Relationships matter in order-to-cash
Order-to-cash: it sounds like such a simple thing doesn’t it? An order comes in, and then a little while later some cash follows it. If only it were that easy! In fact, order to cash is a complicated process that requires a lot of work to get it to flow smoothly – and one important part is customer relationships.
Order-to-cash explained as a timeline
If you’re looking to improve your order-to-cash– and how you interact with customers throughout the process, a good way to examine it is by thinking of it as a timeline:
- Create order
- submit for processing
- Fulfil the order
- Send out the invoice
- Chase customers for payment as appropriate
- Receive payments
Each event on this timeline triggers the next action. If you’ve got everything right, it should flow easily from one stage to the next. The way you approach and communicate with customers, and how you deal with problems is vital in keeping the whole process running smoothly.
Building (and strengthening) relationships
How the order management process is handled will be different for each business, depending on the products and services offered and how the company operates. But the key to success is ensuring that your customers are catered for throughout order-to-cash– and a strong customer relationship is important. For example, during order management understanding customer requirements is key. In the bill to cash process, invoices should be sent out to the right people at the right time and you’ll need to communicate with clients effectively to get the payments in on time. All of these steps should be seen as a chance to further build a strong client relationship, both to keep the process running smoothly and to encourage future business.
“The way you approach and communicate with customers, and how you deal with problems is vital in keeping the whole process running smoothly.”
STEPHAN SCHOON – VP Customer Success
Quick tips for better customer relationships in order-to-cash
Having a great order-to-cash system in place requires hard work and dedication. There’s also no easy way to build stronger customer relationships. It takes time. But here are some ideas to help you get on your way:
- Communicate– Don’t let things go silent between you and your customers. Keep them informed about each step of the process.
- Manage information carefully– Data such as order information, customer contact details and payment information needs to be properly handled. This means updating details as appropriate, sharing relevant information throughout the company and using the data to generate useful reports and analysis.
- Deal with complaints– Complaints are a sign that something in your order-to-cash process isn’t working properly. They may be unpleasant to deal with, but complaints are an opportunity to make improvements in your organisation and they can actually lead to stronger customer relationships if handled appropriately.
Having the right tools in place can help to streamline the order-to-cash process and also improve customer relationships. Here at Onguard, our credit management software is designed to help you take a customer-centric approach to order-to-cash. We help you to improve communications, manage information effectively, chase in payments and deal with complaints.
Learn more about how to improve your customer relationships:
Download our free whitepaper