Getting people involved in the credit management process is one of the biggest challenges we see with clients. This applies to both co-workers and customers. The reasons vary from not being interested to having other priorities. The question is, how do you get people to do what you ask anyway? The answer is both simple and complex, you have to remove barriers.
Every threshold someone experiences is a decision moment with an increased chance that a person will drop out. Webshops know this like no other. The good web shops therefore focus on making the buying process as smooth as possible. In our blog A guide to boost your accounts receivable management we wrote that you have to make paying easy. We mentioned Apple Pay as an option. In a webshop Apple Pay enables the customer to pay with a fingerprint or Face ID. It removes barriers, and it motivates the customer to proceed.
Why someone drops out
There are many reasons why people don’t finish a task. When a CFO has to approve an order, logging into another system is already a dropout moment. And for a customer, that’s manually retyping payment information.
What the thresholds are, varies by process and by person. For example, people who are eighty years old are likely to drop out if they can only perform something online. For people in their twenties, it’s more likely the other way around, and a phone call is the threshold.
Therefore, you make personas – a description of the type of person and/or user – and in each case you look at things like:
- What task or tasks does someone perform?
- What is the complexity of tasks?
- What is the persona’s digital skill set?
As you do this, you discover where barriers lie.
If we take the earlier example of the CFO, the friction is that he or she has to work in a new application. We want to remove that without lowering the level of automation.
Instead of forcing someone to work in another application, you can look at what the person already uses. For example, many organizations already work with Microsoft Outlook and Teams. When you offer a workflow in that app, you remove the barrier of another system. And an app like Microsoft Teams supports that.
In practice, it can work like this:
- Sales creates a new order.
- MA!N automatically performs a check on the customer’s creditworthiness.
- The customer is sufficiently creditworthy and based on the order value, MA!N starts an approval process.
- MA!N sends a message to Microsoft Teams in the background.
- The CFO sees an approval in Teams containing all the information needed for a decision.
- The CFO approves the order.
- MA!N processes the CFO’s response and continues the workflow.
In this example, we remove the following thresholds:
- Opening another application.
- Logging into another application.
- Learning how another application works.
The trick is, that you make a task part of someone’s existing workflow. The CFO can even approve the order in Teams while waiting for a meeting.
Collaboration through smart automation
By making tasks easier and more accessible, you remove friction. It stimulates people to get things done, and it enables collaboration. Our job at CE-iT is to ensure that our software makes this as easy as possible.