How Provation is Driving Efficiency for Clinics While Improving Their Own Cash Flow During the Pandemic
Provation's medical software solutions improve clinical documentation accuracy and efficiency to reduce costs and errors for the medical workforce. With efficient and reliable healthcare being more important than ever before, our team has been providing additional resources to ease the difficulties of the current situation for our users and the medical community as a whole. At Provation, we authored the COVID-19 Order Set and Care Plan to share with all healthcare providers at no cost. We are continually reviewing and evaluating this plan to ensure that patient care and customer satisfaction is our top priority and is extended into all of our departments within.
To keep all of this going you have to put on your own proverbial oxygen mask first before you can help the person next to you. In today’s world especially, cash flow is every company’s oxygen. During this pandemic, our finance team has played a critical role in customer care by ensuring we can remain agile and flexible to our customer needs. We are all in this together.
I’ve outlined below three strategies we’ve implemented that have worked very well for us. My hope is that others can put similar tactics into action. It’s all about community—helping each other, helping our customers, and helping our internal teams to keep everyone moving forward and accelerating above and beyond.
Create a ‘Tiger Team’ to redeploy non-credit and collections colleagues to drive Customer Health Checks.
Credit and Collections teams are overextended during this crisis and are having some of the toughest conversations around collecting cash. They are expected to provide accurate and prompt responses as to why cash may not be coming in. At the same time, entire companies have moved to remote work resulting in customer-facing employees left unsure of what to do. Instead of furloughing or laying-off your customer-facing team, use their expertise about your customers and bring their knowledge into your finance department. They have the detailed customer knowledge and skill sets to approach these tough customer conversations with empathy. They’ve become our ‘Tiger Team’.
The Strategy? To proactively initiate and facilitate conversations with customers to achieve a multi-pronged outcome. The Tiger Team is able to lead customer health checks by putting the customer first, and as a result, also driving conversations about cash collections on past-due A/R. Our sales team is helping my collections team by initiating the discussion on how we, as creditors, can support our customers during this time of crisis. There are many opportunities for collections teams to be proactive early in the collections process to ensure payment is more likely, but they may not have the time. Our Tiger Team is helping ease into these customer conversations with accuracy and context by double-checking we have the appropriate account information, including key contacts for sales, marketing, and finance (email addresses mostly), and then helping to reach out and keep conversations going with the customers they know so well.
Utilize Tesorio as a company-wide tool to reach more customers, and track the financial health of your business.
“More than ever, we need Tesorio to perform perfectly. Reaching our customers to understand and influence when we will get paid is critically important in the next few months to ensure we have adequate cash coming into the business—Tesorio enables this.” - David Durch, CPA, Corporate Controller.
With cash flow being a concern for every business, especially during this uncertainty, it’s critical to have an accurate gauge on it. With a tool like Tesorio that allows us to automate our collections, we can easily create email templates, segment customers, and reach out to many more of them than ever before. We track notes, comments, new promise-to-pay dates, and use custom tags to segment customers on their likeliness to pay and reasons for payment delays, that our entire team can see and collaborate on. We now have powerful KPIs available at any given time that track and report our current cash flow to our leadership team. Thanks to Tesorio, even with the crisis, in the last four months we've seen our cash generation increase 4% compared to the same 4 months of 2019.
With our ‘all hands on deck’ approach, we’ve re-deployed implementation and sales colleagues to assist in customer outreach, using Tesorio to do so. While marketing and other departments have been playing a role in further enhancing our use of Tesorio, our collections team at Provation has done the following to get these new users involved:
- Added users from Sales and Customer Success teams to Tesorio to create customer tags to track and monitor KPIs on progress being made on collections
- Marketing has assisted with branding, talk tracks, and corporate messaging for emails used in Tesorio’s automated dunning
- Facilitated training sessions and overviews of Tesorio, including how to manage their shared inbox and collaborate to get back to customers’ common questions
- Created an FAQ datasheet and interview documentation to be used when conducting calls with customers
As a result of Tesorio, we’ve drastically improved our weekly customer reach-out cadence from contacting only 10% of our customer bases to over 50%. This realized improvement has saved us during this pandemic—it’s allowed us to be much more proactive and reassuring to our customers and their options forward.
Put the customer first, offer whatever benefits your company can to ease any payment pains.
We have found that offering payment incentives and concessions has enhanced customer collections during this period. Some offers that have proven successful for us thus far include:
- Waived credit card surcharges on a temporary basis
- Provided quick pay discounts for non-past due A/R
- Maintained a consistent and customer-friendly concessions strategy
Our customer-friendly concessions strategy is something that has provided the insight that prepared us to respond when a customer asks for additional time to pay. By looking at historical payment records and invoice amounts, we've created parameters to determine creditworthiness of customers. We can easily assess and provide a timely solution to them based on the creditworthiness of our relationship.
At the end of the day, all of our new efforts surrounding COVID are focused on our customer health checks. We recognize that each business is in a unique and potentially tough spot and therefore our process must be thoughtful, customized, and high-touch for each client. We recognized that the success of our customers directly equates to our success with cash flowing into the business. Bringing in different parts of the organization to run our customer care conversations has created a cohesive workflow between departments—and most importantly, a better customer experience. I recommend starting these conversations now. Keep in mind, this isn’t a dial-for-dollars approach; it is a collaborative outreach to resolve problems and manage potential risks. That’s the beauty of Tesorio - through the scalability of the software, we’ve had the opportunity to reach out to customers in a way we never had before, giving them ‘white glove’ treatment in a stressful and uncertain time.