Customer experience should be a critical priority for any business. No matter what your size or sector, no matter whether you are selling to other businesses or directly to consumers, customer experience is the quality which makes you memorable, reliable, and keeps those customers coming back.
You might think that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has more to do with the behind-the-scenes operations of your business than how your customers interact and engage with you. But in fact, ERP software has everything to do with your customer experience – and, chosen and deployed well, it can make said customer experience stand head and shoulders above the competition. Let’s take a closer look at how.
Streamlined backend = efficient front end
First, it is worth highlighting that organised, streamlined and centralised backend processes dohave a direct impact on the customer. Consider, for example, a customer making a purchase on an online store. ERP software enables a single source of data and a streamlined process from the ecommerce platform underpinning the purchase, through to the warehouse, stock picking and labelling procedures, through to shipping and final confirmation that the customer has received their order. It gets goods to customers faster, and it reduces incidents of incorrect shipments. All this makes for a higher-quality customer experience.
Information at agents’ fingertips
Alternatively, consider a customer making a call to your support team because of a problem with an order. ERP software means that your contact centre staff can instantly pull up a record of that customer’s entire history with your company. They can see details of previous communication, purchases and problems solved. They can identify the agents that customer previously engaged with, and ensure that they are providing advice or support for precisely the right product or service.
This single source of information means that your agents can deliver a far more personalised, customer-centric experience, even at times when those customers are initially dissatisfied.
Smart inventory management
ERP software enables a far more intelligent, proactive and reactive approach to stock and inventory management, by linking up your purchasing, warehousing and procurement processes and enabling smooth data flow between them. In turn, this means you are less likely to run out of key products, accidentally allow customers to purchase products after you have sold out, or be forced into last-minute procurement processes which could incur higher costs that you then have to pass on to customers. Once again, this is a case of ERP enhancing your backend processes and passing on valuable benefits to your customers at the front end.
Data insights for ongoing optimisation
The single, centralised approach to data which ERP software offers businesses is not just useful in the short-term – it also provides a foundation for longer-term improvements to customer experience. The data in question enables your business to develop tangible insights in relation to customer buying patterns, the popularity of different products and services, the most common support and advice queries, and much more. In turn, you can use these insights to adjust your offering and ultimately to become a more responsive, customer-centric business.
Want to learn more about how ERP software could help you improve your own customer experience? Get in touch with APH today.