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40 politely-worded templates to get invoices paid

How to improve customer experience with AR management systems

How to improve customer experience with AR management systems

In today's highly competitive business landscape, customer experience has emerged as one of the most influential factors driving success. This is no different in the realm of accounts receivable (AR) — a crucial part of a company's financial backbone. As technology continues to redefine customer expectations, there's a growing emphasis on leveraging AR management systems not only for internal efficiency but also as a means to enhance the customer journey.

For finance teams, accounts receivable specialists, and business owners, pivoting towards customer-centric AR management solutions is pivotal to maintaining customer loyalty and fostering a strong brand image.

In this extensive guide, we will delve into why and how to revolutionize your AR processes, ensuring that your customers' interactions with your business are efficient and memorable for all the right reasons.

The evolution of AR management

Traditionally, AR management has been an administrative function — a vital yet back-office operation. However, the digital revolution has paved the way for its transformation. Gone are the days of paper-based processes and routine follow-ups; today's AR management is characterized by efficiency, visibility, and transparency.

The shift is not only technological but also cultural. Businesses have come to realize that their customers expect more than just a transaction. Each interaction, from the initial invoice to the final payment, is an opportunity to provide a high-touch, personalized experience that can differentiate a brand in the market. As a result, AR management is now viewed as a customer-facing function that requires strategic thinking and innovative solutions.

The impact of customer experience on AR management

According to a study by PwC, 73% of consumers cite customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. This rings true for both B2C and B2B customers. In fact, in the B2B realm, customer experience has been identified as the most critical factor for 89% of buyers.

This shift in consumer behavior and expectations directly impacts AR management. Customers no longer want to be seen as just a source of revenue; they expect a fluid, seamless experience throughout their interactions with a business. This includes all touchpoints related to accounts receivable, such as billing and payment processes.

In addition, customers today have more power than ever before. With the rise of social media and online reviews, a negative experience can quickly spread and damage a company's reputation. On the flip side, a positive experience has the potential to not only retain current customers but also attract new ones through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Leveraging technology for enhanced customer experience in AR management

Technology has played a significant role in enabling businesses to enhance the customer experience within their AR processes. Some key advancements include:

  • Online invoicing and payment portals: These provide customers with convenient, self-service options to view and pay their invoices.
  • Automated reminders and follow-ups: This reduces manual efforts while ensuring timely communication with customers.
  • Real-time visibility into invoicing and payment status: This allows for faster dispute resolution and proactive communication with customers.
  • Personalized communication and messaging: This helps build a stronger connection with customers and showcases a company's dedication to their satisfaction.

Platforms such as Chaser offer a wide range of features that cater to these evolving customer expectations, making it easier for businesses to adopt a customer-centric approach to their AR management.

Implementing customer-centric AR management systems

To successfully implement customer-centric AR management systems, businesses need to focus on the following key areas:

  1. Understanding the customer journey: Mapping out the various touch points within the AR process and identifying pain points or areas for improvement.
  2. Streamlining processes: Automating routine tasks, reducing manual efforts, and incorporating self-service options to improve efficiency and reduce errors.
  3. Personalizing communication: Utilizing technology to tailor communications and messaging as per each customer's preference and needs.
  4. Proactive issue resolution: Taking a proactive approach to addressing customer concerns and resolving disputes in a timely manner.

By incorporating these factors into their AR management systems, businesses can improve the overall customer experience, drive efficiency, and ultimately increase revenue.

Understanding customer experience in AR

Customer experience (CX) hinges on how your customers perceive every aspect of their interactions with your business. In the context of AR management, CX reflects the totality of the invoicing and payment process — it's not just about getting paid on time, but how you navigate that journey with your customers.

Below are some of the many touch points within AR management that can either bolster or hinder CX:

  • Invoicing: Highlight the importance of a clear, concise, and professional invoice.
  • Payment Options: Discuss the value of offering diverse payment methods that match customer preferences.
  • Communication: Transparent and timely communication, particularly concerning overdue payments, is critical. This can be automated with the help of technology. 
  • Customer Service: The way your team interacts with customers during disputes or inquiries impacts CX.

Chaser's editable automated reminders allow for personalized communication that can be tailored to each customer's situation, making the AR process more human and less transactional.  This, in turn, improves the overall customer experience and allows businesses to build stronger relationships with their customers.

