Customer Experience: The Tip of The Iceberg
In 2019 iWave VP Finance & Controller Karen Wight sensed there was a need to change how the company interacted with its customers. She saw customer payments being manually processed and knew there had to be a better way. So she set out to find a customer portal solution that would enable customers to pay online, and bring the overall payment experience in line with modern, digital conveniences most consumers and businesses now expect.
But Wight soon realized that offering an online payment capability was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to iWave’s broader opportunity to transform its accounts receivable function and overall financial operations. She saw her team manually copying account representatives on individual invoice reminder emails and painstakingly keeping track of hand-logged collections notes. The brute force method created frustration for the team, but even more pain for customers. “We weren’t communicating at the right intervals and not enough,” said Wight. “We didn’t realize how much we were failing on the customer experience until we saw what was possible with Invoiced.”
The company was manually processing all of its customer payments, and only 10% of the customers were paying by credit card. To make matters worse, card transactions frequently failed since iWave is a Canadian company with a large of number of US-based customers.
With these numerous issues in mind, Wight and the iWave team turned to Invoiced’s category-leading accounts receivable automation platform.
Invoiced: The Engine And The Glue For Modern A/R
While the customer payment experience was the main driver for seeking out a technology solution, iWave’s accounting team recognized that the best solution could potentially bring efficiencies, time savings and other benefits to the company’s overall A/R approach. In researching solutions, Wight and the iWave team started to see collections communications as but one part of the overall customer payment experience and realized they could aim higher.
This led the team to Invoiced, which offered not just a payment portal, but a comprehensive A/R automation solution that could make payments significantly easier for customers and make collections and billing communications dramatically more efficient for the team. With Sage Intacct as their central system of record, iWave made extensive use of Invoiced’s pre-built, real-time integration with the popular ERP. In addition, iWave was able to take advantage of Invoiced’s integrations with popular payment systems, first with iWave’s preferred solution for handling credit card payments on both sides of the border through one merchant account, but also with GoCardless for borderless ACH transactions--both of which have enabled rapid adoption by customers, according to iWave.
iWave set up Invoiced to automatically pull over invoices from Intacct and run a variety of automated communication and task cadences tailored for different customer types. Invoiced collection cadences kept the right messages in front of the right customers with the right timing and via the appropriate channels to drive them to the payment portal.
The Results: A Total A/R Lifestyle Change
As a result of implementing Invoiced and taking full advantage of its many pre-built integrations, the iWave team has brought about a total A/R lifestyle change for the company; According to Wight, A/R has gone from being difficult and less-than-fully-effective to being easy and highly performant. iWave recognizes implementing Invoiced as an investment that’s already paid for itself and yielding an ROI that’s better than most other financial technology initiatives the company’s taken on.
iWave experienced an immediate surge of payments after launching with Invoiced. And after the honeymoon period, the company has consistently shaved a week off of time to pay even during the pandemic which has slowed down payments for most businesses.
The new iWave branded payment portal has been not only adopted but embraced by the company’s customers. iWave has reported that several long-tenured clients have proactively reached out to let the company know how much of an improvement the payment experience is.
Strategic Time Savings
Wight says that Invoiced has returned a week of her team’s time each month. “We’ve been able to forestall additional hiring because of how easy Invoiced has made accounts receivable for us. It’s literally bought us time.” In addition, Wight explained that the time savings iWave has experienced with Invoiced go well beyond simple efficiency. She added: “My team and I were really at capacity. Now I’m able to delegate more strategic, career-enhancing work to staff. As a result, we’ve increased morale, and we’re functioning better as a team—all due to the gift of time Invoiced has given us.”
Team Accountability & Visibility
Team members are now sending tailored communications and they know when the ball’s in their court. Everyone who is customer facing is now more prepared for conversations. Relevant billing and payment details are all logged into Salesforce automatically, and account reps and client success managers have clear visibility into what’s happening with their accounts.
Wight’s journey from sceptic to advocate has been acknowledged by her team members who are quick to point out what a vocal cheerleader she is for Invoiced internally at iWave. But that’s a characterization Wight happily accepts since it comes with the numerous positive changes Invoiced has delivered for the company: “Because clients are paying us faster and getting the right communications—and we have the right tools— everything is just so much easier for everyone. A/R has actually become fun, and I just had no idea such amazing software existed.”