Because it’s 2017. Can we end the blog post there?
But in all seriousness, the majority of us do appear to favour a paperless environment in many ways. We consume news from our mobile phones often via social media, we read books on Kindles and on our phones, we use Google Maps instead of street directories, and even our receipts are sometimes emailed to us, instead of printed out and shoved in our wallets.
But, despite this increasingly digitised world of ours, many businesses still persist in sticking with paper bills when it comes to getting paid. This is despite efforts towards reducing paper when it comes to admin, presentations, marketing collateral, and other initiatives. Perhaps they just haven’t got the memo when it comes to billing specifically?
The reality is that eliminating paper billing could make an enormous difference to any business. Below are three reasons why businesses need to get up to speed, and go paperless sooner rather than later.
1. You’ll watch your overheads take a nosedive
Our own calculations show that the annual cost to send a quarterly bill to 59,000 households is $280,368. Australia Post price increases have also pushed the cost of paper billing up by 66 per cent in recent years. Do you really need any more convincing after hearing these two facts?
Businesses of all shapes and sizes are inundated with bills from every angle. So, any chance to eliminate a bill – especially such a large one – must surely be a reason to celebrate.
2. Your clients may actually pay on time!
OK, this is never guaranteed – clients can be a tricky bunch!
But Deloitte research has found that 85 per cent of smartphone users don’t leave their home without it, and 65 per cent of Australians are mobile shoppers. So, if you’re able to find a way to deliver bills to your clients’ back pocket (i.e. their mobile phone), so they can go straight to paying in just a few simple clicks, then there is absolutely no reason why they won’t pay – and fast. The mobile phone really is the key to rapid bill payment.
Snail mail, on the other hand, has been given that name for a reason! And the unreliability of paper bills is only going to increase as mail services lose more and more ground, and become even more infrequent.
3. You’ll spend less time as bad cop, and more time as good cop
Every business owner knows they need to strike a balance between delivering exceptional customer service, and protecting their business’s interests. Never is this balancing act more apparent than when it relates to bills.
Obviously, you want to preserve excellent client relations. You want to keep a smile on every one of your client’s faces. But can a client even be called a client if they haven’t paid their bill yet? Doesn’t that more closely resemble a pro bono or charity case?
Reminding a customer 17,365,487 times that their bill is overdue, does not make a happy client relationship. For this reason, you’re doing everyone a favour by providing the easiest possible way for them to pay their bills – as outlined in point 2 above. It’s all about the mobile in 2017. Which brings us to the final point…