You need to integrate information across your company to create an exceptional CX for your customers. Your staff may be on separate teams with different functions, but that doesn’t mean they should work in silos.
Disjointed teams can cause significant problems for your business. In a survey of 700 CIOs, 40% of respondents reported that limited collaboration across their businesses’ DevOps teams disrupted their IT teams’ ability to respond quickly to sudden changes in business needs.
In contrast, facilitating collaboration across an organization can lead to insights, innovation, and growth opportunities as the different teams bring their unique perspectives to the table.
Some SaaS team pairings seem obvious, such as engineering and IT or sales and marketing. But what about…customer experience (CX) and finance?
It sounds like an unlikely combination, but you might be surprised by the potential gains to be had if your CX team worked a little more closely with your finance team.
1. Discover and understand your most valuable customers
Which SaaS customers have brought the most value to your business? Chances are, these are some of your best-fit customers.
And your finance team can probably tell you who they are pretty quickly.
SaaS finance departments use subscription billing software, accounting systems, and other processes and platforms to track all kinds of useful customer revenue data and financial metrics. For example:
- Monthly recurring revenue by customer: Which customers are spending the most on your products every month?
- Total revenue by customer: Which customers have contributed the most net revenue to your business to date?
So how can this information contribute to your CX team’s efforts?
Once you identify your most valuable customers based on the revenue data, you’ll be able to engage them to learn more about their experiences with your product. And what is it about their experience that’s keeping them around?
Of course, you shouldn’t just stop at finding out what’s working — what’s not working?
According to McKinsey, improvements in customer experience can lead to a 10% to 15% reduction in customer churn.
Customers appreciate being heard, so that’s a great first step. But making improvements based on their suggestions and feedback can be especially helpful in retaining them and increasing their customer lifetime value (CLV) for your business.
What’s more, any CX improvements you make in line with your best-fit customers’ suggestions can help you attract and keep more users with similar needs—helping you gain more customers that are an excellent fit for your business.
2. Identify opportunities for customer outreach
Over time, there will inevitably be some customers who reduce their spend with your business. This happens for many reasons:
- Your product has specific features some find difficult to navigate.
- Support response times are slow, and the assistance provided doesn’t adequately address customer needs.
- Your customers have simply grown and evolved, and believe your product no longer meets all their needs.
Timely customer outreach can help you strengthen relationships and prevent customer churn.
Your finance team can help your CX team identify customers who have reduced their spend with your business — or who are at risk of doing so — by digging into the following data:
- Reduced usage: If your business is billing customers based on their usage of your product, your finance team can track when customers reduce that usage. If individual customers who have typically been predictable in their usage start to display a downward trend, that’s a sign to reach out and find out why.
- Contraction revenue: Which customers are still active with your business but have migrated to lower plan options? This can be another opportunity to touch base. Did their previous plan not meet their expectations, and why?
- Accounts receivable aging: Which customers are behind on billing, by how long, and for which invoices? Reach out to ask and see what’s up. If they wish to continue using your product but are simply having trouble paying, proposing alternative billing options may just do the trick. If you want to keep them around, make the process of moving them back into good standing a good experience for them.
The reality is, many customers will never complain about their bad experiences because they don’t think businesses care.
So if your business can reach out early and prove that you do care, it can be your chance to remedy a bad situation before a great customer leaves for good.
3. Ensure a smoother billing experience
Businesses pour significant amounts of money and work hours into providing a great user experience for their customers. But if there’s one aspect of CX that often gets overlooked, it’s billing.
While it certainly isn’t sexy or glamorous, billing is a continual touchpoint with your customers. And if your business’ billing process is confusing, complicated, or is resulting in bills that are just plain inaccurate, you may be turning off people who want to give you their money!
That doesn’t make much sense — or cents!
Implementing the best possible billing experience starts with working alongside your finance team to ensure the right technology solutions and processes are put in place.
Among other things, a smooth billing experience should always be:
- Accurate: Billing needs to be for the right product(s) and the right payment amount every time. And if the final bill amount comprises various charges, then the bill should break these down. Clarity counts.
- On-time: Late billing can result in your business appearing less professional and less trustworthy. It may also leave alert customers wondering about the validity of their subscription if billing becomes unpredictable.
- Automated: If your finance team is preparing and sending bills manually, this leaves plenty of room for mistakes and inaccuracies due to human error. And if your finance team is swamped, invoices could be sent late. Automating your billing ensures customers are consistently charged accurately and on time.
- Easy to address: If payment collections aren’t automated, the process should at least be convenient for customers. For example, your invoice could link to a self-service portal where customers can submit their payments.
- Professional and polite: Your billing process should reflect your business’ tone and branding. Including polite language in your bills and billing-related communications can also do wonders to not only encourage prompt payment but also facilitate a more positive customer experience.
Want to take your CX to the next level? Work with finance.
Your finance team members aren’t just the people in charge of accounts receivable and month-end close. They also hold a treasure trove of data on your customers’ spending activity with your business — from MRR and revenue-by-customer to usage, contraction MRR, accounts receivable aging, and more.
By reviewing this data, you’ll be able to identify your best-fit customers and understand more about their experiences with your product. These findings will be invaluable in helping you find tangible ways to improve your customers’ experiences, increase your customer retention and CLV, as well as grow your base of best-fit customers.
Then, when it’s time for customers to make payment for your product, ensuring a smooth billing experience will make it easy for them to do so and continue being your customers — instead of your competitors’ — for months and years to come.
Help align your teams around CX today with Wootric.
Justine is the Manager of Customer Success and Support at Fusebill. She has been working in client-facing roles, including technical support, customer success, implementation and training for the past 10 years. Justine truly enjoys connecting with customers to understand them as well as their business needs, and to create long-lasting partnerships.