With the right software, anyone can generate telephone answering service invoices—and get them mostly correct. Yet it takes a company with unique industry know-how to produce accurate bills that are easy for accounts to understand and that don’t contain errors.
A professional, full-service billing provider can perform many value added amenities:
Answering services subsist on cash flow, so anything that delays billing will postpone receivables and hurt payables. Answering services must generate bills efficiently and sent them out quickly. Each delay in billing hits cash flow hard, which serves to delay payments. A professional billing service provider can ensure invoices are sent out on time, every time.
Billing accuracy is essential. Inaccurate invoices means extra phone calls from clients, time spent investigating charges, making adjustments, and offering concessions, with the potential to lose a client. It’s so much better to send an accurate bill in the first place. A billing service provider knows how to interpret usage stats and use invoicing systems. They take raw statistics and turn them into billable transactions.
Unfortunately not everyone pays their bills on time. As an invoice ages, the likelihood it will never be collected increases. Eventually it becomes bad debt and is written off. Full-service billing providers can handle all an answering service’s collections. While no one can guarantee a 100 percent collection rate, a professional provider can come close.
Answering services need to identify their least profitable clients and turn them into profitable ones. A full-service billing provider will run a profitability analysis each month to identify underperforming accounts. They can determine what rates those clients should pay and implement the needed billing rate adjustments, turning low performing liabilities into valuable assets.
Using billing analytics, a professional billing service provider can pinpoint accounts that can benefit from add-on services. Once identified, they can contact those clients to upsell or cross-sell, thereby increasing the answering service’s bottom line.
A full-service billing provider can generate customized billing and collection summaries beyond what invoicing software systems normally provide. These reports contain actionable data to help answering services better manage their business and customer base.
A full-service, professional billing service can do all these things and more for your telephone answering service. Instead of buying expensive, hard-to use billing software and hiring additional staff to run billing and handle collections, just outsource this work to experts who specialize in it.
With a billing services provider, an answering service can free up time, reduce support staff, and save money. Then they can use all that to improve their operation and make their business better.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the telephone answering service industry that provides a comprehensive billing service. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.