In this series of blogs, we dig deeper into the importance of digitizing invoices in order to meet customer preferences and ensure swift and easy payments. If you want to keep up to speed, make sure to be on the look-out for our upcoming blogs. If you hadn’t had the chance to read last week’s contribution ‘Digitalization and the importance of clear-cut invoices’, you can still do so by clicking on the link. Check it out to discover more about how digitalization drives customer expectations and why it’s important to invest in clear digital invoices to ensure swift payments.
In this week’s blog, we discuss the benefits of adding QR codes to your invoices. Whether it’s a printed invoice that arrives in the mail or a pdf version as an attachment to an email, a QR code added to an invoice is a quick and simple way to get your customers to pay their bills.
What’s a QR code?
A QR code basically does the same job as a barcode you encounter on products in the supermarket. While these codes are scanned at the register, a QR code is a machine-scannable image which can be read using a smartphone camera. Every QR code is made up of a unique combination of a number of black squares and dots that can store URLs and other information. They are an easy, inexpensive and time-effective substitute to the traditional ways of print ads.
Higher speed, lower risk
If you have ever scanned a QR code you are familiar with the responsiveness and the speed with which it takes you to a specific web page. This is exactly how a QR code can help your customers to pay their bills faster by virtue of a simple one-click procedure and, thus, improving their customer experience in the process.
Your customers can use a general QR scanning application or their personal mobile banking app installed on their smartphones to make their way to the payment page. This automation not only increases the speed of the payment process, but it also reduces the risk of possible errors, such as filling out the wrong payment details, as manual data entry and information reading errors are drastically reduced. Also, all payment information for the recipient of the invoice is processed and integrated within the QR code.
Check out the invoice below. Energia provides the customer with a clear and transparent invoice. All the payment information is there and the customer is presented with two options: To make the payment manually with the payment details provided or to make use of the QR code and thus speed up the payment process.
Also, QR codes can be trackable, which means they can contain embedded information that enables you to track certain variables such as traffic and the number of visitors the QR code has guided to your web page. This, for instance, allows you to compare multiple invoices and monitor which lay-outs work best.
For a better and smoother customer journey
In terms of digital or print, customers have their own specific preferences. Some like to receive paper invoices because print lingers longer in their household as a reminder or it’s easier to store in their bookkeeping. Others prefer digital over print because the user experience allows for more fluency and a more personalized approach. Anyhow, a QR code is the most simple and yet perfect tool to take customers from their original paper communications towards a satisfactory digital customer experience where so many more possibilities present themselves.
How best to integrate QR codes in your invoices?
First of all, it’s important to ease your customers into using QR codes. So put it next to the familiar payment details they have known and used for years and don’t leave out the payment strip at the bottom. The QR code is an additional option you provide and it’s up to the customer to decide on the channel/method of his choice. Make sure the customer knows this and take him by the hand. Explain what the QR code is for, what its benefits are and guide him through the process of using this novelty. This will improve the user experience and boost customer loyalty. Don’t forget to add the payment logos next to the QR code to further create a sense of credibility and security.
In next week’s blog, we will show you how you can guide your customers on the journey to new payment methods that improve their customer experience and give you some pointers on how you can best communicate on the launch of these new methods.