Features of AR management systems that enhance customer experience

AR management systems are becoming more sophisticated in their customer-centric features, offering tools that streamline the experience for both the customer and the business. Some of these features include:

  • Real-time data and analytics: This allows businesses to have a better understanding of their customers' payment patterns and preferences, enabling them to tailor their AR processes accordingly. Chaser's Payer Ratings feature, for example, provides insights into customer payment behavior and helps identify potential risk areas.
  • Self-service options: Online portals, chatbots, and other self-service options provide customers with a convenient way to view and manage their accounts. Chaser's Payment Portals feature, for instance, allows customers to securely view and pay their invoices without having to contact the business directly.
  • Collaboration tools: These features allow for efficient communication and collaboration between the business and its customers.
  • Integration with accounting software: Seamless integration between AR management systems and accounting software enables accurate and efficient billing processes for both parties. Chaser integrates smoothly with popular accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks.
  • Automated workflows: Automated reminders, follow-ups, and dispute resolution processes improve efficiency while providing timely communication to customers.

These are just some of the features that contribute to enhancing the customer experience within AR management.

As technology continues to advance, businesses can expect even more customer-centric features to be incorporated into their AR processes, further improving overall CX.  So, it is crucial for businesses to keep up with these advancements and adopt a customer-centric approach in their AR management strategies.

Benefits of improving customer experience with AR systems

The value of a superior AR customer experience extends far beyond just a smooth payment process. It has ripple effects across the entire business, fostering better customer relationships and, ultimately, influencing your bottom line.

Below are some of the benefits that businesses can expect from implementing a customer-centric AR management system:

  • Improved Customer Retention and Loyalty: Delve into how a better AR process can lead to higher customer satisfaction and repeat business.
  • Reduced Time to Payment and Improved Cash Flow: Explain that efficient AR processes lead to faster payments and better cash flow management.
  • Fewer Disputes and Reduced Administrative Costs: Show how clear and transparent billing can reduce inquiries and the administrative burden on internal teams.
  • Enhanced Brand Reputation and Competitive Advantage: Discuss how a customer-centric approach can lead to a positive brand perception and a competitive edge.

By focusing on the AR process's customer experience, businesses can improve their financial performance, build stronger relationships with their customers, and stand out in a competitive market.

Implementing customer-centric AR solutions

Moving toward a customer-centric AR system is not just about technology; it's a strategic shift in how you approach AR management. The best practices for implementing a customer-centric AR system include:

Understanding your customers

Analyze your customer data to understand their preferences, behavior, and pain points when it comes to the invoicing and payment process. This will help you tailor your AR processes to meet their needs.

Collaborating with customers

Customers can be involved in the AR process by being given self-service options and collaborating with the business to resolve disputes or issues. This helps build a sense of ownership and trust between the business and its customers.

Leveraging technology

Utilize AR management systems that offer customer-centric features, such as automated reminders, self-service portals, and real-time data analytics. This will improve the customer experience, streamline your AR processes, and improve efficiency.

Training and empowering staff

Ensure that your staff is trained and empowered to handle customer inquiries or disputes professionally and empathetically. This will contribute to a positive customer experience and build stronger relationships with customers.

Aligning with company values

Incorporate customer-centric values into your business culture and AR processes. This will benefit the customer experience and align with your company's overall values and mission. Having a strong brand identity and values can also attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Investing in the right technology

Before implementing a customer-centric AR system, assess your current technology and identify any gaps or inefficiencies. Invest in the right technology that aligns with your business needs and goals while also providing a better customer experience.

Continuously improving

Improving the customer experience within AR management is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and adaptation. By prioritizing customer-centric features and strategies, businesses can build stronger relationships with customers and stay ahead of the competition.

By keeping customers at the forefront of AR management, businesses can enhance their financial performance, build stronger relationships with their customers, and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Leverage technology to enhance customer experience

Leveraging technology to improve customer experience in AR management is crucial for businesses looking to stay competitive and build stronger relationships with their customers. By implementing a customer-centric AR system, businesses can streamline processes, enhance communication and collaboration, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.

With the right approach and tools, AR management can become an opportunity for businesses to impress and retain customers while boosting their financial performance.  So, businesses need to invest in the right technology and continuously improve their processes to enhance customer experience and build a strong foundation for long-term success.

To find out more about how Chaser can help your business improve customer experience and streamline AR processes, book a demo or start your no-obligation 14-day free trial today!

Our innovative AR management platform offers a range of customer-centric features to enhance the overall customer experience while improving efficiency and cash flow management.  So, don't wait any longer. Join the growing number of businesses benefiting from a customer-centric approach to AR management with Chaser!


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