In a market saturated with practically unlimited options, businesses are increasingly assessing the customer journey for ways to make improvements. This competition has also encouraged customers to engage with companies that provide positive experiences in all aspects of their interactions. However, companies sometimes overlook the role of customer experience during finance-related engagements.
Billing, payment collection, and financial communication can sometimes be mechanical and fail to contribute to the overall customer experience in a positive and meaningful way, despite its frequency and necessity to all parties involved.
Why Finance Teams Must Deliver Excellent Customer Experiences at All Times
A Saturated Market Provides Customers With Virtually Endless Options
Businesses all over the world have started to use software to improve their operations and customer experience. As a result, software companies have begun to develop virtually endless product options for them to choose from, and many new companies are emerging. This has created an extremely competitive environment in the United States, which has 8 times more SaaS companies than any other country.
As software companies expand their offerings to meet this demand, it becomes increasingly difficult for businesses to maintain a competitive advantage through product development and delivery. This makes customer service an important part of a company’s efforts to attract and retain customers. Businesses that can deliver satisfaction across all their customer’s interactions with the brand are much more likely to retain these customers in the long term.
The Role of Finance Teams Has Evolved to Become More Customer-Facing
In the past, finance teams in software companies mostly served specific functions that were more administrative in nature. They handled requests from within the organization and dealt with tasks that required little to no customer interaction. However, that has changed. Finance teams are required to manage financial processes that include tasks such as collection, payment processing, and dealing with customer inquiries.
Team members represent an important touchpoint for paying customers with specific queries about their payment options or plans. This creates a challenge for businesses that wish to create a consistent experience across all brand interactions. Finance teams are expected to understand and match the appropriate brand voice and tone when they interact with customers in addition to completing their existing tasks correctly and on time.
Social Media Has Magnified Both Positive and Negative Customer Voices
Software companies often build strong online presences to attract new customers in a competitive market. Social media is an important component of any business’ online marketing strategy. Customers often research the brands that they plan to patronize and are highly influenced by the reviews posted by other users. Social media is used heavily in North America, which has some of the highest social media participation rates in the world. Reviews typically express strong feelings about a brand that are sparked by positive or negative customer experiences. These experiences are then amplified on social media and become the first touchpoint for prospective customers.
How to Provide Positive Customer Experiences When Managing Financial Processes
Collect Customer Data to Predict and Adapt to Changing Customer Preferences Quickly
In a business environment that provides customers with practically unlimited options, businesses cannot afford to wait for market forces to reveal shifts in customer demands. Businesses must learn and understand the demands of their customers quickly and deliver products and experiences accordingly. Collecting customer usage data and feedback can help software companies identify and fill gaps in their offerings, improve customer experiences, and adapt to changing preferences quickly.
This can give software companies the competitive advantage they need to procure additional funding or increase profitability in a saturated market. AI-based data management solutions allow businesses to take this a step further and predict how customers will react to a product change or introduction. This information can be used to design, plan, and execute business strategies that are built on real-world data.
Use Fully Integrated Software to Highlight and Resolve Inefficient Financial Processes
Businesses are always looking for ways to improve operational efficiency but can sometimes direct their attention solely to processes related to product development and delivery. Administrative processes, however, can be highly time and resource-intensive if they are conducted inefficiently. Collecting and analyzing data across information silos can provide business leaders with the insight they need to evaluate if financial teams are performing at the levels required to meet their goals. This insight can also be used to quickly identify areas of inefficiency and propose solutions to resolve them. These processes can be automated and can empower financial teams to focus on high-value tasks instead of time-consuming administrative ones.
Automate Key Financial Processes to Ensure That Customers, Sales Teams, and Finance Teams Receive Updated Information in a Timely Manner
To ensure customers are served in a timely manner, finance teams must have an accurate overview of each customer and their subscription details. Poor transmission of information and time lags can cause significant delays in communication between finance team members and customers who make queries. Key financial processes such as updating financial records, subscription details, and payment terms can enable an informed discussion between team members and existing customers. This information also helps finance teams highlight potential opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
SaaS finance teams can sometimes be overwhelmed by the numerous responsibilities they have to manage, from billing to customer communication. These processes are even more challenging for SaaS businesses that provide multiple payment and subscription options. Modern software can help finance teams consolidate these processes, build a holistic view of finances across the business, and help finance teams deliver improved customer experiences regularly.
To find out how Place can help finance teams deliver better and more positive customer experiences to your customers, schedule a demo with us today.