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PART 2 – Understanding the Impact of Technology on Customer Experience for Staffing Firms

Last week I discussed ways for mid-to-large staffing companies to leverage technology to stand out from the crowd across two dimensions: cash flow and customer experience.
This week, I’ve put together a technology framework that will help staffing firms evaluate their current process needs based on who your customers are.

If you sell to large businesses (VMS), your order-to-cash process likely experiences challenges with:

  • Manual data entry of invoice data into VMS Billing Portals
  • Customer deductions, disputes, & short pays
  • Payments affiliated with web portal remittance advice that require log-in to receive
  • One-time emailed credit card payments (virtual cards) which present a trifecta of pains: (1) Require manual labor to open, retrieve, and process, (2) they are the costliest payment channel in the marketplace – fees are often above 3% on these cards, and (3) they represent significant security risk if employees are being exposed to Credit Card data.

The best solutions for VMS suppliers will:

  • Leverage Robotic Process Automation to automate the delivery of your ERP data into VMS Portals
  • Leverage Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence to automate the scraping of web remittances and matching to payments
  • Automate Cash Application from all payment channels
  • Automate the intake and processing of all virtual card payments and ensure Level II/III interchange rates in a secure environment

If you sell to mid-sized businesses your order-to-cash process likely experiences challenges with:

  • Customers demand a variety of invoice formats based on their respective A/P processes & technologies
  • The largest segment, who pay via a slow, costly payment channel: checks delivered via USPS to a bank lockbox
  • Increased demand for costly Credit Card payment channel
  • Incomplete/decoupled/missing remittance advice for electronic payments

Then the best solutions for mid-market suppliers need to include:

  • Invoicing options that offer a variety of formats that correspond to their customer’s accounting & A/P software to ensure their invoices are processed quickly. Examples include Individual .pdf, Consolidated .pdf, CSV, XML, QuickBooks, Peachtree and Timberline.
  • Best-in-class, self-serve portals are a huge differentiator in serving mid-market customers. This technology enhances customer billing experience while also helping firms migrate customers from checks to next-gen ACH with autopay and advanced scheduling functionality
  • Automate Cash Application from all payment channels
  • Leveraging technology to enforce smart credit card policies that protect firm margins

You’ll also want to shop your merchant service provider and processing gateway to ensure you’re getting the best rates and qualifying every B&P Card for Level II/III interchange rates.

If you sell to small businesses, your order-to-cash process will likely experience challenges that include:

  • 80% of your customers using QuickBooks accounting software to pay their bills
  • Sending paper or .pdf invoices, which means that your firm relies on them to properly key in data to get paid resulting in slower, potentially inaccurate payments
  • Large percentages of customers paying by check

The easiest way to solve this is with solutions that accommodate small-business suppliers so you can:

  • Offer your invoice data in QuickBooks format
  • Offer auto-pay and early-pay discounts for migration to ACH as a payment channel. This speeds cash flow and cuts processing costs.

Missed Part 1 of Justin’s series? Catch it here: Achieving a World-Class Billing Experience in an Impersonal Staffing Market

If you’ve reached the end of this article, you’ll most likely have some new ideas on how to streamline cash flow into your firm. I’d love to hear your questions and comments, so feel free to reach out to me directly at jmain@billtrust.com.

Article by Justin Main, Regional Sales Executive

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