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It’s no secret that customers’ expectations have changed. They’re far more informed, engaged and demanding with brands and businesses than ever before. Now with social media and other marketing channels available, they can get in touch with a business to acquire products and services they need.

With the ease of shopping online, plus apps and other platforms that accept payments, customers are less willing to make extra efforts to buy or schedule services. According to Econsultancy, B2B buyers said they “want easier and faster checkout, easy repeat ordering, quicker delivery, and improved tracking.”

What does this mean for B2Bs (Business to Business)? First, eCommerce and online ordering or scheduling are no longer exclusive to B2C companies (Business to Customer). Optimizing buying experiences not only when they’re still leads, but when they become customers, is crucial if businesses wish to increase customer retention, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and Return On Investment (ROI).

Second, it means vendors are not offering this kind of experience as often as customers would like.

In order to satisfy the modern customer’s expectations, here are some ways manufacturing and technical service companies can leverage a Salesforce and ERP integration:

Centralize Data

Businesses tend to underestimate the hassle it is for customers to seek support from an organization with scattered data. It takes time for your team to find information in multiple systems. They could also be digging through email chains in their inbox, which represents delays, neither of which your customer and business can afford.

With Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, the information in your ERP (we support over 85, including Sage 50, Sage 100, QuickBooks Online, Epicor, SYSPRO, etc.) is automatically SYNC’d to Salesforce. Therefore your Sales, Accounting, and Customer Service teams have access to the same data without double data entry or errors.

ERP data that’s SYNC’d to Salesforce includes customer information, sales history, invoicing, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, terms, multi ship to addresses, etc. New orders, accounts, opportunities, etc., created in Salesforce are SYNC’d to ERP.

Simplify Processes

Simple processes keeps customers happy. Whether they need to buy more units of certain parts, or schedule a recurring service, the easier your company makes it for them, the more satisfied they’re going to be. The result is they’ll more than likely they’ll continue doing business with you.

Think about eCommerce; it’s usually associated with consumer goods, and names such as Amazon, eBay and Apple come to mind. But what does it mean for B2B companies such as yours? Sana, an eCommerce SaaS solutions company, suggests the following:

  • 75% of B2B product purchases are already made online
  • Buyers want to make even more purchases online
  • One-third of B2B buyers would choose a vendor based on the ability to place, pay for, track and return orders online
  • 25% of buyers indicated that automation is going to change the B2B buying role in the next 5 years

Customers expect stores online to be intuitive, as more companies embrace the self-service model. Simplifying processes through eCommerce and other tactics is a secure path to follow.

For example, Hotsy Cleaning Systems SYNC’d Salesforce with their ERP system, Sage 100, and the positive results were quickly seen:

“With Salesforce we have been able to connect [Sage 100] with our CRM [through Commercient SYNC]. Our employees have greater access to data than previously and we can do more with that data.

“When the sales reps sell something, they’ll be able to scan it, import it into an order or work order, sync it through Commercient into our Sage system so that we’ll have the sales order in the system. They can take payment on it [at time of service].” – Patrick Foy, Technical Architect at Hotsy

Smart Analytics

Making decisions based on intuition may be one of the risks your business can’t afford to take. Easier access to key data within Salesforce or your Accounting system saves not only time, but lots of money. It can help managers and team members make informed decisions quickly.

There is no need to wait for quarterly or annual reports to know how your business is doing. With tools such as Commercient SYNC, you can have fast access to customer information, payments, inventory and much more. This is what happened to the manufacturing company Sentury Tire:

“I can now get reports from Sage 100 up-to-the-minute, and I can look into my reports once a day now.” This gives the team more information to make important decisions for sales.

A team of 4 would work, collectively, 8 hours a day on a specific task in Salesforce. With Commercient SYNC, as Hilton Cordero,Territory Manager, explained, “The same task is completed in about an hour from 1 person.” -Hilton Cordero, Territory Manager at Sentury Tire

Don’t be Afraid to Scale

Scaling a business is a big deal. Decisions need to be made, and there are people and budgets involved. It’s natural it creates more anxiety in CEO’s and Management, considering all the investments needed, the logistics, coordinating with other stakeholders and the team, etc.

Your team might feel anxious about the level of complexity in the new solutions acquired by the company. There are always changes that come with the new equipment, software, processes, and more.

That’s where the cloud comes in. With a level of complexity that’s significantly lower than ETL solutions, for example, the learning curve is lower and the adoption rate increases. Besides, cloud-based technology is flexible enough to expand or constrain when needed, which makes it easier to buy, implement and adjust according to the company’s needs. Commercient SYNC allows that: It will SYNC from Salesforce and the ERP only the information you need. As your business grows, you can scale SYNC up as needed.

Are you using Salesforce with a need to integrate it with your ERP and offer a stellar customer service? Contact us today for a demo.

SYNC Demo integrate CRM ERP

By Anna Kinnear

First impressions last! We’ve all heard this before. But how important is that first impression? More often than not, first impressions do last – and sometimes, they are the only impressions you’ll get the chance to make. Once a negative impression is made, it can be difficult to replace. And with a first time customer, you want to make sure it’s the right one.

The findings of research led by a team of psychologists suggest that a first impression is, more or less, forever. That is because second and third impressions tend to only influence us in certain circumstances. The first impression acts as our default view of the person or people in question.

In today’s competitive environment, being mediocre reduces your chances of success, so leave no stone unturned in your quest to impress a first time customer!

Read on to find out how you can impress your first time customer.

Provide a solution

Your first priority should be to provide a solution to your customer’s problem. Find out what their needs and expectations are, and show them you have a solution to their problem.

