Detailed Metrics, Customizable Automation, and Enhanced Communication Are on the Menu as ChowNow Enjoys Improved Collection of Aging Accounts
Guest Post by Sarah Hagelin, Enterprise Billing & Collections Senior Manager at ChowNow
Coming out of the 2020 boom for food ordering platforms, ChowNow experienced a 120% increase in sales year over year and has been staffing up and growing. I joined in late 2021 and now lead a team of nine others in billing and accounts receivable. We integrated Tesorio in January 2022.
We process 20,000+ invoices per month across more than 7,000 clients, with totals ranging from $29 to $3,100. We see about 1.5% of total transactions failed in Stripe, which we have to resolve manually. Last month, my team closed over 1,800 cases, up from 1,600 the previous month. That’s more than a 12% increase in closed cases, and our Tesorio implementation is still fairly new.
Identify Key Trends
Get past the numbers game and learn the “why” behind the numbers. Tesorio helps me report on the trends we see and the actions we can take to close cases. That’s a big cheat code—easily identifying trends. Once you see something happen three times, you’re on to something, and that’s your next project.
We pull reports weekly and review them from a team perspective and an individual team member’s perspective. We coordinate with our other teams to find other stories in our data. Using Tesorio gets us out of our silos and working as a team on one common cash flow picture. From there, strategies and outreach can be adjusted to meet the challenges found in the data.
Communicate as One Team
It’s important to use a lot of notes, to communicate thoughtfully. For my team, I require 80% notes; I want to know why the case is at 60 days or 90 days. I want to hear from CS, from AEs. Is there a simple issue with the payment that we can resolve manually, or do we have a client who can’t pay or just doesn’t want to pay? Is it a case that’s high risk, uncollectible, dead-end? What gets discarded and what is manageable? Maybe that’s one-fifth of what we thought from the numbers alone, once we dig deeper into the story.
This tells us where to spend time and how to maximize effectiveness. DSO is down, but DSO isn’t the whole story. Close more cases by spending time where it does the most good.
Reduce Time and Stress With Automation
Align automation to alleviate tedious manual processes. Our billing is due upon receipt, so it should have been here yesterday, and it’s high volume with lots of small-dollar transactions. It’s fast-paced and changing constantly, so you have to stay diligent.
Before this, we were on a Google sheet. Imagine doing 300 AR agings a month on a Google sheet. It was overwhelming.
Now, we’re on top of it. Customized, automated dunning campaigns are set up for seven days because we need to touch accounts perhaps four times within 30 days. We expect aging to decrease from 300 a month to around 50 per month over the next few months.
To keep up with growth, the onboarding of new hires needs to be streamlined and positive. With our previous setup, it seemed impossible; more cases were coming in than were being closed out, and it was stacking up. Imagine onboarding a new person into that.
Now, onboarding a new hire into Tesorio, there’s a much easier adoption of the workflow. Many team members I just hired are fairly new to the work world, but they’re not new to software and computers—they were raised on it. It’s a generation who can absorb it quickly, and they love it and lean into it. When you onboard your new hires successfully, they are encouraged to dig in and improve the process as they go.
At ChowNow, the Tesorio integration is seamless because Tesorio is already working with other major providers like NetSuite, Zuora, and Salesforce. It truly is an overlay on NetSuite and it’s been a really good addition to the collections process here, a real friend to the process.