While many realise how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can help businesses streamline operations, boost supply chain management, and access smarter insights, not many understand the role ERP can play in customer experience management. Your software can help you gain a holistic view of each client, enabling your business to vastly improve customer experience (CX).
In our customer-centric reality, focusing on CX is a cornerstone of good business. A 2020 report by Adobe found that companies that lead in customer experience are three times more likely to significantly exceed their business goals. Let’s look at how you can use ERP to better understand your customers so you can improve your service level and become their supplier of choice.
How does ERP improve customer experience?
Because ERP consolidates data in one system and enables automation, it streamlines business processes. This can help you improve customer experience in several ways:
- Automation saves time, freeing up employees to spend more energy interacting with customers, which leads to better customer service.
- Centralising data makes it easier to match supply with demand. Your employees know who needs what and when, as well as what needs to happen to make a certain level of supply available on time.
- With efficient access to information – your ERP lets users see data for service and asset management, production planning, the supply chain, and more, all in one place – your teams have insights that can be used to make smarter business decisions that align with client needs.
How does CRM factor into the equation?
To optimise your ERP for CX, it is preferable to develop an accurate and up-to-date CRM (customer relationship management) system. Your CRM is your central database for customer data. As a part of your ERP or integrated with it, your users have all the tools they need at their fingertips to better manage the customer experience.
With a detailed CRM, your teams can create and maintain bonds with existing customers. Your users know what channels to use to connect with customers, how much interaction they require for a positive experience, and even what problems they’ve had in the past and how those have been resolved. You can track your customers’ trends, habits, and preferences. You can also use your CRM data to identify possible issues when a customer becomes inactive and to determine the best solutions for reengagement.
Armed with all this information, it’s possible to provide a consistent, personalised experience – something that’s essential to improving customer loyalty and inspiring advocacy. Companies that excel at personalisation drive up revenue by 5 to 15 per cent.
Improved loyalty is a huge win for your bottom line. Keeping existing customers requires far less effort than having to constantly win over new ones. Frequently cited research conducted by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company revealed that acquiring new customers is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
What can you learn from tracking your customers’ buying habits and product preferences?
Your ERP allows you to follow every stage of the buying cycle. See what works and what doesn’t so you can improve the way you interact with customers.
You can also see things like pricing preferences, what marketing content resonates with your buyers, and what type of sales activity triggers purchases. All of this can help you predict future buying habits and make data-driven business decisions.
Your ERP data can also reveal trends within your buyers. This can help you better understand your target personas and develop marketing content, products, and services that appeal to specific market segments.
Financial information management is an important part of ERP software – why is this?
Your ERP also lets you track, store, and manage financial data. This information can then be used to dive deeper into how you can better serve your customers.
- Customer payment schedules and automated reminders streamline transactions for customers.
- Credit management can help you conduct advanced processes such as automatic reordering.
- Revenue tracking reports reveal which customers you’re getting the most value from and who you may want to put more effort into engaging.
- With ledger management, you can quickly identify any odd transactions so you can address them right away.
- Accounts payable shows you details over how much is owed, by when, and for what – having this information on hand is critical to keeping your customers up-to-date on transaction info and avoiding customer complaints.
An effective ERP system = happier customers
An ERP with an inbuilt or integrated CRM tool will help you deliver a client-centered experience. From tailored products and services to personalised customer service, you’ll have all the data, reporting, and tools you need to understand what your customers need and want, and then to meet those expectations.
A holistic understanding of your customers – their pain points, goals, and challenges, as well as their preferences and wants – enables you to develop focused sales strategies for lead generation, and to better manage customer experience to maintain your existing customers.
This is more important today than ever before. With more and more people turning to the internet to make decisions, online reviews hold a lot of weight when it comes to purchasing decisions. If you provide excellent customer service, you can strengthen customer trust and fortify a winning online reputation that helps attract more customers.
With the right ERP solution, you can become the supplier of choice
This is the end game of all your customer experience management efforts. If you can live up to your customers’ expectations, they’ll always turn to you. The right ERP solution makes this possible.
- You can offer convenience, value, and service excellence – if these basic needs aren’t met, your potential customers will start to look elsewhere.
- With flexible systems, you can scale easily and continue to meet your customers’ needs without missing a beat.
- With an ERP solution that fits your business model, you can also keep your budgets tight, minimising waste and maintaining the capability to offer your product or service at a competitive price.
Need help selecting an ERP software solution?
With a deeper understanding of your customer’s history, their company, and the moving parts of their operations, you can position your offering to better serve them now and in the future. But, you need the right ERP system for your business in order to reduce costs, decrease wasted time, improve customer service, and experience exponential profit growth.
The reality is, a poorly chosen system can actually hinder all the processes you’re trying to improve!
Our ERP experts have industry-specific experience and will provide clear, realistic, and concise advice to help you realise your business goals. Let us help you select a system that is an excellent fit for your organisation.
Find out more today by contacting us for sound and honest advice.