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Tech Lowdown: Sage, Tide, Xero and BuBul

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This week’s roundup features a P2P customer service platform from Sage, an Open Banking push from Tide, a matchmaking tool from Xero and an online advisory service for accountants.

6th May 2021
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Sage launches peer-to-peer customer service platform

Sage has released a new peer-to-peer (P2P) customer service platform, launched in partnership with London-based Limitless. The platform should enhance Sage’s customer experience and enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to recover stronger as UK lockdown measures lift.

The P2P customer service programme – known as Gig Customer Experience (or GigCX) – will support the nation’s SMEs to navigate operations out of the pandemic.  

Sage’s new ambassador programme delivers accounting and payroll specialist P2P advice, connecting product advocates to fellow users. The ambassadors are experienced users of the software and complete the same processes as customers daily and they get paid per positive resolution.

Sage Ambassadors are rated on every customer interaction; more than 1,200 chats were answered during the three-month beta phase with a current customer satisfaction score (CSAT) of 98% – the Institute of Customer Service shows that the average CSAT in the UK is 76.8%.

The Limitless Live Messenger option appears at the end of advice articles on Sage’s Help Centre and in-product within Sage 50c Accounts and Sage 50c Payroll, where customers receive an answer ‘within minutes’. Sage can also dial up or down the support provided by the Ambassadors based on peak traffic times, such as payroll year-end. 

Tide accuses banks of dragging their feet on Open Banking

In a submission to the Competition and Markets Authority fintech business bank Tide has pushed for the introduction of Open Banking data fees to encourage a wider uptake. In the submission, Tide accuses the big banks of dragging their feet on promoting and implementing Open Banking.

Tide proposes removing the block on charging to access data imposed by EU legislation and thus creating a new market for paid-for premium data access services for large financial institutions.

Tide CEO Oliver Prill said the “slow uptake of Open Banking” has meant missed opportunities for both customers and companies who might have created new products and services. According to the recent OBIE annual report, only three million UK customers and businesses are using Open Banking-enabled products at the start of 2021, and account switching still remains low.”

“The slow uptake is the result, at least in part, of foot-dragging by some of the large financial institutions, who may have perceived Open Banking as more of a threat than an opportunity,” said Prill. “It certainly was an unwelcome cost to some of them.”

Xero matchmaking tool

Xero’s has added a matchmaking tool to its Advisory Directory to match small business owners with the right accountant or bookkeeper based on their industry, maturity and growth expertise. It takes into account industry, business maturity and regional ambitions, not just their physical location.

While businesses can still use the Advisor Directory to search by location, the new tool will give those who sign up a tailored list of potential individual advisors, curated by Xero’s matchmaking algorithms. 

Once connected, advisers can focus on providing small businesses with the professional advice they need to bolster their cashflow, build on new financial opportunities and find the right business and technology tools to operate effectively.

Pierrepont Accountants first to offer online business advice BuBul

SME specialist Pierrepont Accountants is the first to roll out white-labelled online business advice BuBul to its customers.

BuBul puts its directors in a virtual room with over 30 business experts to provide advice on how to improve and grow a company.

“By providing access to white-labelled online business advice and access to expertise that is usually reserved for companies with large budgets the client’s business benefits and the accountancy firm strengthens the relationship with their client,” said BuBulfounder Nigel Greenwood.

BuBul asks directors a series of questions that takes up to 30 minutes to complete, each answer determines the next question, to provide tailored advice.

From the answers, BuBul identifies the changes and developments to launch a new business or grow and helps directors implement those changes.

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