The Great Customer Resignation: Four Things That Make or Break your AR Experience

Nicole Dwyer
Improve your accounts receivable customer experience with these strategies

We can't simply focus on The Great Resignation. Today, customers are leaving their long-time favorite brands and firms need to act fast.

The talk all over major news sources and LinkedIn has focused on The Great Resignation. Employees leaving their jobs and leveraging the current market to land roles with better pay, better benefits and a better fit to their lifestyle.

But these employee shifts are not the only turnover challenge. Customer bases are also impacted when people exit organizations. When an employee leaves, customers can end up following them because of the relationship they have or the experience the person has. 

That’s just one driving factor behind the Great Customer Resignation.

As the pandemic forced many businesses to rethink their operational strategy and seek support from digital products and services, many customers are leaving their long-time favorite brands. According to a survey conducted by Mastercard, consumers around the globe switched brands and vendors due to Covid-19 — and 65% of them said those changes were permanent.

This isn’t a “front office problem”. The back office, commonly — and wrongly — described as non-customer facing, must be concerned with the service it provides. We know that customers expect their B2B experience to mirror their B2C one. People are no longer comparing their bank’s mobile app to another bank’s mobile app — they’re measuring it up to their Starbucks app experience. 

Mobile Customer Experience

Wake up and smell the coffee! Customers expect their B2B experience to mirror their B2C one.

 

Customer loyalty is a fast moving target and all business areas, including accounts receivable,  should wake up and smell the coffee. What seemed like momentary market shifts due to a black swan event has become an ongoing market trend. We’re not bouncing back to pre-pandemic standards. We’re forging ahead, fast, to newer ways of engaging with our customers. 

AR - Through Your Customers' Eyes 

Your AR team could be the first communication touchpoint for your customer during the credit assessment process, and they also engage with your customers on a regular basis.

They’re the connection between your customer and their money. The power of that relationship should not be underestimated, especially when a simple internet search provides your customer with access to a variety of competitive options at any time. 

Driving Long-Term Loyalty

Let’s explore a few reasons behind The Great Customer Resignation and the strategy your AR team can put into action now: 

  • NEED: Customers switched suppliers based on their ability to get the digital services they required to keep their businesses going. During the ongoing disruptions in the global supply chain, digitization has become a vital lifeline.

    • AR PLAY: Real-time visibility. Are your customers able to access their invoices, payment remits, account statements and other important documentation? Can they see which invoices are coming due, which are in dispute and which can be filed as paid? The ability to manage their business through digital channels is no longer a nice-to-have option. Instant access to up-to-date, real-time information means customers stay engaged with you and trust that you are supporting their critical business needs.

Customers Eyes

What does your AR process look like through your customers' eyes?

 

  • CONVENIENCE: The accessibility of the products or services incited a change in vendors, particularly when it came to adapting their business to new digital channels. If a digital option was not available, it was easier — and more cost effective — to change vendors rather than wait for the vendor to catch up.

    • AR PLAY: Online portal. Your customers may be on a laptop, a tablet or even on their cell phone when they’re reviewing invoices or handling payments. With a centralized online portal, you can ensure the ultimate convenience of accessing their account no matter which digital channel they’re using. A central portal also ensures that your AR team and the customer are looking at the same account information, keeping everyone on the same page regarding outstanding invoices, current payments and even disputes. Customers feel heard and supported when their understanding of their accounts is validated by your AR team and results in friendlier — and easier — conversations. Even the hard ones. 

  • EASE: If the existing digital experience is clunky, it’s easy to change suppliers who offer a better one. In a time where everything in the market is disrupted, your customers don’t have time to navigate a complicated digital process — especially when they know there are simpler, faster options available.

    • AR PLAY: A frictionless experience. How straightforward is it to navigate your various contact channels? Is the login process for your online portal (assuming you have one) easy for your customer? Is the AR team’s phone number easy to find on your website? Do your emailed invoices allow customers to click through directly to the invoice and to payment options? If the interaction with your business has layers of friction, your customers will quickly look for a vendor with an easier path for doing business. Remember, your customers are looking at the ease of doing business with you against their experience with ALL their other vendors — not just your direct competitors.

  • HABITS: A chain reaction occurs when we make changes to our actions and routines based on need, convenience or ease. We develop new habits and patterns that need to be supported, which in turn can introduce new competitors into the mix.

    • AR PLAY: Collaborate with other teams and partners. It may sound trite but the truth is, we’re all in this together. If the impact of Covid-19 inspired you to look at new banks offering digital ways to manage your money and your weekly trips to the grocery store switched to curbside or online delivery, then chances are you’ve already been converted to the new digital normal. You can apply the same approach to your customer experience and encourage cross-department collaboration. Bring in marketing, sales and customer success teams to help determine how else you can support your clients’ new AR journey. Analyze your customer data to see how their behaviors have shifted over the past 24 months and identify opportunities to make new connections.

A Permanent Shift

The switch to digitization seemed to happen overnight. But what may have started out as a temporary Band-Aid in 2020 has evolved into a mandate two years later — and it is important we get it right.

 

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What stage are you at in your journey to digital?

 

Focusing on your AR process is a good start, as it is the one line of communication that remains open, no matter what. And with a smart AR platform, it’s an easy one to address. An end-to-end AR platform like YayPay’s helps you manage all four pillars of The Great Customer Resignation. 

 

NEED

Customers can access all their account information — invoices, payments, disputes — and feel confident that they are managing their business with the latest, real-time data.

CONVENIENCE

YayPay’s online portal means customers can do business on their time, 24/7, and not have to wait for “business hours” dictated by someone else.

EASE

A smooth login process and easy to navigate system means managing their business with YayPay is simple and friction-free. They can make payments, update their account information and contact an AR rep, all in one place.

HABITS

Accessing YayPay daily becomes a new habit that builds other smart business habits — like checking on their account status, managing late payments and ensuring their invoices are up to date and accurate. Your customer’s business health is your business health, and you want to encourage more healthy habits!

 


Despite the seemingly loose sense of loyalty customers have today, 74% of them still want to do business with companies who have consistently demonstrated concern and excellent service since the pandemic began. And if you ask them, your customers will give you honest feedback on how you can improve.

It’s time to find out what your customers value the most in their relationship with you and deliver above and beyond their expectations. If you start with your AR process, your most consistent customer touchpoint, you’re already ahead of the game. 

 

This is the second blog post in our “Great Customer Resignation” series. You can read our first blog post — Four Keys to Improve Customer Engagement and Retention — here.

Nicole Dwyer
About the Author

Nicole Dwyer is Chief Product Officer for YayPay, bringing more than 10 years’ experience in accounts payable and receivable technology to ensure YayPay continues to meet the needs of its customers. Having spent her entire career in commercial payments, Nicole understands high- and low-value payment systems, the complexities of how businesses pay and get paid, and has worked with distributed teams spanning the globe. She is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Residing in New Hampshire with her husband, daughter, and son, they spend their time outdoors and creating new adventures.

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