Traditionally, finance teams are looked upon as bookkeepers and budget controllers, who rarely bother about customer experience. But this isn’t true.
We talked to several finance and marketing leaders across the globe to study how finance teams influence customer experience. These leaders talked about the measures their businesses take to offer ‘awesome’ customer experiences.
In this blog, we look at the top 5 ways finance teams influence customer experiences, with excerpts from finance leaders across industries.
Invoicing is a key responsibility of finance teams. The majority of our respondents mentioned billing and payment processing as the top area within the finance team’s purview that impacts the customer experience.
Accurate and prompt invoices are a must if you want to improve customer loyalty and retention. eInvoicing solutions help generate and send bills automatically to customers, without undue delays. Offering multiple payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, etc. makes invoice closing faster and easier for your customers as well as for your team.
Tracey Cauley, CFA at VEM Medical, expounds:
How much can I buy? How long can I defer the invoice payment? These are often questions that customers have. If your team isn’t able to give the right answers to these questions, customers are likely to move to your competitors.
Carl Anderson, CEO of TurboBoost, explains in detail how finance teams impact customer experience via credit management. “The management of a customer’s credit history and available financing choices falls under the purview of the finance team. This includes extending lines of credit to customers, arranging payment schedules, or offering to finance more expensive products. It is possible to improve the entire customer experience by providing consumers with flexible financing options, which can assist customers to make purchases they otherwise might not have been able to make.”
Finance teams play a critical role in fixing the price of products and services. The price, in turn, has a direct impact on customer delight or churn.
Finance teams should have a good understanding of the wants and needs of the customers when deciding prices and approving promotions.
Leo Ye, CEO and Co-founder of Cubo Online Office, makes it clear when he says, “The finance team has a crucial role in setting prices that are profitable for the company while also being affordable for customers. Pricing too high can lead to lost sales and negative customer perception while pricing too low can lead to a perception of lower-quality products or services. By setting the right prices, the finance team can positively impact customer experience by ensuring customers feel they are getting good value for money.”
In most businesses, finance teams handle customer inquiries and disputes related to billing and payments. This, therefore, becomes a direct touchpoint for customers with your finance team.
Timely and amicable resolution of customer disputes is key to higher customer loyalty and satisfaction. Refund processing is another area that finance leaders should streamline to improve customer experience.
Jamie Penney, CEO of ShoppingFoodie, asserts, “Creating refund and return policies that are transparent and equitable helps finance teams have a positive impact on the customer experience.”
Finance teams can generate valuable insights by analyzing customer invoices, payment patterns, and payment channel preferences. This data can be shared with other teams to segment customers as well as be used to influence customer credit limits.
Joanne King, company director, ICMP, explains:
Analyzing the data that finance teams collect while interacting with the customers (during dunning, payment processing, or dispute resolution) can help the company formulate policies that enhance customer service and experiences. It also helps in better risk management.
Strong customer relationships are crucial for growing your revenue and market position. All units within a business must do their share to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The finance function must also ensure that customers have a seamless experience at all touchpoints (invoicing, dispute resolution, credit management, payment processing) with their teams.
Marcus Arcabascio, CFO, GIS Maps, says:
eInvoicing, automated dunning, AI-based cash application, and real-time credit management are some ways technology helps finance teams meet customer expectations.
HighRadius offers AI-powered autonomous solutions for the office of the CFO. Our key offerings are Autonomous Receivables, Autonomous Treasury, and Autonomous Accounting.
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