Keeping up with Customer Expectations
Your customers and prospects are vastly different today than they were just 10 years ago.
People today are driven by instant gratification urged on by the advances in computer technology. Each new advance encourages people to expect more and more. The bar is set higher every time someone figures out how to take a manual process and reduce it to a push of a button.
Those expectations start in the sales department, end on the shipping dock and include everything in between. Your customers expect answers to their questions in real-time. If you can’t help them meet their deadlines at the push of a button, they’ll find someone who can. To those organizations that have not risen to the challenge, here’s a news flash – your customers don’t care about your problems.
They want accurate pricing, availability and an ETA no matter what sales channel they prefer. They want websites that provide accurate information or they’ll ignore them. Sales reps that can’t provide customized price lists and catalogues on demand won’t be called back.
Organizations that can’t ship accurately and on time will be dropped as suppliers. Little things like being able to print accurate labels on demand can make a big difference when it comes to meeting people’s expectations. Anything that saves time and eliminates mistakes should be embraced.
Customers who have to wait while your staff look for answers to their problems whether it’s invoicing issues, payment problems, delayed backorders won’t wait long. For manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors who rely on repeat orders it is critical their staff have the tools and information they need at their fingertips.
The only way to satisfy increased demand is by investing in systems that let your employees work smarter. The kind of systems that provide the information they need at the push of a button. It would be nice to say that increasing staffing levels or investing in better education will solve all your problems. The unfortunate reality of this huge investment is that it usually just creates more problems when access to information isn’t timely or accurate.
A few good employees armed with a great system can work circles around ones that don’t have the information they need at their fingertips. It’s like going to a gun fight with a knife. People armed with information make fewer mistakes and can solve everyday problems quickly to create the impression of awesome customer service in the “Age of Now” all without breaking the bank.