One of the most effective ways to build customer loyalty is to turn a problem into a positive experience which creates an opportunity to build human connection and loyalty, argues Karen Stephen, Director of Operations at Australian fintech firm SurePayd.
SurePayd is a cloud-based payments layer for B2B accounts receivable, an area of the business where customer experiences are often negative.
“When it comes to enterprise accounts, this means chasing payments, sending notifications, managing disputes or running reports that require a lot of complicated, cumbersome activity,” Stephen said.
“SurePayd addresses this pain point by integrating with our clients’ existing ERP, and bringing an automated, consumer-like, and customisable digital experience to B2B accounts receivable.”
Stephen explained the company provides a “relationship engine for the back office – a revolution in what was traditionally just a transactional process”.
“SurePayd helps give the back office what were generally front of house resources; ease of communications, branded marketing strategies, and transparency of customer data to name a few.
“Further, by removing the hassle and uncertainty of manual accounts receivable processes, our clients’ invoices get paid sooner and every business loves having reliable cash flow forecasting.”
The focus on the customer extends to SurePayd’s own clients, which include Konica Minolta, Sanofi and ManpowerGroup.
“As a relatively new business, we can’t afford to keep our clients in the dark or just send them documents full of acronyms, tables and indecipherable figures.
“If our software is meant to build relationships, that has to start with us. We spend a lot of time interacting with our customers and trying to keep them happy.”
Impact of technology
Stephen said like other industries, accountants are being bombarded with technology.
“We have to remember that all these resources are just tools and unless we learn which tools we actually need and how to use them effectively, they just hang on our belt (or on our hard drive) taking up space,” she explained.
Stephen said at SurePayd they listen to their clients to find out what they need before building their technology so they have the right tools.
“That’s only the first step though, because we then make sure to equip them with sufficient resources to be effective and confident users of those tools.
“We also understand that needs change, so by providing enough flexibility within the system they can adapt and make changes as their needs evolve.
“This means things like being your own administrator, being able to make changes to templates and settings without having to put in a work request, but it also means we work really hard on developing world-class onboarding materials so our clients can own the implementation.”
Stephen said this is an issue impacting all industries, not just accounting – there are so many technologies available, but not the time or inclination to use them effectively.
“Technology providers have a huge role to play in educating customers on how to best use their services – the customer relationship must be more than just the ‘sale’.”