Eliminate low-value touchpoints with self-service portals

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Part 2 in this five-part series focuses on how SaaS technology can eliminate low-value touchpoints and increase high-value touchpoints with 24/7 self-service portals for your connected customers.

In this five-part blog series, we identify the top four challenges working capital* lenders face and how software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology can help you overcome those challenges today and futureproof your business for tomorrow.

*For simplicity, we generally define working capital as invoice finance and asset-based lending (ABL) finance. Invoice finance includes recourse and non-recourse factoring, invoice discounting, and shadow ledgering. Asset-based finance includes accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, and term-loan lending. The structure of these lending arrangements varies regionally.

One of the top four challenges facing working capital lenders today is finding a way to replace low-value touchpoints with high-value touchpoints.

First, what do we mean by low-value and high-value touchpoints?

Low-value and high-value are often used when describing customer engagement models. Manual, task-driven interactions that could be automated are considered low-value touchpoints. Whereas high-value touchpoints shift your employees away from those types of interactions toward more relationship-building and cross-selling opportunities.  

What is a low-value touchpoint in working capital?

Providing routine information through phone calls and emails is a low-value touchpoint in any industry and line of business (like ABL and factoring). Think about how you manage your own finances. You log into an online banking portal at your convenience and perform a variety of tasks. This ability to access information 24/7 from a smartphone app or a website is the same level of access that your customers are looking for as well.

ABL low-value touchpoint example

When your employees spend time providing borrowers transactional data like funding status, current loan balance, prior month interest statements, current availability, etc., that’s taking valuable time away from addressing more complex questions that slow down funding. These static data points don’t add value to the overall relationship other than simply answering yes-no or closed questions.

Factoring low-value touchpoint example

One example of a factoring low-value touchpoint is the manual transmission of information that results in slower turnaround times due to data entry, such as invoice submission. By granting 24/7 access to information via a self-service portal, alongside the ability to complete tasks like invoice uploads, lenders are effectively eliminating work that was traditionally completed by their back-office operations and speeding up client access to working capital by streamlining the invoice-submission process.

What is a high-value touchpoint in working capital?

In contrast, high-value touchpoints often center on building relationships via meaningful conversations, cross-selling additional products, addressing out-of-formula requests, or up-selling existing products. An example of a high-value touchpoint would involve asking open-ended or probing questions, such as:

How is the market and your business reacting to the latest news of pandemic restrictions or embargoes?

Following up with how you can help support them by adding additional products or services to ease their burden while increasing your revenue is high value.

One of the easiest ways to eliminate low-value touchpoints is to provide a SaaS solution, such as a borrower portal to your ABL customers or a client portal to your factoring customers. Both portals provide your customers 24/7 access to several self-service functions that are simple, yet valuable. Note that this level of data accessibility is a standard expectation at the customer level.

ABL and factoring customers expect and demand instant access – and that’s where SaaS can help

Today’s customers are connected consumers. They don’t want to call someone to answer simple questions when they could find information faster online. They expect immediate access to their information, just as they do in their B2C interactions.

With SaaS technology, you can take low-value touchpoints, like checking the real-time status of collection activities, reviewing key documents, submitting credit requests and invoices for funding, checking customer credit limits, and making them accessible to your customers online.

Our 24/7 portals – a desktop or mobile application for client self-service – frees up your resources so you can focus on securing new business rather than chasing down information that customers can find on their own when they need it – even if it’s at 1 a.m.

And this is where third-party integrations with application programming interfaces (APIs) can help (which we touched on in Part 1 in this series and discussed more in Part 3).

APIs can automate the document management process and eliminate the time-consuming email workflow and/or phone tag. This frees up resources to focus on personal high-value touchpoint opportunities, speeds up the process by removing repetitive and manual tasks, and makes the connected customer happy.

Essentially, you can place the power of information into the hands of your customers through our portals at any time, 365 days a year.

Learn more about how Solifi’s open finance platform and SaaS-in-the-cloud technology can help you overcome your top challenges.

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