CFOtech Australia - Technology news for CFOs & financial decision-makers
Story image
FinancialForce develops modern single lens into back & front office customer interactions
Tue, 21st Sep 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

While many businesses talk about being customer-centric, a shockingly high number simply aren't equipped to have their customers truly front and centre. The promise of Sales evaporates into inaccurate or late billing. Opportunities for switching customers to more suitable products and plans as they evolve are missed. Often because either or both operations are drowning in spreadsheets and other processes which are siloed between departments in environments with clearly delineated front and back office set up. Old school to say the least.

Internal silos and disparate and unequally distributed innovations and business systems have led to disconnected sales, service delivery, customer success, and finance, due to key customer information being held in varying parts of the business, often inaccessible to other departments, inhibiting decision making, and ultimately hampering the customer experience.

FinancialForce has made it their mission to showcase to business ways in which they can unlock their customer insights, establish a master customer record, and break down silos, thereby delivering an optimum customer experience and making life better (and infinitely more productive) for staff.

Simon Petersen, FinancialForce managing director of Asia Pacific, is all too familiar with the impact of customer information being spread unevenly across different parts of the business, with limited visibility throughout departments.

He states, “In order to efficiently build a business that focuses on customer-centricity and retention, you need a true 360 view of your customer. A lifecycle connection with customers, their evolving needs for products and plans, their invoicing preferences, their service usage etc.; in other words, a relationship that doesn't simply end once the sale is made. This is what FinancialForce excels in - a single customer lens experience giving insight to the entire customer lifecycle on one system, from CRM all the way through to professional services management and ERP, which eliminates the risk in losing critical data and insights between teams.

Petersen notes that every ambitious, growing organisation will ultimately arrive at the time when they'll need to move away from manual processes and embrace dedicated software such as Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Enterprise Resource Management for automating at scale. And once this happens, the business can truly soar; reporting, margins and profits will greatly improve, and they'll see a clear reduction in lost time and productivity.

“Maybe you can manage your business manually up to around $20-50 million in annual revenue. But as you start pushing towards $100 million it's near impossible to do it while maintaining reasonable growth. When your year-on-year growth falls below 10%, that's when I'd be questioning the need for back office automation,” says Peterson.

Removing department silos and ending old mentalities of separate front and back office setup is not only the key to driving up productivity and efficiency (therefore profitability) throughout the business; it's also the key to helping deliver positive and deeper customer experiences and outcomes.

An example of this is the work that FinancialForce has done with insurance, leisure and motoring business RACV. FinancialForce has been working with RACV for a number of years to automate RACV's digital ‘back office' and connect it with its website – the online ‘front office' - so that all the information members need, in order to engage with the organisation and purchase products, is available digitally.

RACV integrated into its existing Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) environment FinancialForce's Cloud and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to achieve this.

Since going live with the program last year, RACV has already seen reliable, repeatable, and scalable transactions flowing through the FinancialForce platform, allowing it to build on a strong foundation of innovation into the future.

As Petersen says, “This is the type of customer journey, experience and growth driver we aim for with our clients. Helping them to choose appropriate CRM and ERP software solutions that connect their front and back offices and unlock larger revenue, new revenue, and customer satisfaction across the organisation. As well as to assist them with in future proofing their business through the advantages of automated and AI-enabled technology. This is what we want to give business, finance and professional services leaders across the region.