No matter how well you think your business is doing, there’s only one opinion that really counts; your customer’s. Even if revenue is good, cash flow is flowing and your employees love their work, if the customer isn’t at the heart of your entire operations, you will soon start to experience the domino effect.
One tweet, one Facebook comment, one conversation is all it takes to make an unhappy customer’s situation go viral. Whilst you can’t control what people put out there on social media or who they recommend to their contacts, you can put measures in place to not only keep your customers on your side, but also to put them in charge of driving your organisation’s success. Here’s how:
Every employee is a customer service employee
Despite their job titles, you have an entire organisation of customer service representatives, ready to keep your customers smiling and returning to you. Whether it’s the warehouse team packing the items your customer receives or the accounting staff sending a payment reminder, every single interaction counts – whether it takes place in person or virtually.
With an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution like SAP Business One in place in your organisation, the following changes could soon become the norm;
- Your inventory management system provides instant access to your warehouse team to send feedback and updates to key staff on packaging issues and suggestions for improvement
- Your accounting team members are able to quickly develop and store customer specific templates for all communication as well as alerts and credit term agreements that work for you and your customer’s cash flow
- Your integrated CRM enables the sales team to instantly add feedback for all sales representatives to view and react accordingly
- Your call centre team has easy access to all customer specific information on the products you sell so they can resolve enquiries quickly and efficiently
- Your marketing team has instant access to gauge all customer interactions across your entire business function; with this key information, they can feed information back to the relevant department for quick improvements (it might just save a client or two from being taken by your competitor!)
Every employee is a sales representative
You have a dedicated sales team with the aim of generating new business, keeping existing customers happy and pursuing upsell opportunities. But what if everyone in your organisation was empowered to do the same (on a smaller scale)?
It is possible for this to happen in organisations where each employee has the right information available to them. With an ERP like SAP Business One HANA version, all of your employees could;
- Recognise their role in the sales funnel and provide information to key personnel (for example, the warehouse manager notices that a customer consistently orders a particular product at very short notice and in small numbers – this could indicate they have an alternative vendor who regularly lets them down and your sales team could negotiate a good deal with the customer for repeat orders with your company). An ERP would provide the necessary data as well as the communication method to enable this.
- Access accurate figures and data to make informed decisions whenever needed (for example, your CFO could consider extending credit terms for an existing customer who has undergone restructuring based on their excellent payment history and future potential for increased business). An ERP provides up-to-the-minute accurate statistics to enable such informed decisions.
- Work proactively to keep customers happy and keep their business (for example, your marketing team could quickly and easily monitor trends and conversations on social media and suggest timely offers and deals to capture new business – based on what your customers are telling you they need). Your ERP can track what customers or market segments are saying about your products (and your competitor’s) to keep you in front.
- Easily and quickly upsell your organisation’s products and services. Whether they are face-to-face with your customer, or working behind the scenes, an ERP can free up your employees in each function from manual work, to work on innovative working strategies, all with the aim of putting the customer in charge. For example, instead of generating the same reports each month, your IT team could be providing your client with useful and meaningful insights to help them (and you) grow. The ERP takes care of those monthly reporting duties!
At Blue Ocean Systems, we not only care about our customers, but the customers of our clients – after all, they are the ones driving the future success of us all. We understand how quickly the needs of customers can change and we are always ready with solutions to adapt with speed and efficiency.
Contact the Blue Ocean Systems team of ERP experts to learn more about how we can help you and your customers achieve even greater success.
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.