Posted by Darcy Boerio on Jul 16, 2015 11:50:00 AM

CEO: “We want to grow, grow, grow!”

MARKETING: “Let’s try <insert cool new cloud/marketing thing here>!”

OPERATIONS: “How is that actually going to work with our existing stuff?”

If this conversation sounds all too familiar, you may be suffering from a common scenario of “Solution of Today = Pain of Tomorrow”.

So how can you break the cycle and tap into the activities that will really help your business without creating more pain?

Here are five steps to break the cycle:

 

Step 1: Identify your customer segments and goals.

 

8-Acts-1024x184

This diagram shows a sampling of some of the types of customer segments we see.

Which of these segments do your customers fall under, or are there others? Defining who your segments are and what percentage of your business comes from each can help you identify areas to improve efficiency.

 

Step 2: Understand your vendor-customer interaction gradient.

Gradient-1024x576

 

Which of your segments are wholly or partially reliant on human interaction or manual processes (phone, fax, email) when transacting/interacting with your business? Increasingly, customers prefer to self-serve rather than have human-to-human interaction.

Does automating those interactions make sense for you and for the customer?

 

Step 3: Understand the 8 major customer activities.

There are 8 key activities businesses use to get, grow, and keep customers. Take a moment to identify which ones are priorities for the segments you service. Then grade your performance for each activity by segment. If the higher priority activities are your weaknesses, these are areas you should focus on for improvement.

8-Activities-1024x340 

 

 Step 4: Build a list of requirements/goals.

Do you want to allow the direct public to see pricing and purchase from you online? Or maybe only registered users who can see their unique pricing? Perhaps you want visitors to be able to see product info then be directed to a dealer locator? Defining your goals by customer segment will help you prioritize.

Is your goal to get more sales? Reduce customer service costs? Improve the customer experience?

 

Step 5: Research solutions that exist to satisfy your requirements.

Start with Website Pipeline. Our customer self-service portal can help you get new customers, provide excellent customer service to help you keep existing customers, and cut your customer service costs. And since we have a proven integration to your Sage or Microsoft Dynamics ERP, today’s solution will not be tomorrow’s pain!

 

For wholesale and manufacturing companies using Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems to manage their business, Website Pipeline’s suite of cloud-based e-commerce solutions helps those companies get, keep and grow their customers. Fully integrated with Sage ERP and Microsoft Dynamics ERP platforms, Website Pipeline allows customers to do business with your company the way they want: anytime, anywhere, on any device.

 

Contact us today for a free consultation and we will show you how we can help improve your business.

 

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