Order Management in Manufacturing: Better Customer Service, More Return Business

Technology has made it easier than ever to lose customers.

Recently, Salesforce released a report on the state of customer service in the manufacturing sector.  This report is full of helpful information, and if you haven’t already read it, you can check it out by clicking here.

In the very introduction of the report, it’s noted that, even more than regular consumers, business buyers find that technology has made it easier than ever for them to take their business elsewhere.

It’s harder than ever to attract and retain new customers, or upsell your current customers, and yet it’s easier than ever for them to leave. 

That brings us to one of the simplest and most effective way to improve your customer service while also improving your fulfillment times, accuracy, and ability to scale.

Why haven’t you automated your order management system yet?

By using a software solution such as Now Commerce, you can offer a level of customization, customer service, and insight into the fulfillment process that your competitors often can’t touch. 

Feeling a bit lost about how more technology helps insure your manufacturing business against losing customers due to technology making it easier for them to find other options? 

I’ll back up a little.

technology in manufacturing

Technology has made it easier than ever to lose customers – for you AND your competition.

If it’s easy for you to lose customers thanks to technology, it’s just as easy for your competitors to lose customers.

By offering perks and benefits to working with your company over the competition, you provide numerous reasons for their customers to leave them and order from you instead.  Those perks don’t have to be discounts or sales – and honestly, they shouldn’t be those things.  Discounting or offering “rock bottom sale prices” devalues your product, and leads customers to believing those sale prices should be the normal prices.  It leads to customers selecting you based solely on price, which turns your product into nothing more than another commodity.

Instead, increase the value of working with your business – and the value of your product as a result. 

That value can come from offering your customers the ability to place their orders online, thanks to a customized customer portal provided by the Now Commerce platform.  They can log in any time that’s convenient for them, see all of the products associated with their customer profile, as well as their pricing, and place their order.

Your team gets the order, reviews it, and then passes it along to the manufacturing department to be made and shipped out.  Your customer can track the progress, giving them insight into what’s happening, and peace of mind that their order is being fulfilled.

The personalized customer portal is a key part of this; 82% of business buyers (referencing that manufacturing report from Salesforce again) say that personalized care influences their loyalty.

This type of personalization doesn’t have to come from increased staff training sessions or repeating the customers name more often in phone calls – it happens automatically, every time they log in, thanks to technology.

Wondering about where the pricing, invoicing, and products come from – and how they integrate into QuickBooks desktop?

If you’re already using QuickBooks, then the last thing you want is yet another system for your office staff to manage and copy data to and from. 

The Now Commerce platform doesn’t act as an entirely new invoicing system that you copy to QuickBooks – it simply integrates with QuickBooks, offering a bridge from your website to your business software.

Your customers are actually writing and generating their own invoices, saving your team time by not having to generate invoices themselves, and making the customers happier about the control they have over the process.

The customer can log in and place their order at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection.  They just need access to your website, and the link to their portal that’s provided there.

Did I mention the whole personalization thing?  The portal can be personalized, both for your customer in terms of items and pricing that they see, as well as with your own branding details.  Your customers generate their own invoices, saving you time and man hours, and it’s all in the name of better customer service.

The seamless integration with QuickBooks also means no double-entry, reduced errors, and an uptick in efficiency.  Rather than needing multiple eyes at multiple steps to double check each part of the order process, it’s a simple review and then the order is passed along for fulfillment.

top manufacturing businesses

Top Manufacturers are investing more in customer service – but you don’t necessarily have to.

Many manufacturers struggle with justifying the monetary black hole – er, the increasing expense – of growing their customer service department.  It’s rarely seen as an investment that nets appreciable returns, despite data and studies indicating just how essential customer service is to customer retention.

Offering exceptional customer service is becoming one of the key ways that top performing manufacturing businesses are seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition, and as a small to mid sized manufacturer, your competition is even more extreme.  You don’t have the budget to double how much you spend on customer service each year, and to be honest, you’re not sure there’s much more you can really do to make your department better.

Instead of looking for ways to spend more money on the customer service department, a small investment in order management software (like Now Commerce) can provide that differentiating customer service experience that you’re looking for. 

Your current customer service team can continue doing what they do best, helping solve any issues that arise with your customers.  No need for expensive training seminars or hiring even more people – the current team will be able to do more in the same amount of time. 

More than just managing orders that are placed, Now Commerce also allows your customers to see the status of their orders.  No more calling the customer service team for updates, no more emailing back and forth, waiting for an answer – the customer can log in and see the latest update whenever they like.

If the customer wants another copy of the invoice, they can print it.  If they want to doublecheck what they ordered, they can see with just a couple clicks.

It’s improved customer service without your employees having to lift a finger.

It’s really that easy, and it’s really that effective. 

Why haven’t you started using order management software yet?

Schedule a demo to see Now Commerce in action today – just click below:

request a demo of now commerce