ERP Insights >> Magazine  >> March - 2021 issue

Evolving Customer Relationship Management: Move Fast Or Die Trying

Author : Ed Ariel, Vice President of Service Operations, ezCater
Friday, February 12, 2021

Ed Ariel, Vice President of Service Operations, ezCater

In today’s environment, one where customer expectations continue to rise and a single negative experience could undo a business relationship years in the making, there is an ever-increasing focus on instituting new processes and implementing the latest technology to keep up. Companies are integrating new tools and processes as quickly as possible, with the goal of shaving seconds from chats, calls, or emails. Corners are being cut for the sake of speed with the justification being that if you stop moving, you will die. But is moving too fast worth the risk?

“Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” - Hunter S. Thompson

While history is riddled with iconic companies that never evolved and ultimately failed, the most successful have made thoughtful developments over time. It’s not easy to balance moving fast with making well informed changes, especially when it impacts customer experience. Minimize risk by evaluating change through a customer-first lense, and keep these three questions in mind:

“Companies need to balance where they invest resources: adding new customers versus improving customer satisfaction”

1. Does the change meet the needs of both new and existing customers?
Companies need to balance where they invest resources: adding new customers versus improving customer satisfaction. Should you improve a process in Customer Service that will remove issues for 10% of your existing customers, or do you dedicate those resources to adding more customers? It’s a tough balance, but in today’s environment - one where customers are increasingly focused on service - you could lose your existing customer base to better service elsewhere if you solely focus on new customer acquisition.

2. Will the new tool or process scale with your organization?
No matter how many developers your growing company has, you’ll need more of them. The last thing you want to do is waste any valuable development time by implementing a tool that will need to be replaced again in 18 months. ezCater is a rapidly-growing company, and we recognize we could look very different in three years. So, if we develop or buy tools that need to be replaced in less than 36 months, we have done our customers (and ourselves) a disservice. If you are thinking of making a change to your organization, consider a minimum timeline of 36 months. What will your company look like then?

3. What do employees think?
When a need for a new tool or process has been determined, there is a tendency to rush off and solve the problem. However, valuable time can be saved in the long run if you gather feedback early and often. Before, during, and after implementation, ask users what they need from a new process or technology. Again, resources can be scarce. Making an internal process change, then training and reporting on that change will take time. Getting it right the first time can save a lot of time and money.

Change is good, but only when made thoughtfully. Ask yourself these three questions before evolving your customer relationship management process to help improve or maintain a fantastic customer experience. Your customers, employees, and shareholders will thank you for it.