Your clients are the lifeblood of your business. They’re the reason you do what you do. By extension, their money is the reason that you’re able to continue doing it. While payments may not be the element of your business that drives your passion, they’re certainly the element that enables it. As such, it is essential that your WooCommerce invoices are just as much a reflection of your business as the products and services that you provide. Here are a few simple tips.
Spell Your Customer’s Name or Business Correctly
There are few things quite as embarrassing as having to explain to your customer why, instead of Cheryl’s Fluffy Friends, you listed her business name as Cherry’s Bluffy Fiends. Such an oversight, while seemingly innocuous – and, arguably, amusing – conveys a lack of seriousness and attention to detail on your part, and may drive Cheryl et al to another provider of exotic chew toys.
Make Sure Your Invoice Is Accurate
A difference of a dollar or two, or a missing item, can cause hours of panicked checking, spawn crisis control meetings, and even result in some timid yet meticulous assistant being sent on a permanent vacation. If you want your customers to pay you, make sure they know how much they owe, and if you want them to keep coming back, make sure your invoices accurately reflect their order. This may seem like a given, but countless business relationships end every day over inaccurate invoicing.
Make it Personal
Everything you do, every interaction, every communication – and yes, this includes your invoices – contributes to your customers’ image of you and your business. Don’t settle for default templates. Add some color. Add a logo. Use an interesting and memorable (but still legible and professional) font. Anything you can do to make your invoice stand out from the crowd is in your best interest.
Clarity Is Key
You want people to understand what they’re paying for, whom they’re paying, and why. Your WooCommerce invoice should explicitly state everything you want it to state and leave no room for interpretation or ambiguity. Sections of your invoice should have clear headings.
Details, Details, Details
Product or service descriptions should convey what’s being sold. Do you deal in socks made from organic cotton? List them as “Organic Cotton Socks” rather than simply “socks” and your customers will immediately see the value of their purchase.
Too much blank space makes your invoice seem empty, and too little space makes it cluttered. You want your invoices to be easy to read and comprehend, and you definitely don’t want your customers struggling to figure out what they’re looking at or having to jump all over the page to see the whole picture. A professional invoice looks neat and orderly. Rows and columns line up, words are separated and easy to identify, and your invoice represents that you mean business, regardless of whether you sell clown costumes or engraved office nameplates.
Include Contact Info
This may also seem like a no-brainer, but as the adage goes, common sense is not common. If a customer has a question, comment, or concern, they need to be able to reach you. Including your contact information in a prominent spot on your WooCommerce invoice ensures that your customer doesn’t have to uproot an entire network of papers, binders, and sandwich wrappers to track you down.
State Your Terms
Do you need payment in thirty days? Sixty? Yesterday? Letting your customer know when to pay is just as important as how much. Include the date at the top of your invoice, and a reminder at the bottom, so your customer knows in no uncertain terms when their hard-earned money needs to become yours.
Appearance Is Everything
Contrary to what your not-so-attractive grade school teachers told you, real beauty is on the surface, at least as far as your WooCommerce invoice is concerned. The invoice plug-in includes multiple formats and templates for every portion of your invoice. Use them. Create a document that makes your customer want to immediately break out the checkbook and contribute to your success.
Use Unique Numbering
Invoices need to be easy to reference. While you’re certainly welcome to start at “1” and make your invoices sequential, a good practice would be to create an invoice number that makes it uniquely yours. For instance, you could add your company’s initials to the beginning of the invoice number.
What Would You Do
Perhaps the best test of the quality of your WooCommerce invoice is your own opinion. Look at your invoice and ask yourself, “What would I do if I received this invoice?” If your answer is anything other than “pay it immediately and add a little extra for brilliant design” then you’re probably an honest person, because come on, nobody does that. But if looking at your own creation makes you shake your head in disappointment, then it’s probably safe to say that your customers will do the same. Make an invoice that impresses you, and your customers will likely concur.
Invoicing isn’t glamorous. Invoicing isn’t fun or exciting (well, not for most people). However, invoicing is nonetheless a critical aspect of any business and if you follow the above guidelines, your WooCommerce invoice will be yet another part of your customers’ satisfaction.