The customer experience, or “CX,” is a key driver of technology adoption across industries, reflecting a more digitally fueled approach to running a business. Way back in 2010, Forrester defined customer experience as “How customers perceive their interactions with your company,” andtoday, whether a company sells financial services or machine parts, they’re working hard to meet their customers’ expectations.
You might be thinking, “Aren’t customer perceptions and experiences things that our marketing and sales teams are supposed to manage?” or “What do customer expectations have to do with an ERP system?” Here, we set out to help answer your questions while shedding light on how using a powerful cloud-based ERP solution enables your company to rise to customers’ evolving demands.
Committing to Your Customer
A customer’s perception of a company’s brand is based on a number of factors, depending on the type of product or service being sold, the competitive landscape, and, of course, the type of customer service and support they receive throughout their customer journey. Across industries, and in both B2B and B2C scenarios, customers value self-service, consistency, and added value at each digital touch point—and their expectations are being shaped by their experiences with the companies they engage with daily, like Amazon, Coca Cola, and Google.
That’s not to say that your company needs to produce big-budget marketing campaigns or hire social media influencers to remain competitive in your space (because you probably don’t), but you do need to offer the caliber of online functionality and accessible levels of customer service that your customers are growing accustomed to as consumers in the wider marketplace. This requires investing in technology solutions that support every critical business process and lead to a better customer experience.
Think about it: at the end of the workday, doesn’t everything you do influence the customer—and therefore their perception of the company?
From Back Office to Front Office: It’s all Customer Service
Here’s where your business systems fit in: directly or indirectly, they give you the agility required to:
- Make strategic decisions based on data from across the organization (e.g. financials and customer data)
- Actively (not reactively) keep up with customer needs and preferences and pursue the right markets
- Stay on top of daily processes (e.g. billing and contract management) that impact customer service—and the customer experience—via brand interactions
Legacy solutions, including disconnected spreadsheets and contact managers, are not going to get the job done—not in today’s digital universe. Inefficiencies in the back office can find their way into customer interactions with sales and customer service. And limitations such as a lack of actionable, real-time data and advanced reporting capabilities do nothing to push the business ahead in a competitive marketplace.
A Unified, Cloud-based ERP Solution
A cloud-based ERP system, like Acumatica, provides you with superior visibility into your data and delivers insights that help company leaders develop relevant, customer-focused strategies. Acumatica’s analyst report, Integrated Business Solutions: Helping SMBs Keep Pace with Customers, puts it this way: “With both customer and financial data stored in one system, information can flow easily from marketing and sales to order processing and payments—and then to customer service. This helps streamline operations and makes it easier for everyone to see what’s going on in the business and make better decisions.”
Built for SMBs, Acumatica gives service teams and decision-makers access to the same information, so they can focus on customer needs and marketplace opportunities. Your data is unified and integrated, making it more powerful and yielding impressive ROI. SMBs that have fully integrated business solutions, according to the Acumatica report, are 29% more likely to expect revenue growth than those that have only partially integrated these solutions, and they are 40% more likely than those that have not done any integration.
With the customer experience becoming more essential to business success, it’s fair to say that consumers are reason behind business technology shifts. But the shifts create a win-win: today’s technology automates traditionally inefficient processes and gives decision-makers access to more data, resulting in cost-savings and optimized resources that can be re-directed into enhancing customer-facing processes and service offerings.
Contact us to learn more.