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Every interaction customers have with your brand contributes to their customer experience. From searching your website to speaking with sales or support, each touchpoint impacts whether customers want to start and keep doing business with you. The better the experience, the more likely customers will rely on — and recommend — your company. But businesses often overlook the role payments play in the customer experience. B2B billing can have a significant impact on a buyer’s experience with your brand.

B2B billing is an essential part of your customer experience. In a perfect world, your B2B payment collection and billing processes would be so seamless that customers wouldn’t think about them at all. But if you’re still using outdated systems and manual processes to invoice customers, they could become frustrated simply trying to pay you.

Fortunately, modern payments technology and accounts receivable automation can improve your B2B billing process and the customer experience. And you don’t even need development resources to get started.

Don’t Make It Hard for Your Customers to Pay

Everyone knows businesses need money to survive and grow, but unfortunately, many organizations do not prioritize offering seamless billing and payment processes. Simple, clear invoicing leads to more on-time payments from customers, more reliable cash flow for your business, and a harmonious working relationship.

Too many businesses use B2B billing systems that create problems for customers. For example, Roof Maxx, now a BlueSnap customer, had encountered this problem with their previous AR solution. The billing software they were using couldn’t easily generate invoices based on unique customer needs and was not user-friendly for customers. The Roof Maxx team was fighting the software’s inefficiencies and struggling to get paid. After implementing BlueSnap’s AR Automation software, Roof Maxx was able to decrease its days sales outstanding by 53%.

Despite the proven benefits, some executives remain hesitant about automating their accounts receivable process.

Why? According to our State of Automating Accounts Receivable Survey, reasons for hesitancy include:

  • Lack of understanding what technology is available (71%)
  • Concerns about negatively impacting customers (59%)
  • Resistance to change (58%)

But if you don’t understand AR automation technology, how can you be sure it will negatively impact customers? Especially when 89% of executives report that their customers meet payment terms exactly or pay early after AR automation has been implemented.

Customers want to pay you on time, and using the right AR software can help create the seamless experience they’re looking for.

How AR Automation Improves Customer Experience

One of AR automation’s biggest strengths is its ability to turn manual, time-consuming tasks into automated actions that require less human intervention. This is a main driver for using AR automation in the B2B billing process, as in our survey leaders cited these reasons for implementing automation:

  • Improve invoice accuracy (78%)
  • Get paid within agreed-upon terms (69%)
  • Help collect late payments (67%)

Using AR automation software to address these challenges gives your AR team time to focus on more value-added work, like customer conversations that require more personalized attention. The results speak for themselves: our survey findings showed that 67% of AR teams improved productivity, while 67% also experienced increased customer satisfaction, and 56% reported better customer retention.

Automating the B2B billing process makes even more sense for growth-minded organizations. You can’t expect to win new customers or retain existing clients if your processes can’t keep up with increasing invoice volume. Fifty-four percent of businesses that automated their AR process were able to win more business from existing customers, demonstrating that focusing on the customer yields benefits.

B2B Billing Features to Look For

The more options your digital payment processor provides, the more customer preferences you’re able to meet. Here are some key features to look for to improve the customer experience.

Billing & Subscription Management: Give customers the option to automate their payments by offering various billing and subscription models. Customers should have the ability to store payment information for faster transactions as well.

Accept Various Payment Methods & Currencies: Checks used to be the undisputed top B2B payment method, but more businesses are meeting customer demands and turning to ACH, debit and credit cards, mobile payments, and other digital methods for faster and more secure transactions. Ensure your payment processor handles different payment types and currencies so every customer can pay without hassle. Also, look for features like Payment Link and Pay by Text so you can meet your customers where they are, further removing friction from the process.

Offer a Branded Customer Portal: Self-service customer portals provide customers with easy access to important data and documents when they want it. Customers can find invoices and real-time billing updates, as well as make payments — all in a secure, customized space. And although they can find most of the information they need, customers can also collaborate and communicate with your team via the portal for direct customer support.

Providing excellent customer experiences for payments benefits both customers and your business. Learn how BlueSnap can help streamline your quote-to-cash process and improve your digital payment processing by talking to a Payments Expert today.

Revolutionize your business with our AR Automation Software Buying Guide.

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