Large service providers, such as payroll service providers and benefits companies, face countless business and IT challenges every day in executing effective and streamlined service delivery. These challenges, if not addressed properly, can have a direct impact on their customers and, therefore, on the bottom line.
The biggest hurdle in addressing these challenges often can be figuring out where to begin, so technology professionals at companies such as these should be focused on the following three goals to save their organizations from issues that can plague service providers and interfere with their ability to generate revenue efficiently.
Speed Up Customer Onboarding
B2B customer data onboarding can take a long time. Depending on the industry, the actual information being exchanged will vary. But for large service providers, it will include claims and benefits data in a variety of different formats: spreadsheets, Word documents, emails, etc. Furthermore, data onboarding requires a lot of preparation before the exchange can even begin. The IT teams of both companies need to plan for what the architecture of the information exchange will look like by determining data mapping rules and so forth.
In short, data onboarding is complex and time consuming. Each customer will have varying types of data in varying types of formats, and will be employing different levels of technical proficiency. The longer the data-onboarding process takes, the longer it is before a provider can begin servicing a customer and, therefore, collecting revenue.
Automate Exception Handling
Another major operational challenge is the method for exception handling – responding to special cases, such as errors in the onboarding process, that typically are handled manually. For large service providers, these types of errors might include part of the payroll data being inadvertently left blank or a client billing number being off by a digit. Even such seemingly small errors can delay business processes, payment, and customer service.
Consider the following: If a payroll service provider sees 1 million transactions per year, based on industry averages, this company will experience a 7 percent error rate for manual transactions. With 70,000 errors annually, at a cost to fix of $60 per error, this provider will lose $4.2 million every year to manual error-correction costs.
However, if exception handling is automated, the time it takes to address these errors is cut significantly. When an error is identified, the stakeholder (i.e., the claims processor) is automatically notified to fix the problem and resubmit. This saves time, money, and resources.
Create a Single Data Onboarding Process and Automate it Across the Entire Customer Base
Lastly, customer onboarding and the ongoing data exchange are multifaceted processes. For any one customer, service providers are dealing with a number of issues, not limited to traffic volume, cloud and on-premise applications, server setup, security, data formats, data transfer methods, exception handling … the list goes on. Every one of these challenges has to be understood and handled uniquely for every customer. The goal should be to automate 100 percent of the client base so that, once these rules are in place, the operational interaction will be mostly automated, saving time, money, and IT resources.
All of these important factors – delayed customer onboarding, manual exception-handling, and a low percentage of automation with customers – create serious pain points for service providers and have consequences that negatively impact an organization. Cumbersome and time-consuming processes will dissuade prospects and frustrate customers, leading to high turnover. The lost revenue can handcuff a company and slow down its growth.
The last factor that should be considered is the over-reliance on IT to perform onboarding operations. If each new customer requires unique operational processes, then point-to-point connections require technical IT resources. This backlogs technical resources and prevents IT from focusing on strategic initiatives. There is also a lack of end-to-end visibility throughout the entire process, adding to the overall complexity.
There is an ever-increasing pressure in the market for businesses to perform better, faster, and with fewer resources in order to stay ahead of the competition. Complex and delayed onboarding processes are obstacles that will head straight to your bottom line. In the long run, they will threaten the viability of your company. As a result, service providers need to use technology that provides a more streamlined, integrated onboarding experience, making their customers happy and cutting costs across the board.
Lou Ennuso is the CEO of Adeptia, an enterprise-class integration platform company that enables business users to perform simple business-to-business integration operations, allowing IT to stop being the bottleneck and focus on governance, control, and strategic business initiatives.
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