March 17, 2017

9 Tips for Improving Bill Design and Increasing Customer Satisfaction

One constant across all markets and industries is the fact that eventually someone has to pay a bill. For companies that provide business to consumer services, such as utility and insurance companies, this is most likely a recurring, monthly process. Although many customers might view the billing cycle as a negative, this is a great opportunity for companies to grow relationships and trust with their customers.

Monthly bills are the perfect opportunity to have an additional touch point with clients. A well-designed bill can build goodwill by providing pertinent and helpful info, while a badly designed bill can create customer frustration and confusion.

Bills with excellent designs can increase customer satisfaction, engagement, and on-time bill payments. Read the tips below to find out how.

  1. Clearly state how much is due, and when. In a customer’s eyes, this is the most important information on the bill. Make it easy for them to find – customers can often get frustrated if they have to search for it. Providing a concise payment summary can be the difference between a customer setting the bill aside to decipher at a later date or making their payment in that moment.
  2. Differentiate between the amount due, account balance, and payments received. The quickest call to customer service occurs when a customer is confused about the amount they owe. Clearly mark the difference between the balance due, balance on their account, and what they have already paid. This can help mitigate calls to customer service reps and complaints about incorrect balances.
  3. Keep your bill design consistent. Not only do consistent designs convey stability, but customers can always expect to see their balance in the same spot. This also applies to consistency between platforms. Online and printed bills should appear the same to make it as easy as possible for a customer to quickly scan the document to find the information they need.
  4. Don’t use slang or internal code. Make sure that you refrain from using acronyms, abbreviations, or industry slang. While you may not think twice about their meaning, customers most likely will only get confused, which could prompt more service calls. A revision to the terms used on the bill or inclusion of definitions may be all that is needed to significantly reduce calls to customer service.
  5. Focus on summary data. Don’t overload your customers with information. At best, they glaze over it, and at worst they misunderstand and become upset. Focus on sharing the most important summary data on the bill, and consider making detailed information available elsewhere.
  6. Show your value. When billing for services, it’s important to showcase your value. Customers could be seeing pricing that they feel is high, so make sure you are simultaneously showing why your service is worth it. This could include showcasing price savings for the month, highlighting plan benefits, or outlining service improvements.
  7. Promote self-service options. Direct customers to alternative billing and payment options where they are able to self-serve and include what the customer will need to utilize each payment option to simplify the process. Self-service is a growing preference among customers, particularly the younger market, and it saves your company time and money compared to customer service calls and walk-in center payments.
  8. Be visual. Infographics are a great tool to simplify and showcase a lot of complex information in a glance. The visual appeal of colors and graphs can often draw and hold a customer’s attention.
  9. Use color. The integration of full color on print and e-bills increases brand recognition and simplifies even the most complex bill. When used appropriately, color can effectively be used to highlight bill elements that are commonly overlooked by customers and to draw their attention to important messaging.

These tips are a great start to building print and e-bills that your customers will find easy to use. Delivering a bill with the simplified design and concise information noted above can go a long way in relieving frustration and improving customer satisfaction. On-time bill payments can also increase as self-service options become more prevalent, and less customer service calls occur. These changes allow for a shorter payment cycle for the customer, and more confidence in the amount due.

Need help with a bill redesign? Contact us at or learn more about our document redesign and consumer marketing services here.