Going paperless is an important step for a business that wants to participate in green living. According to Defra, 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK. If you send bills and other communications to your customers regularly through the post you must notify them of your intention to go paperless in advance.
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Clarify and identify your timeline for going paperless as well as any requirements that the customer must fulfil to receive paper bills. For instance, in many cases you may have to get the customer's permission to stop sending paper statements in the mail before switching him to paperless billing.
Change your terms of agreement as necessary to include the update about paperless billing. Include information on whether it is optional or required for customers going forward.
Create your notification message along with clear instructions for how the customer can acknowledge receipt of your information regarding paperless billing. For instance, in addition to the notice listing the active date for paperless billing you might also include a website or phone line for "opting-in."
Include a notification regarding your decision to go paperless in the message section of your last few paper bills to the customer. Highlight the area in a colour or font that stands out to get his attention. Be sure to include your updated terms with these mailings as well.
Send a separate "reminder" postcard to customers containing the message about your intention to stop mailing paper bills.
Send an e-mail to your customer list to inform them of your paperless billing decision. In this case, you can directly link the customer to your website to make opt-in choices if necessary.
Tips and warnings
- Explain a few of the benefits of going paperless in your communication to the customer.
- Consult with a lawyer before switching to paperless billing to ensure that you're observing all state and federal laws.
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