There is an increasing demand for forming lasting customer relationships.
It is a well-known truth that an intelligent business system can offer a variety of benefits. Ultimately it seeks to make yours and your employees’ working lives uncomplicated. An ERP system utilises the data it houses from multiple touchpoints within your company and assists high-level informed decision-making. You may find that you make a lot of high-level decisions with your customer at the forefront of your mind. And so, an ERP system can provide critical customer insights that the Average Joe might not spot when trying to read between the lines in sets of data.
Did you know that ‘Get to Know Your Customers Day’ comes around once every quarter? Here are the dates for your diary:
- January 16, 2020
- April 16, 2020
- July 16, 2020
- October 15, 2020
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind without a clear view of the direction you are headed. Don’t worry, most of us find ourselves at this juncture at some point. If not currently, maybe now is the time to assess your current customer satisfaction scores and ensure we lead with a client-centric approach.
How do you know what your customers want?
We are endlessly looking for ways to understand what our customers want from us. And so, the more research there is out there, the better we get at anticipating customer behaviour. It is essential to meet your customers’ needs; however, the data used to help us get to this point is often contained in several disparate systems. Your job is to use the data your business systems hold to full advantage to serve your customers better.
A single system will allow all users often instant access to accurate, up-to-date information. This feature will help your employees to focus on the task at hand confidently with no need to go hunting for information. On the other hand, your employees will find the information both useful and reliable in supporting your clients the best they can. You are winning on both sides; your clients are getting a better service and your employees will advocate for the system – this will be especially helpful when employing new staff or training up existing staff with the latest software.
In a post by CIO discussing what you can use an ERP system for, Bart Parkins, Managing Partner at Leverage Partners Inc. helping organisations invest well in IT explains, ‘most ERPs include customer relationship management tools to track all customer interactions. Coupling these interactions with information about orders, deliveries, returns, service requests, etc., provides insight about customer behaviour and needs’. So, if you’re trying to decide between implementing a CRM or ERP system, stop. Why choose when you can have both?
How will ERP help you to retain your customers?
Perhaps one of the hidden benefits of an ERP system is how the software can help towards retaining loyal and valuable customers. Sales departments have the job of generating new business, but they also work to ensure existing clients keep generating revenue. A company with customer satisfaction in mind needs technology to drive data analysis, giving your staff actionable tasks to support their customers better.
It is the integration of all the data that that makes an ERP an essential tool for any company wishing to improve customer care. If everyone is working on the same platform, everyone has access to the same data – work moves seamlessly from one department to the next, actions can, therefore, be completed more efficiently.
- Generate opportunities for sales
- Process contracts on time
- Decision-makers can efficiently align skills and workers
- Projects remain on time and budget
- Quality of products and services can improve
- Costs can go down
- Delivery of products and services can be on-time and accurate to what was agreed.
We can describe the above elements as key measures of excellent service. These elements added together in a seamless process flow supported by an ERP system – you can expect much happier customers.
Knowing when your customer is out of contract or predicting when they will need a new batch of product, for example, can be flagged by an ERP system. If you integrate your business system with your CRM – triggers can be formulated at stages that you set. Consistent communication with your client is necessary to nurture and satisfy your customer. Can you be proactive in helping them stock up or ensure they are getting the best deal? Let’s say the prospect has downloaded the latest eBook from your website, if your systems are integrated then the sales agent will see that notification and be able to use it as a conversation starter, for example.
Can ERP help my sales department?
Your employees can collaborate no matter where they are, as long as they have a reliable internet connection. If you host your ERP system in the cloud, this is a feature you will have. A field representative will have the ability to do all sorts while on-site with a customer, such as:
- Update customer records
- Access important customer documents
- Schedule jobs
- Sign off on jobs
Both the field sales agents and office staff can add to and access valuable, real-time information about clients and prospects. The more information in the system, the better the service your team can offer. The data insights can recommend upselling opportunities, provide pricing structures on a client-by-client basis. Although your salespeople aren’t responsible for setting your pricing strategy, they should have the autonomy to vary price in particular situations, while still protecting your margins.
How will you get to know your customers?
There are so many tools and different methods out there to help you define and match your client’s needs, all the while also improving customer satisfaction. Now is the time to get ahead of your competition. Ensure your ERP system works to meet your requirements but also helps you serve your customers.
If you don’t yet have an ERP system or you have one and are thinking of upgrading, then be sure to consider all customer touchpoints. A smart business system will leverage your staff with the tools required to improve customer satisfaction across an entire organisation. Customer-facing operational costs are often limited due to a focus on reducing overall costs of creating or manufacturing services or products quickly while coming up against the competition. Cast your thoughts back to your customer every so often and consider if a customer service module within an ERP system could be just what you need to understand and keep your clients satisfied.
If you would like to know how Gradient supports improving your customer satisfaction levels, get in touch with one of our friendly team members today.