Getting a new customer set up in your system and completing transactions without a problem is a major step in establishing a lasting business relationship. Setting up a new customer in your system can be handled quickly and efficiently with an Onboarding Sequence.
An Onboarding Sequence introduces your new customer to your accounting process and ensures they have completed all the right steps to start making payments. The first payment is a critical milestone in the onboarding process. Here are some steps to follow to make sure your customer’s first payment is made without a hitch.
Customer Master Data
Make sure that your customer’s master data is set up properly in your systems. If your systems are not automated and integrated, check all the files in your financial and operating systems that may contain customer data used in transactions.
A little time spent upfront will save a lot of time you will need to spend on errors, late payments, unauthorized deductions and disputes.
Be sure that your customer has all the information needed to set up your company in its AP and operating systems including:
- Credit terms – credit period, cash discounts if applicable, credit limit, etc.
- Payment options – check, ACH, online credit and debit cards, and customer portal
- Addresses, contacts and any other information needed for transactions
Contact your customer during the onboarding to discuss preferences and how the customer operates including:
- Preferred channels of communication – phone call, text, email and mail
- Preferred times to contact and hours of operation
- Self-serve preferences
- Customer’s AP payment policy
- Customer’s AP procedures
Using the information gathered from your customer set up the steps in your Collection Sequence which will work best including:
- Channels for reminders
- Sequence of reminders – 2 days before due date, due date, 3 days past due, etc.
- Collection contact timing
If you have a customer portal send the customer a tutorial if you have one or contact the customer before the first payment is due to make sure the customer knows how to use your customer portal.
Promise to Pay
After the first transaction is billed to a new customer, call the customer at the appropriate time before the invoice due date to answer any final questions. Use the opportunity to get a promise to pay from the customer.
A promise to pay will make it more likely that the first payment will be made as agreed.
Customer onboarding and other accounts receivable and collection sequences make setting up a new customer easier and more efficient. With automation of AR sequences your AR team will have the tools to stay ahead of the curve on DSO.
The key to successfully automating accounts receivable and collections is to work with an experienced software partner.
Lockstep Collect is a market leader in cloud-based credit and collection platforms. Lockstep Collect can help you implement the technology applications you need to reduce and control DSO.
If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from automating accounts receivable and collections, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.lockstep.io.