Don’t underestimate the influence of Generation Y (Millennials) or Generation Z (Gen-Z) on how the top ERP systems will continue to evolve. They are changing the rules both as employees and consumers. Their preferences and actions are dramatically altering how businesses operate as well as how they use technology, and at an ever-increasing pace.
As an example, in a recent study by Twilio, it was discovered that across Asia, Europe, and the United States, 89% of customers would prefer to communicate with businesses via SMS text. … the times they are a changin.’
As a result of this growing influence, which is slowly but surely being embraced across nearly all age groups, we are seeing a tremendous uptick in requests for automation and reduction of human interaction.
Whether your talking about machine learning, internet of things, artificial intelligence, etc. ERP software is enabling business transactions with less and less human interaction. This self-service concept is becoming more mainstream for a few of reasons:
While I’ve just described the opportunity, you should also consider that opportunity is always balanced by risk:
There is a lot to be said for allowing your customers access to tools that add value. Think of how video continues to influence and educate. Part of the key to success is measuring how clients find their solutions – does it take multiple clicks on your website or is it intuitive and efficient? Algorithms and other tech tools can help, so there’s nothing wrong with embracing the do-it-yourselfers. Just keep in mind that adjusting the tech and navigation processes should be an ongoing process.
We worked with a company that created their own unique emoji to thank clients once an order was placed – and customer feedback was good. If that sounds silly, consider that phone calls are only the fifth or sixth most used function on smartphones. The point being, a customer initiating a transaction is an opportunity and one that should probably not end with that transaction, so be creative in ways that reflect your company’s culture.
Understanding your audience and the academics of customer service is as important as ever. What happened to those Nordstrom feel good legendary customer service stories I learned about in marketing class? Well, they’ve been replaced with Amazon stories of instant order, fast delivery and mobile notifications. To my knowledge, Nordstrom doesn’t sell fake stuff, so maybe Amazon ought to use some of their digital transformation wizardry to ensure the quality of their goods.
Nike recently announced that it will stop selling their brand on Amazon because of third-party sellers mucking up their reputation with fake stuff. Amazon’s super-fast delivery model is also eating into their profits. And good old Nordstrom - the people company, is financially spiraling because of the general trend (impacting many retailers) of shoppers no longer wanting to visit physical stores.
Automation should be accompanied by a well thought out overarching digital strategy that encompasses a “client first” approach. The trick is to understand that you likely have multiple audiences and find the appropriate balance of technology for your organization.