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The Movement Towards Self-Service in Business Processes - How AP Can Get Onboard

Self-service has become a key initiative in customer service in nearly every industry. We see it in booking hotel and air travel, online banking, human resources, employee expense management and online shopping. A study by Aspect Software and the Center for Generational Kinetics found that “across every generation, online customer service is currently the most preferred type of customer service.” The study reports that for “Millennials,” from the age of 19-37, the preference for online self-service is even stronger. In addition, the study found self-service that resolves a customer’s issue can improve a company’s reputation. The study also showed that “65% of Americans say they feel good about themselves and the company when they can solve a problem without talking to customer service.”

 

Self-service applications empower customers by removing many of the barriers to engaging in transactions. With self-service, customers are able to transact business when and where they want — not only from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. And, from the business perspective, self-service applications do the job at a greatly reduced cost.

 

So, can accounts payable join the self-service movement to empower its customers, improve their experiences and cut costs? The answer is yes, with a vendor self-service portal.

 

Rather than requiring AP staff members to respond to calls and emails about the status of an invoice, from vendors and internal customers (such as buyers), AP’s customers use a secure online self-service portal to get immediate answers to a myriad of invoice payment status questions, such as “Has my invoice been paid,” “What is the status of my invoice” or “Which invoices were included on the payment?”

 

Studies show that approximately 11% of all invoices received by accounts payable departments generate vendor inquiries. And, on average, each takes eight minutes to resolve. The cost can add up. For example, an AP department that processes 10,000 invoices each month may expect to receive 1,100 invoice inquiries. Using the eight-minutes-per inquiry benchmark, such volume will require about 146 hours per month of staff time. At a fully loaded staff cost of $30 per hour, the annual cost just to answer vendor inquiries is $52,560.

 

More and more business processes benefit from incorporating self-service applications to empower process customers and reduce the time and effort that was once spent on time-intensive manual service delivery.

 

Learn how an InvoiceInfo self-service portal can benefit your company; call (678) 335-5735 today or request more information online!