By Dave Dugdale from Superior, USA (Analyzing Financial Data) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
When you want to improve the customer experience, accounting may not be the first department you think of. While accountants aren't usually in direct contact with the customers, they may actually have an indirect impact on the customer experience.
1. Payment terms for customers and suppliers, vendors, or contractors. For customers, accountants can be flexible when it comes to payment terms, especially when a customer is loyal and always pays on time, or when a customer is experiencing financial difficulties. For suppliers, accountants shouldn't wait until the very last moment to pay them. If your partners are open to flexible payment terms, your company should also show a sign of good faith by paying them as soon as possible. Remember, when your contractors aren't happy, you may jeopardize your relationship with them, which can also have a negative impact on the customer experience.
2. Credit limits are often times an issue because companies are not always willing to sell to those customers who don't seem to be financially stable. But when you find new customers, it isn't always easy to know their financial situation and you don't have sales history to analyze either. Even when you have more information, having flexible credit limits can encourage repeat business and loyalty. On the other hand, rigid rules for credit limits may disappoint your customers, which will have a negative impact on the customer experience.
3. Invoicing isn't always easy, especially when companies need to generate multiple invoices for the same sales order or when different invoices need to be sent to different departments. Accountants need to know exactly who should receive the invoice, make sure to that the invoice matches other documents (like shipping documents), and accurately track payments to avoid errors like invoicing customers several times for the same thing.
These may seem small details, but if they happen enough they can become annoying at first and eventually jeopardize your relationships with your customers.
Google Analytics provides a lot of information on your website but it can sometimes be difficult to analyze. Here are some simple warning signs that the performance of your website needs improvement:
1. You’re getting visitors from geographical locations that you’re not targeting (you offer services in Montreal and get visitors from Vancouver
2. You don’t have many returning visitors – it’s good to have new visitors but it’s even better when people return to your website
3. Visitors spend less than 10 seconds on your website, which means that they couldn’t find anything interesting enough to stay more
4. The most visited pages aren’t the most important (visitors don’t go to the pages that describe you and your offering best)
5. Your average page load time is too high – 10 seconds is pretty bad, fewer than 5 is ok, 1 or 2 ideal
If two or more of these happen to you, you may want to try to change your website or your content marketing strategy. The image bellow displays statistics from a real website to illustrate some of the points I made above.
Do you know other warnings that companies should take into account? Feel free to share them in a comment!