"Just as customers have come to expect a frictionless, self-service shopping experience, they expect that same omnichannel, seamless experience when it comes to paying the invoice. Merchants and suppliers need billing solutions to adapt and reinforce that positive buying experience."
- James Messer, Founder and CEO, Gotransverse, in Forbes

As customer buying habits have become more varied (through omnichannel e-commerce, for example) and more complex (through a multitude of usage-based buying models), the pressure is on for businesses to ensure the billing—from quote to cash—is a frictionless process that enhances, rather than jams up, the customer experience.

Last month in Forbes, Gotransverse Founder and CEO James Messer explored why billing has become such a high-stakes endeavor and how businesses can ensure their operations are up to the challenge. We share some highlights in this blog post, and we invite you to read Messer’s full article here.

Changes in B2B and B2C Buying Patterns

“Online stores are no longer considered a bolt-on to business websites but have become e-commerce destinations for customers," says Messer, noting that B2C consumer buying habits influence the expectations of B2B purchasers. Whether customers are buying furniture for their homes or software solutions for their companies, they expect omnichannel shopping and payment options and a frictionless shopping experience—from browsing to buying.

Additionally, with the economic uncertainty lingering in the wake of the pandemic, individual consumers and B2B buyers alike emphasize value to ensure they're paying only for what they need and will use. The result has been an accelerated rise of subscription and hybrid billing models that provide consistent cash flow to businesses and better value for consumers.

Empowering Customers through Self-Service Options

One key trend Messer notes is the rise of self-service buying and payment options. “Customers opt for self-service engagement whenever possible, which reduces the amount of direct interaction,” says Messer. “Giving customers more control over transactions improves the buying experience.”

"Billing should be an extension of this frictionless self-service process, he says. Noting that account management should be simple, billing should be structured to encourage smooth transactions, and businesses would do well to incorporate opportunities for feedback into the self-service payment process to stay connected to customers.

Can Your Billing Solution Keep Up?

With the added complexities and demands involved in attracting and retaining customers, it’s more important than ever that companies embrace billing solutions that make the job easy rather than holding them back.

This practice includes maintaining accuracy through automation, integrating with other platforms as the linchpin between front- and back-office processes, managing renewals to avoid churn, and maximizing customer data (and the insights that can be mined from it). You're right if you think all this sounds too much for a legacy billing system to handle. "You need new billing capabilities to accommodate these new buying experiences, pricing models, services, and delivery variations,” says Messer. “Moreover, you need an integrated billing strategy.”

According to Messer, keeping billing in step with buying trends gives businesses more control over the revenue cycle. It has a tremendous impact on customer experience—a vital driver of that revenue cycle.

So, what kind of billing system do savvy businesses need? “It can pay to have an adaptable billing solution that's able to grow with your business,” says Messer. He recommends looking for a cloud-based platform to utilize extensibility and scalability and ensure your billing infrastructure is equipped to accommodate channel partners and new business models.

The reality is that the changes COVID-19 precipitated to B2B and B2C buying trends aren't going anywhere anytime soon. E-commerce and digital transactions will remain at the fore of buying habits. Businesses that want to ensure a positive customer experience under these new (and continuously evolving) market demands will require flexible, scalable billing technology that helps them future-proof their businesses stay ahead of customer demands.

We encourage you to read Messer’s full article in Forbes for more insights. Then, when you're ready to learn whether Gotransverse’s cloud-based, agile billing platform is right for your organization, we invite you to take a tour of our platform and contact us to request a demo.