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7 Ways Cloud ERP Better Connects You With Your Customers

Posted by Matt Woodward

Jul 7, 2014

connect with your customersAs technology advances, it seems many small and mid-sized businesses lose sight of the importance of connecting with their customers. It's true that technology has enabled automation, which allows companies to delegate mundane, tedious tasks (like data entry, fulfillment and invoicing) to their small business software systems. Automation improves efficiency, but it doesn't disparage the need for human interaction. In fact, automation simply allows you to reallocate those vital personal resources to more important tasks, such as forming, building and nurturing customer relationships. Cloud ERP not only encourages, but also facilitates a renewed focus on customer interactions. Here's how:

1. Mobility

Your customers want to exchange information, make purchases and collaborate with you. Are you encouraging them to do so?

Cloud ERP creates an environment that's inherently interconnected and accessible, because it allows your business to operate in all the ways and channels your customers prefer. By using a mobile ERP system, you're giving your customers and your employees the chance to engage your business on their terms, through any device or medium they choose. All they need is an internet connection.

2. Communication

When it comes to customer relationships, communication is key – but you need a method to form meaningful connections quickly. Cloud ERP strikes a balance by helping you deliver exceptional customer service without wasting hours of your valuable time.

3. Security

Cloud ERP is simply a remote resource, typically residing within a very secure, world-class facility. For many SMBs, this secure infrastructure is far too expensive to be deployed locally – unfortunately, many companies feel the need to choose between affordable, poor security and expensive, effective security. Cloud ERP brings this advanced level of security to the most cutting-edge technology and software platforms, providing you with enhanced protection at an affordable cost.

Cloud ERP is a remote resource, keeping your data unscathed if a man-made or natural disaster strikes. Security features, like encryption and password protection, thwart digital attacks so your customers and employees rest easy knowing their private information is always safe.

4. Visibility

When customers place an order with your business, they want to be kept in the loop. They expect open communication, including alerts to update them on the order's progress: when it's been fulfilled, when it's being shipped out, when it's on a delivery vehicle and when to expect it on their doorstep.

It's impossible to update your customers on order progress if you don't have access to your order progress. Cloud ERP lets you see and track customer orders from the moment the invoice is created to the instant the package is dropped off.

5. Inquiry Management

If a customer or prospect takes the time to reach out to you, you'd better put forth the effort to respond – quickly. Many small and mid-sized businesses have a difficult time with inquiry management, especially with disjointed, on-premise ERP systems. The lag time makes quick, satisfactory resolutions impossible.

With ERP in the cloud, however, customers have the ability to submit an instant inquiry ticket. Each ticket is categorized by priority, department or issue; all the relevant members of your team are notified and quickly get to work. The issue is immediately placed into the most qualified hands, ensuring that it's dealt with appropriately. Cloud ERP helps you achieve better solutions, quicker.

6. Insights

In order to provide the support and service your customers need, you have to get to know them. That means gathering information (offline and online) that helps you fully understand their purchasing behavior, preferences, turn-ons and turn-offs. Without this critical data, it's impossible for you to make decisions and take action in real time.

7. Integration

You use dozens of applications on a daily basis, but on-premise and siloed systems drive a wedge between each of these tools. The information should all be housed in a single location so it's easily accessible for all of your employees, from C-suite executives to lower-level workers. Your field technicians shouldn't need to touch your CRM, accounting, scheduling and field service software just to complete a job.

Cloud ERP enables seamless interaction between all of your small business software tools, because they're united within a single, cohesive system. CRM integration allows you to build buyer profiles and cultivate meaningful relationships with your customers while giving your employees access to the right information when they need it most.

In today's market, the customer-centric approach has become a single ticket to extraordinary revenue growth and unsurpassed consumer loyalty. As more tasks are being completed by software and machinery, it's tempting to think that avenues of communication are closing. In truth, for every avenue that closes, more (and better) avenues open. You just have to know how to seize them.

Have you outgrown your small business software? Click the link below to learn the seven telltale signs that your current software is doing more harm than good.

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Topics: cloud ERP, business software, erp software