Understanding customers and aligning your business to meet their needs is crucial to your success and business growth. That’s why we spend so much time talking about customer acquisition and retention here on the MYC blog.
In today’s post, we’re going to discuss how choosing software partners impacts your ability to scale and properly serve your customers as your business grows.
Unfortunately, many companies grow in a haphazard way, piecing together tools and solutions without a real strategy in place.
When the need arises for a strong accounting package or a way to fulfill orders quickly, they’ll put something in place. When customers start complaining about slow response times, a program to help support response will be added. When customer data becomes unorganized, a CRM will be thrown in the mix. And on and on.
Companies operating in this manner will end up with a mess of unconnected systems—and even more work on their hands to manage it all.
Eventually, operational efficiency decreases, employees get frustrated and confused with so many tools to manage, sales opportunities are missed, and customer service suffers.
Rather than piecing together software in an ad hoc way, the best approach is implementing a fully-integrated solution.
This means choosing a single software partner, one that’s compatible with your business and offers a solution flexible enough scale. It means your business can grow beyond the limitations offered in individual tools while allowing you to keep your focus on customer satisfaction and retention.
In addition to effectively serving their customers, businesses that take this approach commonly experience four key benefits from using an end-to-end solution. Let’s dive into the specific benefits you can expect to experience by doing the same.
Increased Operational Efficiency
One of the biggest reasons businesses choose fully-integrated systems over pieced-together solutions is to achieve higher levels of productivity. They know that managing separate systems typically leads to these major productivity killers: manual processes and administrative work.
Reconciling payments with orders in two separate systems, updating customer details in another, and keeping track of your sales cycles in yet another system are common practices among businesses without fully-integrated solutions.
These manual processes increase the probability of errors because employees are constantly jumping between systems to enter and track information. This administrative work eats up time that could be better spent on tasks that help improve sales or customers service.
An end-to-end solution eliminates the need to manage multiple systems, meaning time spent on data entry and administrative tasks is reduced. Not only does this ensure data is accurate across your organization but it helps streamline and simplify your employees’ daily workflow.
Higher levels of performance will be achieved when employees aren’t getting bogged down by time-consuming manual processes, allowing them to stay energized and productive throughout the day.
More Effective Employee Training
While increased employee efficiency is one of the most common benefits companies see from implementing fully-integrated solutions, it doesn’t happen overnight.
The good news is, it’s a lot easier to develop highly productive teams when your staff only has one system to learn. When employees can accomplish routine operations with one solution, it allows you to develop specialized training programs. In other words, you can hone in on specific aspects of the system that are most relevant to their respective departments.
This means your employees quickly get used to the processes needed to accomplish the essential functions of their job rather than wasting time learning different processes for different systems.
By implementing a user-friendly, end-to-end solution, you’ll also be able to onboard new employees more efficiently. They’ll get up-and-running faster and settle into their roles more quickly than in a situation where they have multiple systems to learn.
Simple, specialized training helps develop productive employees quickly and efficiently. Which means, ultimately, you can accelerate the speed at which you’ll see an initial return on your software investment.
Improved Customer Service
An end-to-end solution allows you to develop effective training programs that create productive employees. Once your staff knows how to accomplish the routine parts of their job efficiently, they’re able to focus their energy where it matters: customer satisfaction.
Using a system that centralizes business processes means you have a single source of data to learn about your customers’ buying habits, preferences, and support experiences. This data is crucial for developing a full understanding of your customers' needs and refining your customer experience.
When your entire organization has access to this type of critical customer information, it means everyone knows how to properly respond to customer inquiries and deliver a high level of customer service.
Support teams have full visibility into your customers’ experience with products and services, production staff knows when orders are paid in full and ready to be delivered, and your sales team has insight into upsell opportunities.
This also means your employees can be proactive in their approach to serving customers. If an invoice is overdue, an order is delayed, or there’s a recurring issue with service, your teams can stay one step ahead and communicate with your customers in a way that shows you have their best interest in mind.
Consistently providing high-quality support experiences means your employees are able to build customer satisfaction and increase customer retention over time. It’s those efforts that ultimately lead to more profitable relationships through additional purchases and referrals from happy customers.
Better Vendor Support
Just as fully-integrated solutions make it easier for you to provide better support to your customers, they also give you an opportunity to receive better support from your vendor.
Of course, no system is perfect, so there will eventually come a time when you experience an issue. What matters most is the timeliness and professionalism with which your issues are resolved.
If you’ve thrown together multiple tools to run your business, you’ll likely to end up playing middle man, trying to figure out which provider’s system is causing the issue. You’ll likely have to contact both vendors to pinpoint the issue, dragging out the time it takes to get your business back to running normally.
When you’re using end-to-end solution, all your business processes and data are connected. So when something goes wrong, there’s only one system to diagnose, making it easier—and faster— for your vendor to resolve issues when they come about.
As an added benefit, dealing with a single vendor means their service reps have a better understanding of your business and what’s happening on your end. Over time, they’ll get to know your business and figure out which of your employees is best to talk to when specific situations arise.
Relying on a single point of contact with an intimate understanding of your business processes means issues are resolved quickly, minimizing disruption to your operations.
Like most businesses out there, you’re probably focused on how to attract new customers and retain them by providing great service experiences. Managing your business with an end-to-end solution allows you to do just that.
Centralized, comprehensive data gives you the ability to learn critical information about your customers and provide great support. It also eliminates redundant processes, making your employees more efficient. And standardized training means you can decrease the time it takes to develop productive employees.
Choose your software partners carefully, or better yet—choose the right one. Because at the end of the day, finding a partner with an end-to-end solution for your business dramatically improves your chances of success in finding new customers and maintaining long-term, profitable relationships.