23. December 2021
Why now is the time for customer-centric receivables management
Monika from Veita
Author and finance expert
Customers rarely like to be fobbed off with the usual standard emails. Especially not when they have individual challenges to overcome, such as time or financial bottlenecks, for which they need individual solutions. Therefore, on the one hand, a targeted approach is a decisive factor in creating customer proximity. On the other hand, customers should be able to communicate with the billing company without much effort, ideally via an Internet platform.
An innovative and effective receivables management therefore offers customers a new kind of cooperative experience: they can not only participate via such platforms, but also contribute. This begins, for example, with the payment procedures and does not end with the payment terms by any means. It should also be possible to pay by installments and suggest new dates. Forward-looking receivables management is no longer just about further increasing efficiency within the company with increasingly digitized processes, but more: it is just as important to involve customers and thus take the human factor into account. This is the only way to create, maintain, cultivate - and even deepen - proximity to customers.
Only rarely do customers like to be fobbed off with the usual standard emails.
This is also shown by the current study of the international management consultancy Hackett Group. It is redefining the standards for finance functions worldwide. In doing so, it aims above all to take account of the effects of increasing digitization. In its study, the Hackett Group clearly confirms that companies that achieve a Digital World Class Finance Standard benefit significantly. Compared to average companies, they have up to 25 percent lower operating costs. But the Digital World Class Finance Standard not only creates cost benefits, it also increases business value through more effective analytics, growing customer and partner appreciation, and greater agility. The bottom line is that investments in smart automation, advanced analytics and cloud pay off for digitization pioneers. This is because they achieve a nine percent higher return on equity.
However, those who want to be successful on this path must no longer limit themselves exclusively to the classic efficiency view, but must also focus on customer experience and satisfaction. In order to take this into account in future analyses, the Hackett Group explicitly includes these requirements in its standard. It is therefore particularly important that customers can settle their invoices via all payment channels and that they can communicate digitally without having to accept friction losses via interfaces. In addition, there must be transparency across all customer-facing processes and, ideally, there should only be one central platform on which everything can be done quickly and easily.
In addition, there must be transparency across all customer-facing processes and, ideally, there should be only one central platform
Effective and forward-looking receivables management can therefore do both: it combines this individuality and flexibility with efficiency and transparency. However, the founders of Veita see a considerable need to catch up in this area. "We need customer-centric receivables management right now," they warn. Because the currently established processes no longer meet the requirements of today's customers and employees, the founders point out. "With Veita, we therefore empower companies to avoid work in receivables management even before it arises - instead of just helping to manage work as soon as it arises," they describe their goals. At the same time, their customer-centric solution makes customers more satisfied, significantly increases liquidity and significantly reduces process costs.
Especially in times of crisis, it is game-changing to have an effective receivables management system that focuses on customers. Only in this way can company owners and decision-makers in entreprises of all sizes secure cash flows, simplify and accelerate processes. At the same time, their customers benefit first and foremost, enjoying positive experiences and gaining in satisfaction. Customer-centric receivables management thus makes the company more crisis-proof.