Zuora provides you many ways to communicate with your customers regarding the status of their billing and payments. This article summarizes how you can use our Z-Billing and Z-Payments Customer Notifications feature as well as Zuora CPQ to send notices to your prospective and existing customers. Additionally, Zuora CPQ is a powerful tool that arms your internal teams with a 360-degree view of your customer’s data in order to better serve and communicate with your customers.
Zuora’s Customer Notifications feature contains over two dozen email templates for use when communicating with both your customers and your internal team members. You can notify customers of a new invoice, let them know when their invoices are past due, or proactively alert them of any subscriptions or payment methods that will soon expire. Some of these emails may be accompanied by an attachment (such as a letter) containing additional information.
With Z-Billing and Z-Payments, every email notification can also be configured to send a call out to another system when an event occurs in Zuora. The purpose of a callout is so that you can build a workflow utilizing Zuora and your other integrated systems. For example, if a payment fails on the third attempt (this is the event), you can configure your customer notifications to both:
- Send an email to the customer as well as,
- Trigger a callout to your provisioning system to suspend access to the service until payment is made. It is important to keep in mind the best practice of good messaging in your notifications and providing ample time for your customer to respond and take action.
Zuora recommends letting customers know well in advance, through the use of first and second payment failure notices, before sending a final notice of account suspension. Suspending a customer’s access may cause customer confusion and panic, resulting in a negative customer experience. One of the great things about using Zuora is that we provide you extreme flexibility. In the example above, with the failed payment notice, you have the option to configure the number of times a payment fails before it sends an email notice and/or a call out to your provisioning system. Therefore, if it makes more sense for your business to de-provision service after 5 failed payment attempts, you can easily configure those business rules.
Using communication profiles, you can create one or more profiles, each having a different set of notifications (with a different tone, messaging, or rules) for different types of customers. For example, your communications sent to B2B customers versus B2C customer may have a different tone. Communication profiles can be customized for different segments of your customer base.
You have full tracking of all the emails and callouts sent from Zuora under the customer account's Notification History section. This allows you to respond to customer inquiries about when a notification was originally sent to them, as well as prevent too many emails from being sent to the same customer by different members of your team who may be unaware that a notice has gone out.
Attachments: Invoice Templates
When sending out a new invoice email, an invoice PDF is automatically included as part of the email notification. The invoice PDF is created from a customizable word template (also referred to as the invoice template) and contains the detailed information about the invoice charges (line item by line item). Your invoice template can be customized to have the look and feel as well as tone of your corporate communications – for example, you can include your corporate logo, your reply to contact information, as well links the customer can click on to take action line (such as make a payment online). At this time, only invoice PDFs may be attached to the following email notifications:
- Manual Email For Invoice
- Payment Declined
- Payment Processed
The Zuora CPQ suite contains two products: Zuora 360 and Zuora Quotes. Zuora CPQ allows you to communicate with both prospective as well as existing customers while leveraging Salesforce’s emailing capabilities.
With Zuora Quotes, you can create sales quotes for prospective customers in an assisted sales process. If your company uses Zuora Quotes (Zuora’s native Salesforce Integration) you can customize your sales quotes just like you would an invoice template. Similar to communication profiles, you can create as many invoice or Zuora CPQ quote templates as you would like, assigning a specific template for use with certain customers. Zuora knows that not all your customers are the same, so we give you the choice of using one or as many templates as you would like to customize your communications.
Zuora 360 allows you to pull all the Z-Billing and Z-Payments data from Zuora over to Salesforce so that your teams have a full 360-degree view of the customer data. Here are just a few examples of how your team can utilize the data synchronized from Zuora in order to communicate with your customers:
- Customer service reps can respond to questions about your customer(s) billing and payments without having to log into Zuora. This is important for both convenience and security since only designated billing team members should have access to Zuora.
- Sales team members can leverage the subscription information in Zuora to upsell into their accounts and send sales quotes using Zuora Quotes. Additionally, sales reps can keep track of whether their customers have paid their invoices since it is common for the sales reps to be paid commissions only after the customer has paid. Therefore, sales reps are incented to help with collections.
- Marketing teams can pull reports on subscription and product information in order to run marketing campaigns targeting customers who have subscribed to a certain product. Campaigns can be used to invite groups of customers to an event, or perhaps drive a sales promotion with a limited time offer. The collections team may also run a campaign on customers who are close to their subscription renewal date in order to offer special deals for early renewal.
- Your collections group can send emails regarding billing and payments using Salesforce’s custom emailing tools. For example, this team can run an aging report then send an email to customers with aging invoices.