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The customer happiness checklist every A/R team should use

Keeping your customers happy is vital to success, but it looks different for every organization. To complicate matters even more, it is often difficult to improve customer satisfaction while increasing efficiency within the business and professional services industry. The category itself encompasses a wide range of services including consulting, waste management, logistics and shipping, human resources, marketing and advertising, printing, real estate, and legal, to name just a few. There is one aspect of business which remains the consistent for every company within this highly fragmented field, regardless of size or location – the invoice-to-cash process. No matter who you are, or what services you provide, you need to send out invoices, get paid, and keep the cash flowing.

Having worked with a variety of business services organizations to improve their accounts receivable results and increase customer satisfaction, we’ve developed this valuable checklist that can be used to assess the level of efficiency and maturity across your invoicing and payment processes. We encourage you to take a moment to see how you stack up.

Efficiency

  • Do you have a large number of employees handling simple manual tasks, such as stuffing envelopes, keying in checks, logging into web portals to process emailed card payments, and matching remit statements with payments?
  • Do you pay expensive lock box fees or credit card interchange fees?
  • Do you deal with a high rate of errors across the invoice-to-cash process which contribute to billing errors, customer dissatisfaction and payment delays?

Scalability

  • Do you need to add headcount as your business grows?
  • Does it take longer to send out invoices and process payments?
  • Do existing customers log more complaints due to inaccuracies or other problems every time you have a surge in new customers?

Cash Flow Management

  • If a member of your team is out sick or on vacation, does the work simply pile up?
  • Do you wish you could send invoices electronically to save on printing costs and rising postal fees?
  • Have you thought about automated solutions for sending invoices and processing payments but have yet to invest in the technology?

Customer Experience

  • Is your customers’ access to their account limited to business hours via phone call to your billing department?
  • Do you offer a few payment options, forcing your customers to pay only via your preferred method?
  • Does your team frequently have to say “no” to customers when asked to accommodate special billing requests?
  • Do you worry about your systems getting hacked or losing customer data?

How many of these did you answer YES to?

0 to 1 – Your organization is world class.

2 to 4 – Keep at it! You’ve made a significant investment in automation, and you’re working towards the right goals. Make sure you have the right solutions which can automate every step of the invoice-to-cash process.

5 to 8 – You’re just at the beginning stages. You have a lot of opportunities to increase your efficiency, speed up cash flow, and improve customer satisfaction rates.

9 or more – You are falling behind the competition. It’s time to consider finding the right automated A/R solution to help you not only automate the process, but can also help with details such as reducing credit card processing fees and free up your team for more strategic projects that will help your business services organization grow.

About the author:
Adina Rubin is a writer at Billtrust. She can be reached on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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