In most cases, a business will send quotes and invoices as pdf-files attached to an email or perhaps a copy is handed directly to the client – in some cases it could even be handwritten. I think we would all recognize the inconveniences of handwritten invoices: time taken to write, any data required in your electronic systems needs manual input, the administration requirements of a paper-based system etc. Electronic invoices are definitely easier to manage.
But, what is the value of having responsive quotes and invoices? In other words, quotes and invoices that, when opened, are adjusted to fit the size of the screen on which they are being viewed. How does this responsive technology
surpass the usual pdf when it comes to invoicing?
Responsive Quotes and Invoices Create True Immediacy
One of the aims of a business is to “be in the client’s pocket”. And that is achieved fabulously by means of Smartphones. Smartphones are fast becoming the main devices used for interacting with the web. That is why responsive web design
is currently such an important topic: your website needs to look good and be easy to use on any type of device – from a small phone screen to a large desk-top monitor.
Using our PocketSME software
it is easy for you to send a quote as soon as you have assessed the work required or an invoice as soon as the services have been rendered or goods handed over. Send it from your phone, laptop, IPad etc. And the client receives it immediately.
Scenario 1: You send an email with a pdf invoice attachment. The client opens the email and then perhaps the pdf. But, the pdf is not responsive (it cannot be made responsive). A pdf document is not resized so that it is user-friendly on any device.
If the client wants to view the invoice properly, he or she must scroll up and down, left and right, resizing etc. It takes time, it’s irritating, let’s do it later when I’m in front of a computer. The same applies for a quote sent in pdf format.
Scenario 2: The client receives an email from you which contains a link to the invoice. When he or she clicks on the link it opens a web page – a responsive web page that is – containing their invoice. The benefits? It is easy to read and follow, in other words, it is user-friendly. Again, the same applies to quotes.
When a quote or invoice is user-friendly, you are overcoming barriers to taking action i.e. accepting the quote or paying the invoice.
This immediacy of responsive invoices increases the speed with which payment is made. People are more likely to make payment immediately if the invoice is received (and viewed) as soon as the services have been carried out.
In-quote and In-invoice Functionality
If you are “sending” your clients to a web page you can provide them direct payment options such as immediate online credit card payment, or EFT options. They can settle their account or pay their deposit at the click of a button. Again, reducing obstacles increases positive outcome i.e. fast payment.
In the case of a quote, you could also have “accept” and “decline” buttons for easy and quick response-time.
We are creating client-interactive quotes
as well as engaging invoices
Opening an email can be tracked. So, you can know if a client has opened your quote or invoice email, but you can’t track whether they have actually opened any attached documents. When you send an email with a link to the quote or invoice, you can track each time the link is clicked by the client i.e. each time the quote or invoice is viewed by the client. This ability to track user behaviour and actions is exceptionally powerful. You can follow-up on invoices that have not been viewed within, say 24 hours, and track for faster payments. Also, you can follow-up on unread quotes (or even viewed quotes) in order to keep the client interested in using you as the service provider.
the value of responsive quotes and invoices is clear: propel your business process with user-friendly interfaces.
Oh, and the client wants a pdf? Well, that can be downloaded if they choose.
Read more about the benefits of client-interactive invoicing
that you can achieve with responsive design.
These days there are so many different devices (i.e. desktop monitor, laptop, Ipad, mobile phone etc.) that can be used to browse the internet – not to mention all the different makes and brands of devices. In the past a website simply needed to look great on a “normal” computer, now it is much more complicated. We cannot create an entire new website for each device and screen resolution. There must be only one website that is designed to cater for whatever screen it appears on and this is where responsive web design comes in.
Responsive web design – the what
The important factors that are considered in responsive web design are: platform, screen size and orientation.
Responsive web design involves designing a web page so that it “responds to” or resizes itself according to the type of device that you are using to view it, the screen size and the screen orientation. As you can see below, this website looks good on several different devices. That is what we are after.
As one switches from, for example, iPad to mobile phone, the website should automatically adjust sizing and orientation to suit the screen. With responsive web design, a site’s layout changes to accommodate the screen size of device on which is being viewed. For example: if you have a wide screen desktop monitor, your website can have a number of columns of data across the screen. When this website is viewed on a mobile phone which has a much smaller width, the same data will be presented in a single column with images, text and links sized properly for the use on a smaller display.
Responsive web design – the why
What happens if your website has not been designed to cater for responsiveness? Then this is the type of problem you could run into – a website that is not mobile friendly.:
And we all know how cumbersome it is to navigate one of those tiny-looking websites; adjusting its size, scrolling up and down, back and forth, trying click on a menu item. Or you may even find that parts of your website are not displayed correctly.
Fact is, if your website is difficult to use, clients won’t want to spend much time on it. And time-spent-on-website is an important factor in obtaining good leads. Don’t let it be easy to rather browse a competitor’s site than to stumble around yours. People are quick to click away from sites that are a struggle to use. Your valuable content which you have been creating for increased conversions is left untouched.
Another “why” is the consideration of the long-term maintenance of the website. Every day new devices, software and updates are becoming available. If you have a responsive website, then you don’t need to worry about developing an entire new website to cater for the technology-upgrades.
And, thirdly, on a more technological note, having a responsive web design helps you with your search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves improving your website so that the search engines (such as Google) increase its rating and rank it higher in the list of results when a person searches for information in your industry. The higher your website is on the list of results, the more visitors you will get. When it comes to rankings, the search engines are not only interested in the content of your website, but also how user-friendly it is – and a website with a responsive web design is it.
It is no secret that the use of mobile devices to access the internet is on the increase. More and more mobile users are turning to their devices for online browsing, shopping and social media interactions. You need to be there and you need to ensure that your website and communications are responsive
and easy for people to interact with.
Responsive web design – the how
We don’t need to go into the nitty-gritty, but it is something you must discuss with your website designer.
An important check to make on a regular basis is how your website looks on different devices. Check it on your desk-top monitor, Ipad, different types of phones etc. Ensure that your website displays correctly on any new devices that come onto the market.
If there are any problems with the view, get it sorted out as soon as possible. You don’t want to lose potential clients from even one lead source.