After All, They Are Your Customers

Ever since the invention of letterpress printing almost six centuries ago, paper has been the medium par excellence as an information carrier. Today, however, many people still find it difficult to imagine an office without overflowing waste paper baskets, countless invoices and customer folders, delivery notes and invoices. Paper mountains and piles of files are still part of the office landscape in many companies, even though computer work has long since become the largest part of everyday business life. Despite increasing digitalisation, paper consumption remains at a high level in the professional environment. In fact, according to estimates by the Federal Environment Ministry (2018), 38 percent of per capita paper consumption is accounted for by printing, press and office paper.

Paper as an Obstacle to Optimisation

Especially for the processing and storage of documents such as invoices, delivery notes, contracts and files, paper continues to play an important role even in the age of digitalization. However, paper-based business processes are no longer up-to-date in the digital age and should be replaced accordingly.

Imagine a central database for your customer management in the areas of marketing, sales and service, in which all business-relevant documents, customer data and other information is stored and can be viewed by all employees with the appropriate rights. The resulting advantages are manifold. Greatly reduced access times to information, a common knowledge base, more transparent processes, improved communication and undreamt-of evaluation possibilities are just a few examples to be mentioned here.

Many companies have recognized the problem or are already using digital process optimization. For all those who are still in the starting blocks, the first question to be asked is: What is actually possible? In the following three practical examples:

1. Central Administration of Your Customer Data

Everyone knows Excel and Word and they are wonderful programs that make our daily work much easier. But what happens if employees keep 'their' contacts locally on the computer and these are therefore not available to their colleagues? For a newsletter from your marketing department, for example, several Excel files would first have to be painstakingly researched and then laboriously put together. This is error-prone and costs a lot of time.

What happens if several users access the same Excel file in the network, but then save it locally on their PC and continue working with this data? In other words, who makes sure that your data is really up-to-date at a central location? What happens when employees fall ill or quit? How do you then get the information they suddenly need very quickly?

One of the advantages of a central CRM customer database is the avoidance of redundant data. Master data is not created and stored twice as in the example above. Rather, a duplicate check ensures a "clean" system already when creating a new contact by warning you of a possible duplicate creation.

Thanks to central data storage, all employees involved always have access to up-to-date information. For example, you can quickly gain an overview of the history of a case even if colleagues are ill, have resigned or are in well-earned retirement. A quick look at the history of a customer and you are in the picture! Insider knowledge belongs to the past.

And the best thing is: An integrated full text search makes every search query child's play! In an instant, the entire database including document contents can be searched for the desired information.

Decentralized administration of customer data and the associated risk of outdated or incorrect information is now a thing of the past. With the introduction of a central CRM database, isolated solutions such as Excel, Word and Co. for storing customer information become obsolete.

2. More Process Efficiency in Service

Imagine a planned service visit to one of your customers: The seal of a pump is to be replaced. In the past, a number of manual processes were necessary for this: The service call was prepared on a - often still physical - planning board. The necessary resources and skills of your employees were naturally on your mind. Your service technician then successfully completes his maintenance assignment at the customer's site and transfers all data, information and working hours to the back office - by fax or e-mail, of course. Your office staff copies the documents - because faxes become illegible over time - files them, creates the invoice and sends it to the customer, who does not receive it until weeks after the service assignment. Does this process look familiar to you? In fact, manual processes on paper are still widespread in many companies.

The appropriate CRM software supports you and your employees in digitally mapping and accelerating the complete service process. Intelligent service functionalities help you save time. From the service notification, the service offer, the planning and execution to the confirmation and billing of service calls, such a system offers you the appropriate function modules. This means that the customer receives his invoice after just a few days.

The Most Important Advantages of a CRM Database in Service:

  • Duplicate-free, central data management with access for all authorized employees
  • View of the complete service history of the customer
  • All contacts, documents and contracts always in view
  • Access to all contracts, tickets and complaints for better preparation of an appointment
  • Comprehensive mapping of the customer's service objects (e.g. machines)
  • Service pipeline with business opportunities, service offerings and service orders
  • Digital planning board for service deployment planning including resource and skill planning
  • Mobile, offline-capable system for the service field service with access to all relevant information necessary for the completion of the service call
  • App for time recording and confirmation of service calls to document the services performed
  • Cockpit for displaying key figures as well as statistics and analyses

3. Your Customer Calls

Now it gets serious: Your customer calls you! Are you prepared?

Perhaps you can recognize the customer by the telephone number? This is rather unlikely with a large customer base. It is also possible that you do not immediately understand the name of your contact person due to a bad connection and have to call back. If you then know who it is, you naturally want to get the necessary information quickly in order to be able to make a meaningful statement. Where are these stored? Do you first have to painstakingly gather all the information you need and put the customer off until later?

No customer should wait by the phone while you search the pile ofpapers on your desk for important documents. After all, reliable processing of all inquiries is crucial for customer satisfaction. How can you overcome this hurdle with confidence?

With a CTI integration (Computer Telephony Integration) in your CRM system, the reliable identification of all callers is guaranteed: This gives you a clear advantage!

If a customer calls you - assuming the contact is stored in the CRM database - a CTI dialog opens, which immediately displays the name of your contact person. You can greet the customer with his name before he has made his request - and you are immediately in contact! From the CTI dialog, you can now open the master data of the contact person or the company, for example, and have an insight into the activity history. Or you can 'jump' directly into the company cockpit. Here key figures for the customer are displayed in aggregated form. You can see immediately: Who had contact with the customer last? What was agreed upon? You can see statistics such as an ABC customer analysis, submitted offers, current orders, open invoices or incoming orders in the fiscal year - and are immediately well prepared for the conversation!

TIP

Employees who are in direct contact with customers should always have an overview of the complete customer information. In order to get the information they need quickly, CTI can provide a strong added value in customer communication.


Conclusion

The central data storage of your business contacts and customer information in a modern CRM system provides you with information about the customer anywhere and anytime in the shortest possible time. By digitalizing your internal processes, they become transparent and can be modeled. Thus, workflows can be optimized and time can be saved. The reaction time to customer requests is drastically reduced, while the quality of customer communication increases. Not only your employees and colleagues benefit from this, ultimately your customers benefit as well and reward the digitalization of the marketing, sales and service departments with higher loyalty and customer satisfaction.

DID YOU KNOW?

The PiSA sales CRM solution is characterized by flexible adaptability to customer-specific requirements. Our added value for you are individual service solutions that benefit you and facilitate your CRM project. So you can concentrate on your new powerful software for higher productivity and efficiency in marketing, sales and service.