The Value of Responsive Quotes and Invoices

Quotes and InvoicesIn 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.  

User Tracking

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.  

So,

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 and quoting that you can achieve with responsive design.