Satisfactory vs. Great Customer Service: When User Friendliness becomes More Friendly

itelligence Industry Specific Solutions Bases on SAP ERP Help Companies Take Business Processes to the Next Level

By Stefan Hoffmann, Industry Solution Manager, itelligence AG

If you’re in the tertiary sector of the economy, specifically working in the business of improving business and helping other companies, like consulting, technology and professional service firms, you have to practice what you preach. This is most important with customer service.

In itelligence’s case, we work with companies to provide a broad range of consulting and customer support services to maximize SAP solutions, including implementations, business intelligence, application management services and hosting. This includes powerful tools that SAP has developed and enhanced over the years.

However, our work goes beyond the implementation stages. Based on our mass number of industry specific implementations, we have seen a growing demand, commonalities from within trades, and evolving trends that call for even more user-friendly tools to make more use of SAP solutions. itelligence customizes solutions that cover a company’s entire value chain, which can be implemented and operated transparently and quickly within sensible cost parameters. By pre-configuring an industry solution, we set up the majority of processes in advance as part of a complete solution.

Saving Time and Money

What it all comes down to is saving time and money. But, our clients shouldn’t be the only ones benefiting. That’s why we always practice what we preach as it relates to implementation. Like our clients, we promote additional tools that we have developed in order to capitalized on the extended ERP landscape to fit our exact business needs, ensure efficiency and provide customers the highest level of service.  This is accomplished by adding business processes that are typical to a select industry, additional functionality, and fine-tuning the tools that SAP delivers.   

However, in many different industries, numerous companies are still struggling with integration. While the customer service department may takes orders, they may have no idea of what’s in the warehouse, what’s involved with the supply chain, logistics, etc.

What does ERP bring to the table? Simply put, it connects the different departments. For example, when a customer service rep takes a phone call, they can address other department-specific questions: Do you have product “A?” Yes, we have 15 in the warehouse; and yes, you have enough credit to buy them from us; and so-forth.

By consolidating all the pieces into a cockpit screen, customer service reps have access to a 360-degree view that provides a central point for all required information with just one click. The flexible, user-friendly system increases our productivity and time management.

Industry specific templates that fit on top of SAP ERP

When companies attempt to complement their existing ERP systems with an industry specific solution, they often create a worse situation. Bolt-on applications frequently lack the right integration points, requiring the purchase or development of an additional interface.

For example, companies without process integration understand the chaos that results from having one system that tracks leads, another that monitors opportunities, and yet another that creates sales or service orders. Best practices with process integration and industry-specific, fine-tuned solutions can be ready to use on day one, out of the box if they are customized and fit for the ERP system.

 Closing the gap from functionality to usability

Applications must focus specifically around customer service.  itelligence’s one-click cockpit approach makes servicing clients easier, quicker and more effective. For example, by adding solutions that bring everything up front and are more user-friendly, customer service call times can be reduced to enable representatives to field more calls. Even more, the entire management of the customer is integrated across all essential business processes and depicted in such a way that it is transparent for everyone involved. From new customer acquisition to order processing to customer service –business processes are more efficient, more expeditious and more cost-effective. This places best practice processes for supporting:

  • Interaction Center – Maximize customer loyalty, cut costs, and boost revenue by transforming the customer interaction center into a strategic delivery channel for marketing, sales, and service efforts across all touch points.
  • Service – Drive service revenue and profitability with functionality that helps to better manage complaints and returns.
  • Sales – Acquire, grow, and retain profitable relationships with functionality that helps to better manage sales performance, accounts, contacts, opportunities, and order management.
  • Analytics – Get real-time visibility to key performance indicators for sales and marketing, which can help you make quick, effective decisions; generate and convert more leads; track opportunities; and close more deals.
  • Marketing – Align marketing processes, drive customer demand, and increase marketing ROI using functionality that helps to better manage target groups, campaigns and leads.

By combining industry best practices together with itelligence preconfigured and comprehensive industry solutions, companies can now manage their customers and their sales effectiveness together with business operations in one easy-to-use solution.

Final Thoughts

Delivering great customer service is still very possible, and it can make or break your business. The tools must be highly effective.

IT decision makers must be willing to invest the time in finding the right solution and approach integration with their ERP system, meeting specific business needs and objectives. SAP and itelligence are making it easier than ever for companies to quickly benefit from intuitive user experiences with wider and better access to more powerful, actionable data than ever before.

Is your company ready to make its customer service great?  How can we help you take it to the next level?  

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