My system won’t let me do that

A client that once did business with you calls and asks you to find the part he purchased approximately 2 years ago.

  • It was in the spring of 2014 I think, it’s a stainless part with a black plastic cap on the end
  • Do you have your order number?
  • No, maybe you can look it up by using our phone number?
  • No, sorry, my system won’t let me do that
  • Oh… ok then, I’ll figure it out myself.

By answering this way, you have not only lost the sale, but quite possibly a customer as well. One thing is certain, that person will not go around praising the quality of your customer service to their contact network.

“My system won’t let me do that”. How many times have we heard these words as we were trying to get information from a company? In this day and age, these are not words customers like to hear. Sometimes, that might be enough to push the customer towards a competitor

Two main reasons might explain such an answer:

  • Your system is inadequate
  • Your employees are not sufficiently trained to take advantage of it

A modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and properly trained employees would have easily allowed you to help such a customer… and so much more!

If the information exists, a good ERP system will let you easily access it. Whether it’s finding the part that a customer once ordered, knowing if such a part is on stock and if not, knowing how long it will take to receive it; all this information should be accessible within only a few clicks.

But even the most cutting edge ERP system will not be of much help if your employees aren’t adequately trained on how to use it. Too often, employees are only shown the most basic functions of their ERP system and aren’t encouraged to discover more advanced features, in the fear of “breaking something”. This is why it is essential to have at least one Super User internally who will know the all the details of the system and who can offer other employees periodic training on its full capacity.

To ensure your success, be certain that your ERP system fills all of your informational needs and that your employees are fully empowered to use it to its full value! Here is how the phone conversation described above could have and should have taken place :

  • It was in the spring of 2014 I think, it’s a stainless part with a black plastic cap on the end
  • Certainly! From what I can tell here, you have ordered with us a first time in February 2014, for 5 stabilizing brackets, for the machine RSR-32. And then a second time towards the end of May 2014, for one type C tensioner for the machine RSR-48X.
  • Yes! That’s it, a tensioner, this is exactly what I’m looking for. How much is it?
  • The part costs $128. I currently don’t have any on stock, but I can see that we’re expecting a shipment to come in next Tuesday. I could have one delivered to you by the end of next week. How does that sound?
  • Excellent, thank you! You’ll receive my purchase order in the next few minutes.

Now that’s service!


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