Wholesale and retail distribution companies should take advantage of technology solutions such as CRM systems that can improve interactions with customers.
According to a post on the EBN website, businesses should “focus on [their] internal workflows” rather than “spending time and money on bells, whistles and gimmicks.” You should remove hurdles customers face in doing business with you, encourage customer-facing employees to go above and beyond, make sure those employees know the importance of their jobs, and invest in training, the post suggests.
While it’s hard to tell what the EBN post’s author means by “bells, whistles and gimmicks,” there is certainly a need to invest in the right technology today to ensure a positive customer experience.
The right technology solutions will go far in enabling most of the points listed in the post. What is needed is a good, strong CRM system. However, this system should provide the right experience to both the customer and customer-facing employees.
The tools used must allow the customer to communicate on whatever medium or channel they choose. Remember that CRM is an acronym for “customer relationship management.” If you’re relating to your customers, you must relate on all of the channels they use to communicate, including phone, email and social media.
Furthermore, the tools should not only be powerful, but extremely intuitive. That’s one advantage that Software as a Service (SaaS) browser-based applications offer — most of the user-interface controls like hypertext links and drop-down menus should be very familiar to users. In addition, true SaaS-based tools are cross-platform, meaning that users on a PC or Mac will both have the same experience.
Finally, the tools should also be flexible enough so that they can be adapted to fit the changes that are being made to internal processes to ensure that fulfillment bottlenecks are reduced or eliminated.
Again, the goal is to find ways to engage customers and improve their overall experience. After all, they’re more likely to come back and to recommend you to others if their experience is positive.
Source: EBN, September 2013