One of my favorite posts on this blog is from 2015 – 5 Benefits - ERP Software. Even though it's been a few years, the benefits of ERP outlined in that post still stand and include some great ideas on how to help your business succeed. In today's post, I want to dive a little deeper into the first benefit, Improved Customer Service. After we examine how ERP can help you improve customer satisfaction, I hope you'll have new insights to share with your team and new ideas on how to serve your customers at the highest level possible.
When you deliver a positive customer experience, you're contributing to the growth of your company by creating happy customers. As you move forward and increase customer satisfaction, you’ll see increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and more 5-star reviews for your company – all contributing to an increase in your bottom line. With the right implementation and usage, ERP software can help your company deliver a positive customer service experience and improve customer satisfaction. For wholesale and distribution companies specifically, ERP can provide a competitive advantage by developing a deeper understanding of a customer’s business, and delivering a more tailored experience to customers.
Let's look at some of the benefits of ERP and ERP tools that can help you improve your customer satisfaction:
Better Inventory and Order Management
On a personal level, we all know how disappointing and frustrating it can be to find out that the item we want is out of stock. When your customers are ordering inventory for their business, an unexpected out-of-stock item could mean delays or unscheduled downtime that could hurt their bottom line. ERP software can help you spare your customers from this experience by keeping stock in check with re-order levels and automated notifications and by helping to predict customer demand.
Another disappointing and frustrating customer experience is the delayed delivery of shipments. Even though delivery is the final stage in the supply chain cycle, it is sometimes the most critical. Making sure that deliveries arrive on time is crucial when it comes to customer satisfaction. By using information about the products, available inventory, and information about the customer, your ERP system can help you avoid delivery delays. You'll also be able to better manage expectations by providing more accurate delivery estimates.
With better ordering processes and faster delivery, customer confidence and satisfaction will begin to rise, and customer churn will fall. For more information on how ERP can help you better manage inventory, download our free Top Inventory Techniques.
Access to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
In addition to accounting, inventory management, order entry, and other features, an all-in-one ERP system like Blue Link will provide contact management and CRM functionality. These tools are essential when it comes to retaining customers and increasing customer satisfaction.
Retaining customers not only fosters growth, but it also helps save money. Studies show acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It's also interesting to note that increasing your customer retention rate by 5 percent increases profits by 25 percent to 95 percent.
A CRM tool will allow your sales staff to track customer interactions, store addresses, order history, and more. This information is then available to other departments, such as customer service. Usually, CRM is customizable and can store any other information you would like to keep for future reference. Having access to this information can help your employees understand the customer. By logging and monitoring the behavior of your customers, your company will have a better understanding and better insight into their needs, buying behaviors, and other essential statistics. For more information on CRM and other software tools for your sales team, check out our guide.
More Efficient and Accurate Customer Service
It's no surprise that 84 percent of customers get frustrated when service agents can't provide the information needed. Common obstacles to quality customer service include long wait times to retrieve necessary information, or even worse, ending the customer call and then using a follow-up call to answer your customer's question.
When you have an ERP system in place, your staff is better prepared to provide faster, more accurate, and more impactful customer service. An ERP system takes many streams of data and makes everything accessible from one place. Your team can access important information in real-time – no outdated details being passed to clients, no searching through different systems or sources of information. In Blue Link, it takes just a few clicks to access information about shipments, inventory, order history, payments, pricing, and more.
Did you know? It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
For small-medium sized businesses, making customer satisfaction a priority can be a way to get a competitive edge. Research shows that 55 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience. When it comes to receiving premium services and experiences, 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for an upgraded experience. Offering different levels of service can help your customers feel more in control of their experience. It can also boost customer loyalty and can help you generate incremental revenue.
It's easy to see that the benefits of ERP software are essential to the success of your SMB. If you'd like to hear more about how Blue Link can help you improve customer satisfaction, book a free consultation today.