Your Best Growth Opportunity: The Customer Experience

Customer experience is at the heart of business growth, yet organizations are overlooking opportunities to optimize it.

The truth is, you’re competing in a highly competitive market. It’s also a crowded market, which means your ability to stand out from the crowd is critical. With every Software as a Service (SaaS) company claiming to provide their customers with the most innovative product and services, how can you rise to the top?

What makes your offering, and your business, special?

You do.

Seriously. It’s you.

Bad experiences drive customers away - fast. PWC found that consumers would pay up to 16% more for a better customer experience and that 60% of customers would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service. It’s becoming increasingly clear that what you have to offer in a crowded and commoditized market is less important than how you offer it.

Let’s examine the customer experience stats further:

  • Bain and Company found that companies excelling at the customer experience grow revenues 4% to 8% above their market.
  • Adobe discovered that companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies enjoy a 10% year over year growth, a 10% increase in average order value, and a 25% increase in close rates.
  • Yet Salesforce revealed that 54% of customers think companies need to fundamentally transform how they engage with their customers.

There is a disconnect between the critical importance of a positive customer experience and the efforts made by businesses to deliver them. So what does all this mean to you and your accounts receivable (AR) team?

It means opportunity. A chance to establish outstanding customer relationships in an area unknown for this.

Your AR team is frequently interacting with your customer base. Focus on making your AR process accurate and efficient to enable your AR team to deliver a superior customer experience.

A superior customer experience means:

  • An increase in customer loyalty.
  • An expansion of your customer base.
  • A positive reputation in the marketplace that helps you win new customers.

How can your AR team realize this competitive advantage? 

Automation, visibility, and efficiency are key to optimizing your customer experience:

  • Automation: With a smart AR platform, your AR team can leverage automation to ensure that core repetitive processes are handled quickly and automatically. By automating manual data entry and other tedious tasks, your team has more time to focus on high value tasks and priority customers, providing them with a superior customer experience.

This automation capability also extends to customer communications, providing customers with account information on a regular basis. Increasing the frequency of communications keeps customers up to date, deepens trust, and establishes a continual dialogue where questions and issues can be raised.

  • Visibility: A constant pain point mentioned by customers is calling a vendor and receiving one piece of information, and then being provided with different information when they contact another person at a later date. Not only does this make resolving issues difficult, but more importantly, it damages customer trust and confidence in your business. Having visibility into customer data across all your AR systems - such as your ERP, CRM, and accounting software - ensures that people in your organization are reading from the same script when interacting with customers.

A smart AR platform also provides your customers with an online portal, which offers further visibility. Presenting them with the ability to access their account information any time, on any device, increases your chances of being paid on time. This level of access to their information and the ability to submit payments through the same portal provides a customer experience that will outshine your competitors.

  • Efficiency: A smart AR platform can help make your AR team up to three times more productive. When tasks are automated, they are completed quicker. When customer communications are automated, reminders and updates are sent in a timely fashion, which increases customer trust and speeds up payments. Clear visibility across your systems enables both your business and your customers to easily access account data, helping each side answer questions and resolve disputes quickly. You become a business that customers enjoy working with and cash flow is accelerated as result.

It doesn’t end there. Although an improved customer experience may be the ultimate goal, it’s not the only benefit.

A smart AR platform enhances your employee experience, empowering your people to focus on more meaningful work. At a strategic level, it enables finance leaders to more accurately determine revenue forecasting and make smarter business decisions. Last, but not least, it provides a significant growth platform for your business, as you gain visibility into customer trends and behaviour and increase your cash flow and investment opportunities.

Make outstanding customer experiences your priority and the business outcomes will follow. You’ll need a smart AR platform to get there.