Customer Experience Success Requires the Right People, Processes & Technology
Industry analyst firm Gartner predicted that, “By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.” Businesses have turned their strategic focus from inside-out to outside-in to improve customer experiences. Understanding what customers want, need, and expect is critical to generating a successful customer experience environment. A great customer experience contributes to customer lifetime value and increases loyalty, which all leads to bottom line profits.
Improving the customer experience is especially critical in the B2B space in transactions where manufacturers do business with other manufacturers. A good customer experience environment requires the right people, processes, and technology in place to be able to respond in real-time.
Right People, Right Attitude
Customer Service Reps (CSRs) need to have the right attitude when working with customers. They need to be cheerful and helpful, and never place blame. CSRs need to be able to listen to customers and know what they need and how your company can fulfill their needs. CSRs need to be empathetic to the customers’ needs and respond to the customers’ concerns.
Customer training programs are essential to teach CSRs how to respond and interact with customers. Giving incentives and bonuses for exceptional customer service can motivate CSRs to provide top-notch customer service.
Automating business processes can improve the customer experience, along with understanding each customer touchpoint. Pre- and post-sale aspects of the customer experience need to be understood so you can identify gaps in processes that could lead to a poor customer experience.
Having a self-service aspect to your customer experience can be beneficial. The Elemica Customer Portal Assistant (CPA) allows suppliers to easily connect to their leading customer ordering portal solution providers or customer-specific portal networks and automate their order-to-cash process with their ERP.
Elemica ENRICH, an inter-company data management self-service solution, ensures compliance as orders are automatically created in the customer service order-entry ERP solution. Improving the accuracy of orders is accomplished by cross-referencing and converting product, unit of measures, and location identifiers to supplier values resolving discrepancies. Elemica CPA with ENRICH eliminates the need for IT to maintain multiple, costly interfaces for each trading partner.
Delivering on promise is a basic element of the customer experience – you need to deliver orders on-time and in-full to the right location for the right price. To do this, companies need a holistic view of their supply chain that brings visibility into what is going on within the supply chain from end-to-end.
Product quality is important, too, in the customer service. It’s imperative to make sure that the delivered product meets the customer’s quality standards. Product quality can touch other parts of the business like the manufacturing process, inbound supply and working with your suppliers.
Systems need to be interconnected to allow for 24/7 order processing and an improved customer experience. Eliminating the need to have to manually call or fax orders, letting the orders be sent electronically, leads to faster and better customer service. For example, if a manufacturing manager realizes a need for more raw materials to complete an order, the manager can enter that information into the system and the order will be automatically sent to the supplier for fulfillment. The supplier can then send back a confirmation for order received and a potential delivery date. Everything operates in the background.
Use a Digital Supply Network to connect all supply chain trading partners – suppliers, manufacturers, processes, logistics service providers – and yes, even customers. The network improves collaboration and communication, while giving visibility to all trading partners into what is happening so that problems can be quickly identified and solves.
Enhancing the customer experience involves making sure your customers receive the best possible service, bringing a competitive advantage to your business.