Receipt Bank automates the data entry and data capture of invoices and receipts by making use of cloud computing. Steve Lucas, head of the customer experience team, said that by just taking photos of receipts through the app, users can eliminate the need for multiple versions of spreadsheets.
“We read the information [from the photos] using optical character recognition and machine learning and push that into a format that allows the accountant to not have to do too much hands-on work,” said Lucas, who works across the sales, marketing and product teams.
He is interested in measuring customer experience, and so created a metric that incorporated customer usage and activity, success goals, net promoter score and service level agreements. “We combine them to get an idea if we’re getting better or worse,” he said.
His team, over the last two years, have been building a UX research and design capacity to understand who the users are, what are their day to day problems outside of the product and how Receipt Bank could alleviate some of those problems.
“The ’why’ around the research was really key for us. [We want to know] what our users are doing, how they are functioning, which problem is the most pertinent and what is the best way to design a solution for that,” Lucas said. As such, Lucas’ team has been building a UX research and design capacity to understand who the users and how Receipt Bank can help to solve their problems.
They also look at the impact Receipt Bank is creating and the value it is delivering to its customers, a task that is becoming ever harder as the number of customers grows. This is where big data analytics platform Looker became useful.
“Every single product release that we put out is either creating value for a user or destroying it and we want to know which side we’re on,” said Lucas. “Looker creates a lot of certainty for us and gives us a good idea of whether we’ve hit our goals.”
There is company-wide curiosity about insights which means that it is not only the researchers and designers in the customer experience team that are interested in the numbers but also product managers and engineers.
A change that Lucas has seen since using the Looker platform is a much quicker turnaround between questions being asked and insight-driven answers being received. “Generally executives would ask a question and a few analysts would go away for a couple of days or hours and come back with an answer,” he said.
With analytics being so resource-intensive in the past it meant insights were focused on finance and business operations instead of the customer. This resulted in patchy, inconsistent information about the customer.
Lucas spoke of a time at which he was calling up 30 customers chosen at random to get their opinions. “You would get information but it is very hard to get consistent reusable data over time,” he said. Instead of having different versions of spreadsheets used by different departments, using Looker means that there is an infrastructure that everyone could access on a self-serve basis.
“That was a massive shift because when you ask one question and you get an answer, you realise there are five more questions you could asked. If people go from asking one or two questions a month to 20 or 30 a day, you are dramatically learning more about your customer,” Lucas said.
The greatest value he sees is that since the headcount of his team has grown from 15 to 50 they are a lot more informed about what there are doing in their roles and how their roles are pertinent to the company’s customer goals.