How to improve customer service for your wholesale business
Good customer service makes a wholesale business thrive. If you’re worried about your sales taking a dip, then it’s time to re-evaluate customer service within your business. Your customers have a variety of wholesalers at their fingertips, so you need to let them know why your business should be their number one choice.
These days, convenience is a priority for customers. Providing efficient customer service helps your business stand head and shoulders above the competition. So, how is it done? In this post, we’ll explain the key steps to improve customer service for your wholesale business, from streamlining inventory management to predicting customer needs.
Keep the process simple
Simplicity is key for wholesale businesses. Your customers will be busy managing their company, department or workload. Ordering from your business needs to be as easy. But what does that entail? In terms of an online business, it usually means offering multiple payment options, optimising your website for mobile devices and providing customer support, such as a chatbot.
Meanwhile, many customers will still want to order, ask questions and raise issues over the phone. That’s where your customer service team comes in. They’ll need to be clear and concise in their communication. Whilst your team will understand the ins and outs of your business, most customers won’t. Customer service representatives should aim to cut out the jargon and explain any technical terms, where necessary. To cater to your customers’ requirements, they also need to have access to certain information...
Easy access to customer information
Customer service teams need to have accurate customer information to hand. But what happens when that information is stored in multiple places? This can be a major setback for team members who are interacting with customers or processing their orders. They may need to speak with multiple departments before they can find all the necessary information.
For example, when a customer calls for an update about their order, the customer service representative may be missing vital information. To learn about the customer’s order history, they’d need to go through to the sales team, and to uncover any outstanding debts, they’d have to speak with the accounts department first. This all zaps away vital time which could be spent resolving the customer’s query quickly and efficiently.
By using an ERP like Profit4, your customer service team will instantly have access to customer information, all in a single location. This includes outstanding orders, detailed sales history data, and overdue payments. With this, customer service teams can raise issues with customers on the spot without having to contact other departments.
Anticipate customer needs
The best customer service representatives know what customers need even before they do. Don’t wait for customers to mention a product they haven’t ordered in a while or an outstanding payment they need to make. The more proactive your team is, the better the outcome.
But first they’ll need a good understanding of the customer’s purchasing history. With Profit4’s CRM, you can examine detailed reports of customer leakage. This shows whether sales from a regular customer have gone up or down, and by what amount. This is vital information that is not always easy to access without more complex reporting tools.
It’s also possible to “drill down” into the information to find the leakage levels for individual products. For example, even a customer who has placed more orders overall may have ordered significantly less of one particular product. Being aware of this means that customer representatives can gently ask customers about the change in their purchasing habits – potentially boosting sales even further.
Streamline your inventory management
If your customer service team isn’t fully aware of your inventory, customers could order items that are no longer in stock. That can spell disaster. For many customers, there’s nothing worse than receiving orders late, having them delayed – or not receiving them at all. Unhappy customers can directly affect the reputation of your business. With online reviews, negative feedback can soon spread.
Having a clear grasp of your inventory can prevent delays and stockouts. Profit4 can provide detailed reports, so you can see which items are selling fast and which are sitting in your warehouse as deadstock. By utilising these features in your ERP, you’ll also avoid anxiety about stockouts. If a customer calls to place an order, there are options for direct delivery and back-to-back delivery. These options allow your customer service team to take orders for items which are low in stock or out of stock, whilst also preventing your warehouse from becoming overstocked. When multiple low-stock products need to be ordered, you can also create a shortages list.
Integrate departments seamlessly
For wholesale businesses, time is money. If customers are having to wait for your customer service team to speak with other departments, chances are they’ll look elsewhere to buy their supplies. Ensuring that all departments in your organisation interact seamlessly can make a huge impact.
Along with accessing customer information, this also applies to purchasing and inventory management. For example, a shortages list is essentially a shopping list for low stock or out-of-stock items that can be accessed by multiple departments. Setting up a shortages list can ensure you always keep your products in stock and meet your suppliers’ minimum order amounts.
For example, a customer service representative might receive a number of orders for a particular item. By checking information about the item, they might discover that it is nearly out of stock. At this point, they would add the item to the shortages list. There may also be shortages added by the sales, warehouse or trade teams. The purchasing department will also have access to the list to process any orders. This means that there’s no need for the other departments to consult with the purchasing team before adding an item to the list.
Build customer trust with Profit4
Good customer service gives customers a great experience of your business. In turn, that builds their trust in your brand. To do that, you need dynamic customer service software that places the most important details at your team’s fingertips.
Profit4 is a Cloud ERP software specifically designed for wholesalers, covering everything from inventory management to customer service management within one system. Whether you want to build customer relationships or regain control of your stock, Profit4 is a fully integrated system that brings together all aspects of your business. Effective customer service and streamlined delivery processes means an improved customer experience all round – saving you time and money.
If you’d like to see how Profit4’s features work, why not book a free demo today?