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How to reduce your outstanding Xero invoices in 3 easy steps

June 15, 2021

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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It’s been a tough 12 months for maintaining healthy cashflow. Covid-19 has flattened sales for many companies, and difficulty in moving transactions online has made the problem worse for many traditional businesses. 

This has led to a new focus on late payments, and as latest figures indicate, it’s a problem that’s getting worse. According to the Federation of Small Businesses latest study 62% have been subject to late or frozen payments in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak whilst the latest Pay.UK data shows total late payments due to SMEs in the UK rose to 80% to £23.4bn at the end of last year.


Focusing on cashflow has therefore become paramount for business survival.

At Converso it’s our mission to bring together the latest messaging and payments technology so that your business can chat with and invoice your clients on their mobile phone using one tool.

By engaging clients with texts, Converso speeds up interactions with customers and encourages faster payment by making it simple to pay as part of a sales or support conversation.

We’ve also integrated with Xero so now you can send your Xero invoices by email and text for increased engagement with your customers, as well as benefit from seamless reconciliation of payments.

Through our service we help our customers reduce late payments in 3 key ways:

  1. increase visibility of invoices so customers pay promptly
  2. use workflows to send reminders and reduce payment delays
  3. eliminate customer data input to make the payment process smoother

Let’s look at these areas in more detail.

1. Get your invoices noticed

Whilst late payment can be due to your customers deliberately avoiding paying up, a more likely reason is simply forgetting to pay.

Consumers are increasingly busy: 58% of Europeans that made a late payment say that they had just forgotten to pay their bills.   

Part of this late payment problem lies in visibility. Most Xero users send their invoices via email, but email has become chronically overused. Trying to engage your customers with yet more emails just results in diminishing returns.  

Optimizing for mobile can help solve this problem. 95% of the UK population owns a smartphone, with customers now using their phone as the remote control for many aspects of their day-to-day lives.

Getting customers’ attention is where text really scores.  90% of texts received are read within 3 seconds. That’s an open rate of almost 5x compared to email.

That means that when you send a text, it’s practically guaranteed that your customers will see and action it as soon as it’s sent. Your Xero invoices going to spam will be a thing of the past!

It’s also popular: 90% of consumers want to connect with businesses via texting and 78% of US consumers say that text communications is the fastest way to reach them.

Having a way to connect, send invoices and get paid via text is becoming essential for any business that wants to make sure their invoices get noticed and therefore paid on time.

2. Send out timely, personalized reminders

As text messages are read almost instantly, it’s more likely that you’ll get paid as soon as your customer receives the text.

If the customer has queries about the invoice or payment, they can be raised there and then for instant resolution. Texted invoices have the advantage of “in-channel” payments which makes it easy for you and your customer to chat and fix the problem, as the context is within the conversation.  

Simper customer support for you and your customer!

But if your invoice is still not paid, you need to have a credit control process in place to provide gentle encouragement to pay.

Our automated reminders can be configured as a workflow that sends out messages before, on and after due dates, over both email and text, providing escalation for continual non-payment. Workflows can save you time and effort chasing outstanding amounts.

Because we have immediate visibility of when the payment comes in, texts and emails are only sent when required, with no embarrassing apologies for chasing when your most valued customer has just paid.

And you don’t always need to be present to reply to more detailed questions. Messaging networks are great for applying chatbots. So coming soon, customer queries will be responded to with a chatbot for a more personalized response that can include a wider range of payment and finance options that better suit your customer.

You can always provide a human touch too, with seamless handoff to an agent if the customer wants to chat about another subject.

3. Make it convenient to pay 

The key to prompt payment is making it so convenient that your customers complete payment as soon as the invoice arrives.

There should be no forwarding to a third-party payment site, inputting long card details, or working out how to get a receipt. The payment process should to be as smooth as possible. 

With Converso, your customer has choice: pay with Pay by Bank, for direct account to account transfers, or pay in one click with their mobile wallet, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. (If they don’t have a mobile wallet they can still pay using a card, with all card payments being SCA compliant). 

If you provide more choice, the customer is more likely to find a payment option that suits them.

Pay by Bank has the advantage of eliminating the transmission of sensitive card data, as well as providing instant pay-outs - with transaction charges being a small fraction of card processing fees!

In addition, to make the payment experience as trusted as possible, we’ve provided the option for businesses to connect their own domain to form their own payment site. A business can therefore have, for instance, which offers reassurance to the customer that it’s not a phishing site aimed at fraudulently collecting their data, plus provides consistent branding with the invoice.

These measures increase confidence in your brand and increase the likelihood of prompt payment from your customer.

We’re offering a limited number of early users free access to send your Xero invoices via text, with the benefit of free Pay by Bank transactions for up to £5,000 per month.

If you don’t want to use Xero for invoicing, that’s fine too – you can create and send invoices, with a combination of text and email, directly from Converso.

Why leave it there?

To learn more about Converso

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