We all know that “cash is king” is the mantra of any well run business. Cash is the fuel that drives growth when times are good, and the cushion that helps weather the storm when times are rough. Yet few companies focus on optimizing all the business processes that get cash “in the door”.
To start, lets look at the process of “getting cash in the door” in more detail. First, many steps are involved in the process. A customer has to initiate the process, compelling products and services with pricing that attract attention need to be available and easy to understand, the order needs to be created and fulfilled, billing preferences need to be established, and payment collected.
While this process seems basic, it can vary widely from one type of business to another. More or less complexity can impact one or several steps in the process. Self service, call center, or inperson order processes might vary. Credit policies and payment options might vary by type of customer or size of order. All of these things and others can impact the customer experience at any stage in the process and kill the transaction, leave a bad taste with the customer, or hopefully, create a loyal and satisfied high-value customer.
For purposes of this white-paper, we call this overall process - Customer Life-cycle Management (CLM). It is the end-to-end integrated workflow processes that are involved in any customer interaction. This broad definition is key because optimizing the complete “customer lifecycle” from the point at which a customer interaction is initiated, to the point in time when the business has access to the cash from that interaction, is an area of critical importance and often overlooked or not well understood.
Since customer interactions often involve multiple steps, moving from one step to the next involves risk that something might go wrong and negatively impact the customer experience. Billing automation and an integrated, end-toend customer life-cycle management solution approach help to minimize the risks by providing seamless workflows and a unified 360º view of a stomer’s current and past interactions with your business. With complete, accurate information available to your customer service representative, or to your customer directly, customer satisfaction can be maximized.