more you outsource functions to external partners, who may not be driven by the same incentives as you, or share your view on the value of customer relations, the more fragmented the overall customer experience will be. Furthermore, each and every negative experience damages your brand and increases the risk of churn, regardless of where in the chain of events it has occurred.
3 tips for more efficient payments and a better customer experience
You’ll find these tips and more in our efficiency guide for home security companies, all of which are aimed at improving your internal processes as well as the overall experience for your customers.
1. Automate more
Manual input, such as when either customers or employees need to enter amounts or reference numbers manually, should be kept to a minimum. This lowers the risk of errors that take a long time to discover and correct. You should therefore make sure that your customers can easily activate automatic payment methods such as direct debit. You should also give your employees access to digital platforms for automatically matching customers and invoices so that they can avoid spending long hours manually trying to do that when, for example, an error has been made, like omitting one of the digits in the reference number.
2. Proactive reminders
No customers like getting payment reminders. And they like it even less when a fee has been charged. Instead, you can help them pay on time by sending out a due date reminder by email or text message on the invoice due date.
3. Interactive invoices
Think bigger and go beyond just sending out PDF invoices in an email or text message. Interactive invoices are updated instantly and automatically as soon as the customer makes a full or partial payment, or if the amount or due date is changed. It gives both the customer and your customer service staff full information on the current status. It also opens up a valuable channel for two-way communication with your customers.
More tips and insights in our guide
Would you like to get even more valuable information on how smarter invoicing can free up resources in your home alarm company? Download the full version of our efficiency guide. You’ll find even more useful tips there, like how you can use data to optimize the customer experience. You can also learn more about how to choose the right payment solution prior to international expansion.