The tech landscape has changed for the better in business. Places as common as grocery stores, bars, pizza parlors, online ordering warehouses, you name it—the computer is there, improving the business operations on a customer-by-customer basis. The newest technological craze on the horizon to improve the customer experience for online ordering is the use of the shipping drone. Automation efforts within warehouse shipping are pushing towards eventual shipping via individual drones that drop packages off at the doorstep of customers. Interested businesses in this cutting-edge technology are quoting waiting times of less than 30 minutes from product order to delivery!
We’re far off from seeing a full implementation of such technologies across the nation, but one aspect of a business that is never overlooked and that people cherish in any setting is customer service. The full umbrella of customer service can include customer experience, product pricing, waiting times for product delivery, and other factors, but the computer is there now to facilitate lengthy and error-prone processes that can influence the overall experience. Here are three ways technology solves problems many of us are familiar with when it comes to the umbrella of customer service.
Better Lead Times, Shorter Wait Times with Industrial PCs
Lead time can be considered a part of customer service, or perhaps “a service to the customer” since it’s a factor in the overall experience. It’s not the most interesting of business-related topics, but it’s one of the most desired metrics to shrink for both businesses and customers. Simply put, if a customer waits too long for delivery of an item, it’s not likely they’ll purchase from the same outlet. It’s an aspect of customer service in the whole of the corporation that is always a pain point for customers. Who likes to wait?
Lead times have been decreasing with the use of the industrial PC. Industrial computers running ERP software can track and monitor inventory levels. They can be used to predict seasonal shifts in order volume. A manufacturer can even use an HMI panel to monitor performance and maintenance schedules of individual equipment, reducing and eliminating stoppages in production. All of which adds up to short lead times. The shorter the lead time the more likely that first time customer will become a long term client.
I Didn’t Order This…
As soon as an order has been received there is a process in place to get that order to the customer as quickly as possible. An itemized invoice is printed that is handed off to a picker, who then goes through the warehouse to find the items. They are double checked, prepared for shipping and sent. But in that paper process, mistakes happen. Humans are only human after all. Send the wrong item to a customer not only adds up in costly returns at your expense, but could also lead to lost business.
Industrial tablets can help to automate this process and improve accuracy. Invoices can be stored on the tablet. With SKUs assigned to barcodes, a picker can use a tablet’s integrated barcode scanner to check items before pulling them from inventory. You can even assign different barcodes based on clothing sizes or item colors to ensure accuracy. Pick lists can even be sorted based on the most efficient path through the warehouse, meaning more orders can be processed in the same amount of time using the same amount of resources. Again, automating processes leads to more accurate orders and faster processing times, which lead to happier customers.
The Dreaded Phone Calls
Even with automation, mistakes will happen. No business is 100% perfect. When mistakes happen, customers will call in. Even in an automated shipping warehouse there needs to be the human touch to fill in the gaps sophisticated tech might leave behind. However, it’s best to be prepared with the right kind of computer to identify what went wrong in order processing.
If a company’s employees use all in one computers for their customer service department, there’s a vast set of advantages. First, these computers are manufactured with space-saving designs in mind so even in small offices where the majority of space is reserved for products, IT departments won’t need to go to the extensive trouble of planning how all computer stations might be configured. Second, they’re perfect for recording conference and customer calls for the best customer service experiences. Paired with telecommunications software, every call can be screened, addressed, and filed away for case study purposes. Finally, any customer service rep can use the computer to see where an order is in the full spectrum of the process, from order to customer satisfaction on delivery. These all in one computers have nifty touchscreen capabilities too, so it’ll add to the overall productivity of a customer service office. Plus, with their enclosed designs and higher-grade components, they’ll last a lot longer than the average computer.
They say that a customer who has had a bad experience is likely to tell 10 people about it, whereas a customer who has had a good experience is only likely to tell one or two people. Those aren’t the kind of odds worth testing. For more information on how to automate your processes you can contact us here.