Woodworkers are hands-on people. Given the choice, nearly anyone in the cabinetmaking and furniture industries would rather do for themselves than delegate tasks or deal with red tape.
As a longtime supplier to the woodworking industry, California-based Wurth Louis and Company knows its customers prefer to be hands-on in the office as much as they are in the shop. The company realized that customer satisfaction levels could be increased by shifting customers from traditional paper invoices mailed through the post office to an all-digital electronic billing and payment system that customers can manage themselves.
The benefits, as noted by Wurth Louis and Company Corporate Controller Vangie de Guzman, are as significant for them as much as their customers. “Online billing and payment is good for everyone. For us it improves our cash flow and lowers paper, printing and mailing costs—and for our customers it offers empowerment,” she said.
THE BILLTRUST FIT
Wurth Louis and Company originally selected Billtrust as its outsourced billing services provider because Billtrust had a full-service capability that went far beyond printing and delivery. The woodworking products distributor was ready to implement a comprehensive eAdoption campaign, leveraging Billtrust’s electronic billing services and Managed eAdoption Program (MEAP). “From the time we first partnered with Billtrust, eBilling and ePayment were high priorities for us,” said de Guzman.
Wurth Louis and Company’s initiative was anchored by Billtrust’s Invoice Central and eMail Connect services which allow customers to view and pay invoices electronically. eMail Connect gives customers an enhanced emailed summary of their invoices along with PDF bill attachments. With one click from the email, their customers can securely view and pay their invoices. Payments are consolidated and electronically sent to Wurth Louis and Company, where they are automatically applied to their ERP system.
“Billtrust understands what it takes to create successful eBilling products and the adoption programs to drive their use. They’re professionals who have mastered the process,” said de Guzman. “Together we worked out a campaign that was right not only for us, but also our customers.”
Wurth Louis and Company’s program was exceptional in its focus and strategy. It incorporated “onsert” messaging on bills, as well as printed inserts in billing envelopes, informing customers of the availability and benefits of electronic billing and payment.
“The printed messaging was important—but we didn’t stop there,” de Guzman said. “We identified our top customers using our Billtrust CustomerCare web portal, then we asked our Accounts Receivable and credit department staffs to call those accounts, letting them know about our online and email options.”
By maintaining its strategic focus and communicating through multiple channels, Wurth Louis and Company is seeing remarkable results. In the first six months it exceeded its timeline by successfully migrating over 35% of its customer base to electronic alternatives. With a higher goal in mind, the company isn’t letting up.
“We know that not every customer will make the switch. But we’ve set a target of roughly 70% and we think we’ll get there,” said de Guzman. “With Billtrust helping us we know we’re on the right track. Billtrust has been more than a provider to us—it’s been a partner.”
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