Whether you are the owner of a small store in a township or the CEO of a millions of dollars worth global company, you will be fully aware that customer is the king. The value of a customer to a business can’t be stressed enough and businesses can afford to be complacent as regards their customers at their own peril.
Just as fundamental a fact as the worth of a customer to the business is the common knowledge that it is far easier to retain a customer than it is to get a new one. Building loyalty among customers towards your business needs to be incorporated into your business practice and business ethic.
With this being the scenario, majority of companies opt for assistance from SAP, the world’s third largest independent software company, when it comes to handling and managing customers. SAP has a variety of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software tools up its roster which take care of all aspects of customer management.
Customer experience is not limited only to what happens during a business transaction. It includes what a customer undergoes before, during and after the purchase. Customer experience thus formulated through the participation of customer forms the basis of the impression customer forms of a company. If the initial bargain is associated with positive vibes, there is every likelihood that the customer will return to do more business with the company.
A study by the Temkin Group found that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great experience. The study also found that companies can expect to see a whopping 70% increase in revenue within three years of investing in bettering the experience of their customers.
As vital as understanding how to retain customers is for a company to be informed what causes customers to move away towards other companies. The reverse engineering approach of studying what impacts customer churn can help a company to device effective customer retention strategies.
An integral part of the customer retention process is the efforts made by a company to understand its customers. The preferences, likes and choices of a customer help a company decide the apt sales strategy suitable to such a customer. It also makes the customer feel important by the company and builds trust and loyalty towards the company.
As is often said, a set of loyal and repeat customers are crucial if a company has to garner huge profits. Let us look at some of the SAP tools and strategies which focus on customer retention.
For all SAP users, CRM system is at the core of all customer retention strategies. These systems maintain a database of all customer information, details of past transactions and the interactions that customers have had with the business.
An ERP software system readily integrates with CRM software. Let us consider the case where a business is supplying to retailers. This sort of merger of CRM and ERP can result in facilitating of more orders through CRM while the inventory details of the deals could be handled by the ERP.
SAP users can make use of this tool which is very effective in customer retention. SAP S/4HANA is described on the SAP website as:
“SAP S/4HANA is the digital core — the nerve center — of your entire business. It consolidates internal and external elements into a single, living structure that goes beyond traditional ERP. In other words, it connects all of your processes, provides you with live information and insights, and seamlessly integrates your enterprise with the digital world at large.”
SAP claims that the implementation of S/4HANA can reduce manufacturing errors by 20%, improve order fulfillment by 25% and increase customer satisfaction by 20%.
The relationship between a business and customers needs constant monitoring and nurturing. It can be a matter of a customer continuing his relationship with a business or defecting to a new company which would mean his earlier company losing a customer of longstanding association.
SAP Ariba is a tool which is designed to strengthen the relationship between customers and a company. It is a tool which streamlines and integrates the buying process across an entire organization.
SAP Ariba is capable of integrating a vast majority of systems and can connect a business to world’s largest network of buyers and sellers, the Ariba network. While helping the businesses thus, it also provides increased efficiency and error-free transactions thus facilitating customer retention.
By analyzing the purchase patterns and commonality in the buying behavior of customers, a company can decide upon a sales strategy which would be as per the liking of the customers. This involves careful study of the database which stores this past information.
SAP Marketing Cloud can help a company in segmentation of customers based on their history of likes, preferences and choices in purchasing. It is a tool which can help customized and personalized targeting of customers.
Let us say, there is a situation where you have sent a sales proposition to a customer and have missed out on or forgotten a past purchase deal with the same customer. In other words, you are dealing with the customer in an incomplete manner and it can very likely lead to forgettable and embarrassing situations. Or, in extreme circumstances, the loss of a customer.
Such incidents can be circumvented with the help of SAP Service Cloud which helps automating, expediting and optimizing a customer’s journey and provide more personalized support.
Customer retention is a major objective of companies across the globe. And no one assists the companies achieve this goal in a better way than SAP. With a slew of products designed and developed to improve the interaction and relationship of customers and businesses, it is no wonder that SAP is a global leader in this field. So, if your concern is customer retention and bettering your business, look no further than SAP, the specialists.