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Resources

AP Customer Service

Measuring the AP Customer Service Journey

Customer service is an increasingly consequential aspect of accounts payable. And according to a Financial Operations Network survey, most AP departments — 88 percent — rated their own customer service as either good or excellent. Good news? Not so fast. Only one in five had ever asked their internal customers and just one in ten actually surveyed their suppliers for feedback on their service.

 

2017 AP Customer Service Survey Results: Staff Organization, Policies and Metrics

When asked how participants handle their customer service, 32% responded that inquiries go to staff members who handle the processing of those invoices, 26% are emailed to a dedicated email box, 21% said that the AP staff takes turns answering inquiries as part of their job, 11% responded that there is a dedicated staff who handle only invoice inquiries and 10% answered other.

 

AP Customer Service Survey Results:
Vendor Self-Service Portals

A best practice for accounts payable customer service is to transfer vendor invoice and payment inquiries to a supplier self-service portal where vendors can get the answers themselves — quickly and easily. According to a recent AP Customer Service Survey conducted by Financial Operations Networks and InvoiceInfo, respondents indicated that they receive inquiries from vendors and internal colleagues about payment and approval of invoices. But surprisingly, respondents said that the most important questions asked are questions about which invoices are covered on a payment and why an invoice was short paid. For those that chose “Other,” they stated that statement reconciliation and departments inquiring about what remains on a contract or blanket purchase order to spend are common questions.

 

InvoiceInfo Reveals Results from 2nd Annual
AP Customer Service Survey

Financial Operations Networks and InvoiceInfo conducted the 2nd annual survey on AP Customer Service Best Practices. The survey looked at how organizations handle invoice inquiries, vendor onboarding, customer service metrics and self-service portals. The survey results reveal challenges, best practices, processes and tips for improved customer experiences. 

 

Introducing AP Customer Service Advisor

InvoiceInfo is pleased to introduce AP Customer Service Advisor. Much of what is written about accounts payable centers around technology, compliance, cost-saving tips and other best practices to help AP professionals excel in their jobs and be more productive. But, not a lot is written about the importance that AP customer service plays for both AP departments and organizations alike.

 

AP Customer Service: There's Always Room
for Improvement

Accounts payable is unique in that multiple customers rely on outputs from its processes.  Two critical customers of AP are internal clients and vendors.  In some AP organizations internal clients are treated as fellow employees and not customers, and vendors as suppliers and not strategic business partners.

 

Vendor Onboarding and Accounts Payable Customer Service: The Value of Getting
It Right the First Time

This is the first in a series of articles on vendor onboarding. The series will provide a concise overview of vendor onboarding processes and the important roles these processes play in accounts payable customer service. Today’s article provides a high-level outline of vendor onboarding; future articles will drill down into the specific requirements for effective onboarding programs.

 

Customer Service: A Core Competency for
Accounts Payable

Customer service is defined as the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services. Customer service can also be defined in terms of the relationship between the customer and the company or service provider. It is the act of taking care of the customer's needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality service and assistance before, during and after the customer's requirements are met. Accounts Payable has customers and provides customer service internally (within the company) and externally (to suppliers).

 

October is the Month to Recognize Your
AP and Customer Service Staff

Accounts payable works closely with all departments in the organization, with the company’s vital suppliers and controls all expenses within a company. But, AP is often considered a back-office overhead expense and often does not get the recognition and respect it deserves.

 

7 Steps Toward Creating the Best AP Customer Service Your Organization Can Deliver

As the former manager of an 85-person accounts payable shared services center, I know first hand that AP’s reputation often gets tarnished for problems that were not caused by AP. Communicating and consistently delivering results that meet realistic and attainable expectations though, can go a long way toward building and maintaining a powerful shield to protect AP’s reputation. 

 

AP Customer Service Survey Results

Accounts payable provides a critical service to organizations. It is one of the few departments that touches every department within a company as well as external parties, and has a direct impact on the reputation of the organization.

 

Accounts Payable Customer
Service Management

The “Accounts Payable Customer Service Survey,” conducted by Financial Operations Networks and InvoiceInfo late last year, delved into details about how customer service is managed in AP departments. 

 

How to Maintain Great Relationships with
Your AP Customers

The last issue of AP Customer Service Advisor featured an executive summary of the InvoiceInfo AP Customer Service Survey results. This week, we share the results of an open-ended survey question that asked participants to share best ideas for how to maintain great relationships with AP customers.

 

13 Ways to Maintain Great Relationships
with Your Vendors

Managing vendor relationships can be a challenge, especially as organizations make more and more demands on their vendors, such as improved pricing, terms and shipment quality. On the back office side vendors are being asked to invoice using e-invoicing or EDI, to accept payment via ACH, EFT or credit card and to register and work with with third-parties in order to get paid.

 

Tired of Your AP Department
Having a Bad Reputation?

Accounts payable provides a critical service to the organization. It is one of the few departments that touches every department within a company as well as external parties, and has a direct impact on the reputation of the organization.

 

Customer Service Policies and Procedures

As you are developing or reviewing your customer-service policies, look at yourself through your customer’s eyes. How would you want to be treated? How would you react to your policies if you were the vendor wanting to get paid? Set your policies by what you would expect as a customer and then make them even better.

 

10 Tips for Providing Best-in-Class
AP Vendor Service

When it comes to vendor relationships, it’s not always about paying the invoices correctly and on time. It is vital to build relationships with vendors. Following are some tips for providing best-in-class service to your vendors: