As distributors know, staying top-of-mind with your customers is critically important for customer retention and for generating necessary word-of-mouth recommendations. Your customers play a much needed role in advocating your message, strength and loyalty. As a result, we are seeing a trend in newly created Customer Experience (CX) teams to help deliver guided client journeys managed with the thoughtful experience they deserve. Growing popularity in account-based marketing efforts and "white-glove" service is the new expectation, setting wholesale distributors apart from digital disruptions and competitors alike.
The challenge is for distributors to tap into their ERP systems and harness the customer insight they could have available. This "all-access" look at buying habits, profiles and customer trends shapes conversations that drive customer engagement. The beauty of this combination in an ERP software is that each and every person using the system is just as knowledgeable as the other -- turning purchase managers into inventory control experts and service staff into customer engagement specialists.
A well-integrated CRM allows distributors to be experts on their customers in a variety of ways:
- Customer Activity Oversight: Being aware of specific customer’s activity, such as purchase patterns and past orders, can help both sales and customer service come across as more familiar to customers.
- Personal Profiles and Notes: The ability to easily access personal notes on individual customer profiles and obtain information on purchasing trends, allows distributors to personalize their customer service.
- Easy Follow-up and Engagement: With the insight to customer activity, wholesale distributors can leverage powerful analysis tools to strategically price customers, reassign selling resources, and guide marketing efforts.
Readily available contact screens serve as powerful, analytic tools to improve customer relationships. The ultimate CX is orchestrated by the ability to see customer purchase patterns, history, and personal notes — like where they like to vacation or their hobbies— amplifying engagement on a much more personal level and better than any online shopping experience.
So as distributors continue to cater to customers, ensuring that customer expectations are not only met but exceeded remains critical. Selecting an ERP system with an embedded CRM simplifies this seemingly difficult task. Distributors who have figured it out are the ones with repetitive business: customers who visit more often, spend more, resist competition, and refer their brand.
Bridging the gap between a system that optimizes business operations and a system that provides customer engagement and relationship management is critical to growth. Inform ERP meets the needs of wholesale distributors with an integrated solution that improves customer retention, raise customer service levels, and take advantage of robust customer relationship management tools.