As your HVAC business grows, there are some proven practices you should know and follow. From customer communication to invoicing procedures to record organization, here are common HVAC invoicing mistakes and recommendations for how to avoid them by instilling best practices at your company.
1. Allowing technicians to be inconsistent with invoices.
As your company expands and you bring on more employees, it’s important to provide training on how to properly write-up an HVAC invoice. For technicians who are completing invoices in the field, consider providing completed example invoices for common maintenance projects, as well as a simple checklist for what information and details need to be included. Maintain consistency with acronyms and abbreviations and make sure everyone is following the same template.
2. Not including contract details in your HVAC invoicing.
Another mistake is excluding details about your client’s contract on your HVAC invoice. Think of the invoice as an agreement of services between you and your client. Clearly write out your expectations along with any payment timeline policies. Include a place for a tech’s signature, the customer’s signature, and the date.
3. Completing HVAC invoices with missing crucial information.
An HVAC invoicing header with company contact information should be at the top of all paper and digital invoices. Other crucial details include the invoice number, invoice date, an itemized breakdown of charges, and space for the tech to write additional notes. For companies who require proof-of-work or need to attach photos, the InvoiceASAP platform allows you to do just that and more.
4. Sending your HVAC invoice after you’ve left the job site.
Best practice for getting invoices in the hands of your clients is to do so while you’re still at the job site. The key here is to have printed or digital invoices ready to go that your techs can fill out and adjust after completing work on-site. Not only will this speed up the invoicing process and cut down on the paper/email trail, but it will also improve the details and accuracy of your company’s invoices. The sooner you are able to put an invoice in the hands of your customer, the sooner you get paid.
5. Not being flexible with your form of payment.
Flexibility with your client’s payment options will get you paid faster and create a more positive experience for your customers. In addition to accepting cash and checks, your team should also be prepared to accept debit and credit cards, and bank payments via ACH or eCheck, directly from an invoice. If you’re able to use a portable card reader in the field, make sure your techs are trained to use it correctly. Also, consider offering other payment apps built for mobile devices. Alternatively, your techs can use invoicing software to photograph the form of payment and post it directly to the invoice.
6. Disorganized record-keeping.
No matter how you create and send your invoices, you definitely want to prioritize organization when it comes to filing. Use a labeling system that works for your company and train your employees who help manage records to file new invoices correctly. HVAC invoicing software can be very beneficial for making sure records for completed maintenance, payments, customer contact information, and sales history is always up to date and easily accessible.
7. Not keeping customer information updated.
In addition to keeping service records maintained and updated, it’s just as important to regularly update customer information. Addresses, emails, and telephone numbers should all be updated in your records whenever you learn of a change. You should also collect this information from new clients, along with their personal preference for how to best contact them.
8. Failing to update maintenance records.
Organizing your client’s maintenance history information will help you better understand the type of service completed and document important details about the client you may not remember in the future. These records can also allow you to set check-in times for when your techs may need to perform routine maintenance. Use a system that makes sense to you and meets your needs. Make sure those in charge of updating records remain consistent with how information is recorded.
9. Not providing an itemized breakdown of costs
A huge part of customer satisfaction and retention involves providing clear communication. When it comes to invoicing, you want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to see exactly what they’re paying for. No matter the project, always include an itemized cost breakdown to limit confusion and maintain transparency with clients about your services. Invoicing solutions like InvoiceASAP allow you to pre-define all of your services and products in advance, making it easy to add them to an estimate or invoice, and keeping the details consistent across all of your clients.
10. Not following up for future maintenance work.
Stay ahead of new jobs and help keep your revenue steady by routinely reaching out to clients for future maintenance work and any other potential services. Your record-keeping and updated customer information will make it easy to send out maintenance and appointment reminders.
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Interested in learning how to simplify and drastically improve your invoicing, estimate-writing, and payments process? Contact InvoiceASAP to learn more about our full-service dashboard built for those who work in the field. Create a FREE account today!