The Top 3 Things Service Organizations Need to Understand
Customer Success Is Your Most Effective Tool
As software as a service (SaaS) becomes the norm, the ability to differentiate on unique abilities is becoming less relevant. Implementations are becoming simpler and independent of geographic locations, requiring service organizations to stand apart in other ways. Clients no longer have to remain with a service provider because it is too difficult to move, so you need to create an environment where those clients want to remain with you. The obvious solution is to focus on customer service, but this too is evolving – to the discipline of customer success. Customer success management takes the concept of customer service to a new level – enabling the clients to fully leverage the solutions that you have provided them. While technical implementation is simpler, the challenge of ensuring effective, client wide adoption is just as significant as ever, and service organizations that can facilitate adoption will forge strong bonds with their clients. That in turn will drive repeat business through ongoing licensing and support as well as expansion into new initiatives.
Revenue Only Matters When It’s Realized
Winning and maintaining clients is only part of the story, and for many organizations it’s not the most difficult. We all have war stories when it comes to billing challenges, and yet many service organizations still have challenges when it comes to determining billable milestones and issuing invoices. Often the problems stem from unclear statements of work and payment schedules that leave too much room for interpretation when it comes to determining when interim invoices should be issued. Service organizations must work to improve their negotiations and documentation to ensure that both parties clearly understand the interim milestones along with the deliverables and payments that accompany them. Even when that clarity does exist, many service organizations still struggle with delays in issuing invoices, which of course results in delays to payments. This costs real money that directly impacts the bottom line and may cause significant cash flow issues. Internal processes and systems must be effective enough to trigger invoices as soon as milestones are achieved – the work is done, the client has signed off, and now it’s time to get paid.
Service Organizations Need an Integrated Suite of Technology Services
Professional Service Automation (PSA) software has had far slower adoption rates than comparable tools in other industries, in part because growing organizations feel that they can’t afford the tool, preferring to stick to their standalone, often Excel based, processes and tools. These are a major cause of the errors and costs referred to above and in many cases are costing way more in ‘hidden’ costs than is needed to invest in a tool suite. Without an integrated suite, employees are working in a series of technology and process silos, and this is reducing efficiency and effectiveness. Work ends up being managed using the wrong tools – spreadsheets and sticky notes and the output of that work is not visible beyond the people immediately doing the work. To try and improve visibility at higher levels, more manual work is undertaken, duplicating effort and introducing more problems. Fortunately, Tenrox and its integration with Concur can help. Tenrox helps professional service organizations (PSO’s) improve their customer success management, recognize revenue faster and integrate their suite of services with one solution designed for the professional service industry. Integrating Tenrox with Concur allows service organizations to capture travel expenses and combine them with time costs as well as other projects expenses inside Tenrox for faster and more accurate client billing.
Ready to find out more about automating professional services organizations? Request a demo or learn more about Tenrox in the Concur App Center: Tenrox.com: Tenrox is the complete application for professional services organizations and project workforces. Timesheet.com: Based on the full Tenrox application, Timesheet automates project time tracking, time and attendance for payroll, project costing and client billing.