Monday, September 29, 2014

Customer Self Service Matters

Most organizations understand that if you treat your customers fairly, they will return.  If you treat them really well they will refer others to your business.  What is equally true is if you treat your customers poorly, they will tell everyone they know whenever they can.

A positive customer experience should be at the heart of any system improvement, upgrade, or replacement.  Efficiency matters when it ultimately drives customer needs.  Automation matters when it means products are ordered, stocked, picked and delivered to meet your customer’s needs.

In what way can you serve your customer’s needs without significantly increasing your overhead?  What is your competition doing to serve their customers and attract your customers away?

Many Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions have an integrated web or Ecommerce module.  Fully integrated is preferable, because of the efficiency, reduced errors and time delays in processing and updating. 

Less overhead is a good thing.

But what about the thought that your products do not fit the standard perception of what people purchase online?

As it turns out when you provide your customers and users with self-serve capabilities they feel empowered.  They feel like you trust them. They feel like you value them.

Adding this capability may not be where you would think you can increase productivity, especially when you look at the upfront costs.  However, by adding or upgrading Ecommerce, Sales force automation, and Contact Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to your system, you are removing roadblocks to growth. 

Customers know when you value them and are providing them tools to access what they need when they need it at a time when it is convenient to them.  Employees know when you are trying to help them do their job better by providing better access.  Management knows the satisfaction of being able to get the information they need when they need it.

Real-time access to information is the heart of your ERP system.

Increased sales as a result of these improvements is a natural result.  Increase customer satisfaction is priceless.  Customers like the ability to research products, view transaction history, place orders, get hard copies of invoices, check balances and yes of course pay balances online.  Customer self-service reduces employee resources needed to service the inquiries.

Automation allows a business to use their people where they can do the most good.  Sales force personnel need quick access to stock and balance information for their customer service needs.

Serve your customers and grow your business.

Providing web services will improve customer retention and capture business that might go to your competitors.  Even if your products are not something that ships easily or at all, providing the capability for your customers to browse, research and collect information will benefit your business. 

Take a look at how and where you do business.  Don’t you think your customers want the same thing? 

Not all solutions are created equal.  Integration with your ERP solution is key.  Some businesses build interfaces to integrate separate systems that have the functionality their customers need.  Keep in mind that the more pieces the greater the chance of a break down. 

Regardless of how your solution is built, the solution must address your customer’s needs and not yours.

With the potential return on investment (ROI) and the general movement towards a connected world, Ecommerce, Sales Force, and CRM solutions are prime areas for update, upgrade or replacement.

In what ways are you serving your customers?  What solutions are you considering or have implemented?  What returns are you expecting or received? 

Please share your thoughts with our readers.

At Dolvin Consulting we work with your team to find solutions that drive efficiency and automation in your operations.  Working solutions that are just-right for you, your business and your customers.  Contact us today to see how we can help.

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