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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Dec 07, 2018

Episode 128: What is an Inbound Back Office and Why Does it Matter?

Episode 128

Very few companies think about how their accounting, finance, or legal departments impact their customer's success. But if you’ve ever had a bad experience wading through a 20-page legal document or spent hours on hold trying to correct a bill, you know that those interactions impact how you feel about a company as a customer. A bad enough experience with a back office department can make a customer walk away, but conversely, a great experience can support and add to the customer success journey. And that is why an inbound back office is a critical part of building an inbound organization.

[0:43] Question: What is an Inbound Back Office and Why Does it Matter?

A department is part of the back office if it is a non-customer facing department. This covers departments like operations, legal, and accounting as well as support staff and IT.

Back office departments aren’t traditionally customer facing, and so they tend to be less connected to the buyer, the buying journey, and the customer experience. An inbound back office pulls all of those departments into the work of curating the customer success journey.

An inbound back office takes the position that it is essential that it is easy for customers to opt-in, buy, pay, leave, understand legal requirements, access account information, and get questions answered. An inbound back office makes these processes easy and is essential for creating a unified customer experience.

In an inbound organization all of the systems in place enable your employees to help, they exist to support and solve for the customer. Often back office systems get put in place to support the company, not the customer, but every interaction builds a customer experience. Your products and customer-facing people are important, but the back office is also part of the experience and relationship. It is important that interactions with the back office are supporting the relationship and building an amazing customer experience.  

“We see legal as being a supporter of the inbound culture by helping employees prepare for and manage the responsibilities of transparency. Transparency also imposes a burden on legal. We cannot only say no but must explain our decisions regarding the culture code and the business objectives. We must be transparent with our team, including partners and vendors because we know this process builds trust.” - John Kellenher

[20:54] 3 Takeaways

  1. Audit each touchpoint in the customer journey that the back office influences
  2. Make sure all of your employees know your buyer persona and how they impact the buyer journey
  3. Build MSPOTs for each of your back office teams


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Thanks to Rebecca Miller our podcast editor, social media coordinator, and blogger and to Zachary Jameson for producing the audio for the podcast. Check out Zachary on Upwork if you need podcast audio services.

Topics: Inbound Organization, Inbound2Grow