Eric Remer founded and currently serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PaySimple. Eric began his career working in investment banking at Kidder, Peabody & Company. Eric graduated with a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan.
PaySimple’s cloud-based accounts receivable software helps small businesses save time and get paid fast through electronic payment acceptance, billing automation across all payment channels and customer management.
MO: Where did the idea of PaySimple come from? What problem are you solving?
Eric: In 2005 I owned a business that published ads for property managers and I asked my clients “How can I make your lives easier?” The answer I received was unanimous. They wanted help to make rent collection easier. Like so many businesses that provide services, these property managers were spending far too much time sending bills, following up on payments and trying to reconcile their books. When I researched the market, I found that most products for small businesses were just subsets of enterprise-level business offerings, so they were inherent with complexities and did not meet the needs of how small businesses manage their receivables. I saw an opportunity to fill in the gap in the marketplace, and so the idea of PaySimple was born.
PaySimple solves the common problems of time-consuming billing and late payments that so many small businesses face. We help them solve this problem by enabling them to accept payments, automate their billing and manage their customers in one simple solution designed and priced with the small business in mind. Being able to completely automate accounts receivable, while providing their customers with a superior payments experience not only saves the business time and accelerates the payments cycle, but also enables them to please their customers – boosting customer retention and revenues.
MO: How did you manage to create a product that’s so easy, friendly, and intuitive and to use? What inspired your design process?
Eric: Our desire to simplify the lives of small business owners drives all of our product development. If you’ve ever been excited to have a new tool that simplifies your day (think Smartphone) then you understand what we want our customers to feel about using PaySimple. We use some basic principles to ensure that anyone can get up and running with the product on their own without needing any additional training or support. Some of these principles include a consistent navigation paradigm, exposing tasks and data using common sense terminology and using progressive disclosure for displaying more advanced options. Just like other software companies, we are pulled in many directions to add fancy bells and whistles to our product. But we carefully evaluate new features with our customers to ensure they will be of real value. When we design new features, we work closely with our customers to build them in a way that they think is helpful and easy to use.
We do also recognize that all businesses have unique requirements, so our solution also includes customization tools so any business can easily make our system work for their needs. Every day, when customers log into PaySimple, they are excited to use the system because it enables them to have a greater sense of control of their business, giving them a greater sense of accomplishment, and ultimately, a greater sense of well-being.
MO: What makes PaySimple better and different than what’s already available?
Eric: PaySimple is truly a unique offering in the marketplace. We are the only solution that is focused on meeting the accounts receivable needs of small businesses in the services sector. Two prominent differentiators come to mind. First, PaySimple enables businesses to collect payment through multiple methods such as mail, phone, recurring billing, invoicing, mobile and online. No other solution combines all these payment collection points into one simple integration solution.
The second main differentiator is the inclusion of customer management inside the software solution. We realize that the life blood of a small business is its customer base, so we designed our solution to completely revolve around customer insight and customer communications to make managing and growing customer relationships a breeze. Beyond the solution itself, PaySimple is the only company in the marketplace available that provides a proven custom-branded solution with a flexible turn-key outsourcing program. This enables large enterprises such as JP Morgan Chase, American Express and Western Union to get to market quickly to offer our custom-branded solution to their small business members.
MO: PaySimple has grown to employing 60 people since 2005. How has the company evolved during this time?
Eric: Since its inception, PaySimple has remained focused on helping small businesses in the services sector save time and get paid faster. One of the most important aspects of our company is our culture. PaySimple has remained true to its core values during our growth. Our core values are based on a PATHS program P for Passion, A for Authenticity, T for Teamwork, H for Happiness and S for Service.
We have created an environment where each day every single employee strives to deliver their best in each of these categories. Some of the most exciting evolutions for PaySimple during the last 5 years have been the signing of some enterprise-level strategic partners including American Express, JP Morgan Chase, Vantiv and Western Union to offer our custom-branded solution to their small business customers. We have evolved to be able to offer these large enterprises a turn-key outsourcing program, which has driven PaySimple to develop internal options which rival many fortune 500 organizations.
MO: Why are you driven to help simplify the lives of small businesses owners? Where does this motivation come from?
Eric: I believe that small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. According to recent stats, more than half of small businesses are struggling with cash flow challenges. Yet, a majority of small businesses in the services sector still use manual processes for billing and payment collection. After learning that no solution existed to help these small businesses manage their receivables, it became my mission to empower them. As business owners discover this technology that helps simplify their lives, they tell other businesses, who tell other businesses. Soon, there is a wave of knowing, and businesses believe that technologies out there can and will enable them to have more freedom to do what they want to do, and to spend less time worrying about collections and cash flow. Millions of businesses are then able to survive and thrive, economies flourish, efficiencies are gained, lives are improved, and communities are strengthened.
MO: I had a look at your recent customer survey and saw that 96% percent said that they loved PaySimple. How have you managed to get such high levels of customer satisfaction and what measures are you taking to ensure that you retain such impressive results?
Eric: We recognize that small business owners are incredibly busy, so we make ourselves available from day one in many different formats so they can immediately realize tangible benefit from our solution. Everyone likes to learn in a different way so we offer many support tools including in-product guidance, online help, live webinars, recorded videos, live chat, live phone support and dedicated account managers. Our team of account managers proactively reaches out to customers at certain points to make sure things are running smoothly and to actively gather feedback on any way our solution or our company can improve. While we measure all the typical stats that any support team concerns themselves with, our difference is in our culture of genuinely caring about our customers.
Every communication with our customers includes the phrase “please let us know if we can be of service in any other way – we’re here to make your life easier” and we do everything in our power to deliver on that message. We receive quotes from small businesses every day that are grateful for the level of support we provide them with and sincerely appreciate that PaySimple is passionate about helping their business.
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