Competition has changed. In the past, price, availability and quality were the main levers that companies worked in order to compete. But globalization and eCommerce have had a flattening effect. Quality goods are now more widely available at competitive prices than ever.
So why does Amazon still dominate eCommerce? The company was, of course, an innovator in the space and had a first mover advantage. But the global marketplace has developed rapidly and major players with deep pockets have tried hard to dethrone Amazon.
Each of these players can match Amazon on price, quality and availability. So why does Amazon still win?
The answer is customer experience. Amazon’s user interface, payment, delivery and returns processes simply blow their competitors away.
In a flattened world, customer experience is a more important than ever. But this key differentiator in the consumer space is just now being recognized by B2B companies. According to McKinsey, 65% of B2B customers don’t think their experiences with other businesses match their experiences with consumer companies.
There is enormous opportunity for B2B companies to capitalize on this customer experience gap by improving their user interfaces and processes for ordering, billing, accepting payments and resolving disputes.
But how? The key is order-to-cash automation.
Order-to-cash automation can improve customer experience in two vital ways. The most obvious is transactional optimization which makes the basic actions of doing business easier. Examples of transactional optimization include:
- Secure multi-channel payment options that honor your customer’s preferences.
- Intelligent cash application that more quickly matches payments and replenishes credit.
- Tailored invoice delivery in the channels that are most convenient for customers.
But there’s more. With optimized relationship management, smart software guides both human interactions and automated processes in order to benefit the customer. Examples include:
- Collector event optimization wherein software both triggers automatic reminders of payments coming due and guides the daily customer contact behavior of collectors.
- Proactive dispute resolution uses software solutions to properly log and escalate disputes so they are solved more quickly.
So, what’s the takeaway?
In a flattened world, where competition is everywhere, B2B companies can take a page out of Amazon’s book and win with customer experience.
And the order-to-cash cycle is the place to do it. Companies can optimize both the transactional and relationship management aspects of their order-to-cash processes and deliver experiences on par with what their customers have come to expect from consumer brands.
To learn more about how automating order-to-cash can deliver amazing experiences to your customers, connect with us.