May 18, 2016

How Sales Order Processing Software Can Improve Customer Satisfaction

Written by
Steve Smith

For all the strategy, planning, and analysis you invest into building your best possible business model, providing customers with a stellar customer experience can make or break your success. In fact, a study by customer relationship management provider InfoQuest revealed that a “totally satisfied customer” contributes nearly three times as much revenue to a business than a customer who is “somewhat satisfied.”

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Here are a few of the ways sales order processing software can help you improve customer satisfaction:

Avoid Innocent (but Costly) Mistakes

When you rely on manual sales order entry processes, you introduce the potential for innocent, yet costly errors. According to data reported by Ungerboeck Software, any business relying on manual processes should plan for at least a 1 percent error rate. That means for every 100 orders your business fills, one will be fulfilled in error. When you automate processes, you reduce the risk of human error; that may be as minimal as keying in incorrect data, or as major as overlooking an entire order. 

One percent may not seem significant, but consider the trickle-down implications just one mistake can introduce to your brand reputation. Data cited by Help Scout indicates that 91 percent of unhappy customers will never buy from a business again. Aside from the fact that you’ll have to invest additional money to acquire new customers for each one you lose, customers share their experiences on social media and online review sites and seek opinions from others before they make purchases. In fact, the White House Office of Consumer Affairs estimates that news of a bad customer experience travels twice as fast as news about a good one.  

News of a bad customer experience travels twice as fast as news about a good one.

Improve Product and Customer Knowledge

Order processing software provides your customer service representatives with detailed insights about individual products — including inventory in stock, measurements and fabrications, along with client specifications. The software can store detailed records about client order history, needs, and preferences, in order to simplify processing for orders that require customized materials, and/or a configurable bill of materials.

No matter which team member handles a customer’s inquiry, sales order processing software arms your employees with the information they need to feel confident during customer interactions. When customers sense that their business is understood, they’ll begin to form the level of trust that contributes to long-term customer relationships and loyalty.

Expedited Order Processing

Customers have high expectations in today’s on-demand economy. Regardless of how well trained your team may be, processing orders manually requires an investment of time and resources that can be reduced and improved upon. Not only does it take time to enter, process, acknowledge and fulfill orders received via email, fax, phone and snail mail, but the inefficiency introduces the risk of customer dissatisfaction.

For every minute that passes between order placement and processing, your customers have the chance to cancel an order and/or feel frustrated with their experience. Sales order processing software allows you to automate order acknowledgement and customer updates through the critical stages of picking, packing, and fulfillment.

This automation eliminates costly downtime, expedites order processing, and improves transparency. This real-time insight assures your customers that their business is important and equips every member of your team to stay aware of priority, demand, and need.

Empower Customers to Self-Serve

Sales order processing software expedites your internal operations, but it also empowers customers. Customers can use your system’s self-service option to check on the status of their order, view inventory, and plan appropriately for their upcoming needs, based on your stock levels.

This ability to self-serve adds visibility and peace of mind to the order fulfillment process — which, again, can improve customer satisfaction.

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Customer satisfaction is a critical success factor to your business — one that you can improve with the right systems, tools, and processes in place. Order processing software can make your business more efficient while ensuring that customers have a consistent and positive experience with every interaction.

As U.S. Chief Operating Officer at Esker, Steve Smith is responsible for all operations in North, South and Central America. Esker is a global leader in business process automation, helping organizations around the world automate their manual business processes. Through Esker’s variety of software packages, businesses can increase their workflow and productivity. 

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