Modern business software solutions have changed the way the world in a very literal sense. Some facilitated the switch to remote work that occurred during the pandemic. Others made it easier for companies to keep track of assets, and more programs are available that target customer experience.
However, there’s only one type of business software that acts as a one-stop hub to improve business and customer experience, and it’s the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Changing Expectations for ERP Systems
In the earliest days of ERP, these software systems were seen primarily, if not exclusively, in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. Now, even mid-sized businesses utilize this key technology. Business owners will find examples at Technology Evaluation Centers of a far wider array of products than were available even a few years ago.
Part of what’s driving the change is the adoption of cloud-based solutions. Unlike on-premise ERPs, cloud-based systems can be customized easily to provide for just about every possible business need. Every system is different, but most include modules for:
Human resources management
Customer relationship management
Of course, these are on top of more traditional offerings like procurement, manufacturing, inventory and order management, warehouse management, and supply chain management. Some modern ERPs are now designed to accommodate eCommerce businesses, with modules specifically targeting their unique business models.
Direct Customer Service Improvements
Wondering how all of these different functions could come together to create a better customer experience? Adopting an effective ERP system can have both direct and indirect benefits to customers. First, let’s discuss the direct benefits.
Every modern ERP solution offers customer relationship management (CRM) modules. Consumer-facing businesses may already have specialized CRM software in place. However, the distinct benefit of integrated CRM solutions is that they leverage data not just from the service and sales departments but from across the entire company to determine ways to improve customer experience.
Implementing a new ERP system that has a focus on CRM has another direct effect on customer service. Because these modules typically have automation features that reduce busywork for customer service representatives, these valuable employees can spend more time providing actual customer care. Plus, employees with less busy work tend to be happier, and a better attitude also makes for improved customer service.
Indirect Ways ERPs Improve Customer Service
Implementing a new ERP system will improve the efficiency of workflows across all departments. This, in turn, creates more working capital for the company’s core functions as well as marketing, sales, and customer service. Being able to hire new customer service representatives to reduce wait times, for example, could cause substantial improvements in overall satisfaction rates.
The extra revenue generated by eliminating workflow inefficiencies can also be used to bolster a company’s reputation with its customers. If it has been faltering despite the customer service department’s best efforts, investing in conducting research into how to further improve consumer experience to ensure that the company can stay competitive in its industry.
The Importance of Choosing the Right ERP
Not all ERPs are equal, and some of them are better for CRM than others. Consumer-facing businesses should prioritize this function when they start investigating new ERP systems. There’s no reason to settle for less with so many excellent options available.