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Accounts Receivable and Why the Customer Comes First

A balanced approach to measurement is fundamental to achieving top performance.  Including customer satisfaction measures is a good idea for any process, and for processes like Accounts Receivable that touch external customers, it’s even more important.  In fact, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, the entire Order-to-Cash process needs to be as customer-friendly as possible.

Peeriosity’s research has identified leading practices for measuring customer satisfaction, with companies candidly sharing their experiences, and many doing an excellent job measuring the satisfaction levels of internal customers.   Unfortunately, few companies have measurement processes in place to monitor the satisfaction of external customers and their teams.

A recent PeercastTM in Peeriosity’s Accounts Receivable (O2C) research area featured a leading global company with brands that reach more than 100 countries discussing their approach to measuring customer satisfaction in Accounts Receivable  This is a global process for the company, with over 250 employees located primarily in two global centers.   

Below are some of the insights from the discussion:

Customer Satisfaction Surveys – What and Why

What – A mechanism that allows service providers to understand how their customers view the services provided.


  • For an actionable insight to support improvement planning
  • Tracking performance over time
  • Educating the customer
  • Understanding when and how the customers’ needs or expectations are changing
  • To better balance customer expectations with services delivered

Our feature company conducts two types of surveys, with one that targets 50 of the company’s senior executives worldwide, and the other that targets 1,500 internal interface customers globally.  Both surveys are conducted bi-annually, using a 7-point scale focused on importance (from no importance to essential) and satisfaction (from extremely dissatisfied to extremely satisfied).   

Following is a sample of the questions in the Executive Survey:

  • Shared Services is a valued partner in the Business Unit’s planning process
  • Shared Services measures and reports the right set of metrics
  • I would endorse Shared Services to expand its services into new areas

Here are some of the questions in the Internal Customer survey:

  • Accounts Receivable team members demonstrate solid analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Accounts Receivable team members are knowledgeable about the business unit
  • Accounts Receivable team members respond to requests in a professional and courteous manner.

By carefully reviewing survey results the company is able to see themes and trends, allowing them to develop detailed action plans to address identified issues.

A related iPollingTM question asked member companies to identify the approach and impact of how they measure customer satisfaction within Accounts Receivable at their company.  While 48% of the companies have a formal survey in place, a sizable 33% of companies have no measures in place for understanding the customer satisfaction of Accounts Receivable internal customers.  Here are the details:

ipolling results on the description of measuring internal customer satisfaction within accounts receivable in the company

More surprising are the polling results that indicate that very few Accounts Receivable departments are conducting customer satisfaction surveys of any kind with external customers.  In fact, only 10% of companies conduct a formal customer survey of external customers, with 80% of the companies having no measures in place.

description of measuring external customer satisfaction within accounts receivable in the company ipolling results

Does your company measure customer satisfaction for the Accounts Receivable process?  If yes, does your internal measurement process include both executive level and process level employees?  And perhaps most important, are you also measuring external customer satisfaction?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees. 

 “iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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