The “customer experience” is more than a buzzword. It’s shaping business strategies, redefining organizational roles and, of course, changing the way employees engage with and provide service to customers. But it’s also informing technology decisions.
In order to provide engaging, brand-building experiences that meet customers’ expectations and evolving needs, organizations need to leverage more than customer-facing apps. Modern ERP solutions, the complex business systems that manage data and drive insights—connecting operations from the front office to the back office—are just as critical. Like the engine of a vehicle, they’re required to propel the business forward.
The Customer and ERP Connection
Your customers’ perception of your brand—and, ultimately, their buying behavior—is directly tied to their end-to-end experience with your company’s products and services, employees, website, apps, marketing and promotional materials, and more. Just as the customer experience is based on the ongoing sum total of brand engagements, your organization’s ability to effectively deliver on customer expectations is increasingly dependent on:
- Comprehensive data and customer management
- Interconnectivity and integrated, automated workflows
- Visibility and a 360-degree view of the company’s health
Modern, cloud-based ERP solutions are built to accommodate complex sets of operational, financial, and customer data, bringing it together and making it available to decision-makers and sales/service reps in real-time. This results in business processes—and customer experiences—that are personalized and engaging across multiple touchpoints. Let’s take a closer look at how an ERP system built for customer management helps you achieve these goals:
Derive maximum value from each customer.
By consolidating all customer records and activities in a single database, an ERP houses the insights you need to understand your customers, track success metrics and uncover new opportunities. Importantly, this customer data can be accessed exactly when it’s needed by users in sales, accounting and customer service—and even by customers. Not only does this help ensure you’re responsive to customers’ concerns, but it also enables your team to be more proactive with both sales and service.
Optimize customer-facing workflows.
Because ERP systems integrate financials, marketing, sales and service, you’re able to assess business performance and identify pre- and post-sales processes or workflows that need improvements. These might include billing or payment processes, production workflows or even point-of-service interactions. You’ll be able to see if certain process steps are causing a bottleneck, delaying service times or keeping critical information from being available to customers when they need it most. What’s more, thanks to the mobility of cloud software, employees in the field can access the same up-to-date customer information as their counterparts in the office—and on any connected device.
Integrate, automate and maximize resources.
Thanks to their cloud-based architecture, modern ERP systems are built to connect to other business systems, whether they’re housed on-premise or in the cloud. While some custom programming may be necessary to integrate any legacy systems with your new software, the goal is to sync up and centralize the data so it can be used across the organization. This ensures you can take advantage of automating core productivity tasks and accessing the data you need to make decisions.
Delivering a winning customer experience requires the coordination of many moving parts. But when your business and customer-related data and processes are streamlined within a cloud-based ERP solution, you’ll find that meeting your customers’ expectations with timeliness and added value.