Build a relationship

Communication is key to any good relationship. Fortunately, today’s technology provides us with many ways to communicate with customers. Listen to your customer. Let them know you care and build a lasting relationship that will keep them loyal to your brand.

Respond to their questions or concerns quickly

Customers hate waiting. Make sure that a customer’s questions or concerns are addressed as soon as possible. Improve your efficiency and response time to customers by syncing your customer data. This will allow you to access all your customer data in one place. Commercient SYNC can help you achieve this by integrating your ERP and CRM systems with important data such as customer information, inventory, terms, invoicing, and more. Giving a customer immediate attention will increase their level of satisfaction, and is a sure way to impress them.

Exceed their expectations

Know your customers’ expectations, and develop a plan to go above and beyond to deliver more than what is expected. A happy customer will not only bring repeat business, but they will also reinforce your brand to others.

Keep your promises!

Do not make unrealistic promises. Promise less and deliver more, and deliver on time without compromising on quality. Failing to keep promises to a customer could have negative ramifications on your business.

Remember, a dissatisfied customer is left vulnerable to competitors, and will most likely jump ship. A satisfied customer means repeat business. Remember these five steps to help make the right impression with a first time customer.

If you’d like to learn more about Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, contact us today!

We’re sure you want to save your small business money. Who doesn’t? Of course, there are many ways you can save, but we have three quick tips that will help you start saving your small business money today.

Encourage Referrals and Word-of-Mouth Marketing

To promote your brand and establish an identity, you don’t need to spend countless hours and tons of money on advertising for your small business. We’ve found that there is nothing more effective than word-of-mouth marketing. With referrals, you can avoid leveraging various and expensive types of advertising that cost you an arm and a leg, and focus on more important matters like making sure your customers are happy. Because each satisfied customer can lead dozens of new ones coming your way.

The technology research firm Gigaom Research found in 2014 that while only 39% of marketers regularly used referral marketing, 43% of those who did use it regularly acquired more than 35% of new customers with it. So, not only will you save money by encouraging word-of-mouth marketing and referrals, but you’ll also be able to acquire more customers for your small business.

At Commercient, we welcome referrals, and if you have anyone you know who would benefit from using our SYNC or IoT Pulse Apps, you can submit your lead today.

Go Virtual

Another way you can save your small business money is by going virtual. For instance, your business may not need to fill some positions on a full-time basis, so you can hire independent contractors to reduce your company’s expenses. With independent contractors, you can reduce the costs related to computers, phones, electricity, heating and air conditioning, and all the other necessities that you may need to keep your office operating. They can work from home, or part-time at the office.

In addition, with independent contractors, you aren’t responsible for paying payroll taxes or providing benefits such as a retirement match or health insurance. Going this route can also mean you are able to work with more experienced professionals for a lower rate. According to a report from Global Workplace Analytics, employers can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year

Use Cloud-Based Software

Not only can you save your small business money encouraging referrals and leveraging a remote workforce, but you can also save by using cloud-based services and solutions. Cloud-based services can help you save capital in many areas, including power and cooling costs, server maintenance, and software licensing and upgrade expenses. Google, Microsoft, Apple, and many others offer cloud services such as email, document and spreadsheet creation, and much more.

With cloud-based solutions, instead of spending money on a set of licenses that could go unused, you can simply subscribe to software and services for a low monthly fee which can help you stretch your small business’ budget further.

All of our customers are able to subscribe to and leverage our powerful SYNC and IoT Pulse Apps, which can help their small businesses, for an affordable price on a monthly basis, allowing them to enjoy the many benefits. You can see all our affordable prices on our pricing page, and start saving today.

We are now living in the age of the customer, and in this post we’ll uncover some surprising facts you probably didn’t know about customer service.

Fact #1: News of a bad customer experience spreads more rapidly than news of a good one.

According to a 2011 American Express Survey, “Americans tell an average of 9 people about good experiences, and tell 16 people about poor experiences.” That’s nearly double. The good news is you can avoid this when you leverage any of Commercient’s apps, including our SYNC and IoT Pulse integration apps. Your staff will be able to access customers’ info in real time and customers won’t have to wait hours or days to receive the answers they need.

Fact #2: Loyal customers are more profitable than new ones.

According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, as reported by Help Scout, “on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.” Additionally, Marketing Metrics found that the probability of converting a new prospect is 5% to 20%, while the probability of selling to existing customers is 60% to 70%. This is why it is so important to constantly engage your existing customers, as they can help you bring in new business through word-of-mouth and referrals. So, the more your existing customers are satisfied, the more inclined they will be to tell other people about those experiences.

Fact #3: Customers are willing to spend more money for superior customer experiences.

According to the American Express Survey, 70% of Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. When you show your customers that you value them, they naturally feel appreciated and come to have a stronger emotional connection to your business. As a result, they will pay more for your products and services.

Here at Commercient, customer satisfaction is our #1 priority, and we value each and every one of our customers. So, we make sure that our reps are always ready to connect you with a skilled expert to answer any question may have regarding SYNC, IoT Pulse, Sync2Pay, or any of our other services or products. We’re only a phone call, chat, or email away.

Fact #4: More and more customers like using live chat.

According to a Forrester survey, the percentage of customers who have used live chat for customer service has grown from 38% in 2009, to 58% in 2014, and it’s continuing to rise. Additionally, a study called “Making Proactive Chat Work” found that “Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” So if you don’t have a live chat option on your website, you should consider investing in it. At Commercient, we encourage all our customers to use our live chat option, because it’s convenient for them, increases sales, and give us an edge of our competition.