CHICAGO — After receiving suggestions from clients on ways to improve the billing procedures for national accounts, Protection 1 has developed a customized billing method that allows customers to select templates to fit their processes.
“Invoicing is a pain point with national accounts, no matter what company they work with,” P1 Senior Director of Marketing Lisa Ciappetta tells SSI. “You would think that receiving and issuing an invoice would be an easy process. We have found that our national accounts can have up to tens of thousands of locations, so it’s very difficult for customers to keep track of invoicing. They all complain about inaccurate invoicing and how it is such a nightmare that takes up so much time.”
The new customized billing process is beneficial for national accounts customers that have various locations. With customized billing, the client can request a complete billing statement be sent to its corporate team on a monthly basis, with a spreadsheet-like list of site locations, service types and costs for each included. The firm may also want installation invoices sent to a different office or location, with service calls billed to each individual site. Once the customer chooses its options, the client can also print any or all bills on demand from eSuite, P1’s customer Web portal.
Under the leadership of P1 CIO Don Young, the IT team worked closely with the account management department to develop the national accounts invoice method.
“If there is an issue with a bill, the account management team is the first to hear it from the customer,” Ciappetta says. “So we put that team together with IT to voice the concerns of the customer on how they want to receive invoices and the templates that make the most sense in terms of the way the majority of customers want their invoices.”
It took five months for the IT department to create an interface on P1’s eSuite application, which the account management team utilizes to set up bills and select a template that fits the need of the customer. When the company tested the new process with less than a dozen national accounts clients, both employees and customers alike found the invoice method simpler to manage.
“It’s easier for our employees because we get a lot fewer calls trying to figure out changes to the invoices, especially if there is an issue with an invoice for thousands of locations,” Ciappetta explains. “It normally takes quite a bit of time to get that straightened out, so [this process] saves on our employee time.”
The new program, which will roll out in October, is an addition to the other national account services that P1 has introduced recently. The SiteView app allows customers to view images of equipment installed at various locations on P1’s eSuite Web portal, while the Maintenance Rewards program helps organize maintenance contracts.
“We strive for excellence in customer experience,” P1 CEO Timothy J. Whall says. “When it comes to speed of response, on-time installation or maintenance, visual confirmation of the quality of installation or maintenance or convenient billing, we are second to none.”
Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.