Not all automated accounts payable (AP) systems are created equally. Customer service is often the deciding factor between two systems. Taking the time to compare system providers – including the implementation process and ongoing customer support – can help you select the best partner for your business.
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of two different approaches automated AP system providers take during the sales and implementation processes to understand the overall experience of each.
Multiple Contact Approach
Many larger providers use different individuals or teams for sales, implementation and post-launch customer service. That means the person who sells you the system is not involved with implementation or post-launch support.
By using multiple individuals or teams during sales and implementation, providers can often increase the overall capacity of their support teams. When individuals or teams specialize in providing support during a specific stage of the process, they have more time to focus on their area of expertise.
Since the salesperson is not trained in system implementation, they can sometimes oversimplify important technical requirements. This often leads to issues during implementation, which can complicate the go-live process.
This approach may also lead to frustrations if technical issues arise after your system goes live. Many providers give clients a 1-800 number to call and open a service ticket after implementation. Even if a provider assigns a dedicated customer service representative, that person will most likely need to submit a ticket with the implementation team to correct any issues. This often leads to unnecessary delays in your resolution time.
Single Point of Contact Approach
Other providers use a single subject matter expert (SME) who leads sales, implementation and post-launch support. This SME acts as a liaison between the programming teams, production teams and customer service teams on your behalf.
The system salesperson is the same person who will help implement it. That means they should have a better understanding of its technical requirements, which helps reduce errors and delays.
The post-launch experience is also enhanced with a single point of contact. With this approach, both implementation and post-launch customer service are led by the same person. The insight this person gains during system implementation helps to troubleshoot problems and quickly resolve post-launch system issues.
Single points of contact can sometimes get bogged down since one person must balance several tasks for each customer. To help keep processes and systems running smoothly, a single point of contact should have support from technology and/or service personnel.
Be sure to explore a provider’s service and support approach before deciding on an automated AP system for your business. Contact me or reach out to your Bankers Trust Treasury Management Sales Officer to learn more.