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How Zumper transformed AR operations with Front

people moving into a new rental home and rolling out a rug

Searching for a place to live, touring homes, and going through the application process can be a logistical mess—for the renter and the landlord.

Zumper is on a mission to fix that. Their rental app makes it easy to search, tour, and apply for rental homes, and they provide technology to help landlords find renters and get leases signed. More than 80 million renters find their new home each year through their platform, which means their finance and client services teams are kept very busy.

To manage a high volume of requests, Zumper’s accounts receivable and client services teams rely on Front to manage billing, collections, cash application, and more for their customers.

Challenge

Both the AR and client services teams work on email requests from clients. Bryant Lee, Senior Manager of Accounts Receivable, said they needed the teams to have better visibility into incoming requests, and needed to be able to work collaboratively on customer inquiries and approvals related to customer requests. He and his team assessed a variety of solutions, but they proved to be challenging to implement and couldn’t handle the email volume they received.

Then Bryant found Front. “It was an easy decision for me,” Bryant said.

Why Front?

The Zumper team chose Front for several reasons:

  • Ease of setup — “It was simple and easy to implement.”

  • Organization — “Tagging helps categorize and streamline requests.”

  • Internal commenting — “Things can get lost, so keeping all the conversation about requests in Front makes things much easier.”

  • Scheduling — “Even scheduling this meeting was so easy with Front calendar,” Bryant said.

  • User-friendly — “The team didn’t have to spend a lot of time training and learning.”

Solution

“Front is overall communication management for us,” Bryant said. The Zumper team has an AR shared inbox in Front. All inquiries come in there and are tagged—some manually and some automatically through Front’s rules feature.

Each tag is based on the topic of the email, such as billing issues, payment escalations, vendor setups, onboarding, cancellation requests, etc. Then, they have rules that automatically route the inquiries to the correct person, either on AR or the Client Services Team.

The right person can then address the problem, comment internally on the message or share a draft to write up a reply with a teammate, and get a response back to the customer.

Communicating with customers feels natural

Since Front is email at its core, it doesn’t change the customer experience like a ticketing system would. To customers, they just see regular emails from human beings on your team, instead of messages with clunky formatting or ticket numbers.

Managing high email volume is simple

The Zumper team receives a great deal of email each week from property managers and landlords. “Our email volume is quite high, sometimes hundreds of emails per day—and everything is so much more streamlined with Front,” Bryant said.

Our email volume is quite high, sometimes hundreds of emails per day, and everything is so much more streamlined with Front.

—Bryant Lee, Senior Manager of Accounts Receivable

Collaborating on requests is quick and organized

Often the Client Services Team and AR Team need to work together to get approvals made. Bryant noted that Front’s collaboration features help the team to work together and get back to customers faster. “We use the comment and shared draft features to ensure high standards of messaging,” he said.

Responding on time is a no-brainer

The Zumper team has a quick SLA for every request. They use rules in Front to ensure that every message gets a reply before the deadline. These rules apply tags to highlight which messages are close to breach, so the team knows what to focus on first.

Prioritizing easily with tagging

Using Front’s tags, the Zumper team is able to act faster on what’s in the queue and see trends over time. “We look at what’s still open, review tags during our 1:1s for quality, and use tags to better understand what sort of requests are coming in,” Bryant said. They’re able to check Front’s analytics to see the frequency of certain tags, like “cancellations”, or search by a tag to bring up all related requests.

Working in Front is better than other popular tools

Bryant said the experience with Front has been a positive one for the whole team. “The functionality is way better than what we had before with the other tools we were considering,” he said. “We’re a lot more organized and have better visibility. Things don’t get dropped, and we respond in a timely manner,” Bryant said.

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