With customers no more than two clicks away from contacting the competition, breeding a strong relationship has become critical to maintaining profit-generating customer loyalty. This accessibility to all competitors in the marketplace is empowering people to examine their options, inspiring them to only do business with a company that goes the extra mile for their customers. The critical nature of service means that a customer having a poor experience can negatively impact the business in severe ways. This can be especially detrimental for small businesses, who’s success hinges on word of mouth. Inadequate customer service can lead to customer loss, a decrease in potential business partnerships, a poor reputation, a higher employee turnover, and lowered sales.

A Matter of Time

This brings us to the effect of slow service. Waiting is inherently time-consuming, often annoying customers and leading to frustration with the organization that made them wait. Millions of hours are spent waiting every year as clients fidget and twiddle their thumbs, often waiting not-so-patiently. In fact, per one estimate, some thirty-seven billion hours are spent by Americans alone, waiting for services. So, what kind of impact does waiting have on your customers?

While waits are sometimes unavoidable, for areas where they can be resolved (such as inefficiencies in the fulfillment process), every effort must be made to do so. Extensive research has been done on the impacts of waiting on customers, with most studies revealing that time is an essential aspect of your client's evaluation of the service you offer. When a customer believes that the wait has been excessive, it influences their evaluation of your entire operation, reducing the likelihood that they become returning customers. According to the Association for Consumer Research, waiting can often elicit an emotional and psychologically painful response, as it goes against our deep-rooted evolutionary desire to be productive.

A Boost of Speed From an ERP

Fortunately, your customer satisfaction levels can be increased simply by adopting an ERP. Thanks to the performance and efficiency increases offered by cloud-based ERP platforms, companies are able to streamline their operations, automate manual processes and move items down the pipeline more quickly. Through this increased efficiency your customers are likely facing shorter waits, and through shorter waits customer satisfaction levels are likely to increase.

With an ERP system in place, greater visibility is afforded to the entirety of your organization, with information presented accurately and in real-time in a digestible way, like a dashboard. Designed to draw data from a single database, ERPs provide companies with incredible improvements in speed and accuracy—especially when compared to the less rapid manual processes that many small businesses rely on. Through the compilation of all relevant data in a single system, the flow of data and operation of your organization is made easy. With the flow of information proceeding more rapidly, a business can cut hours or even days off their time allotment to non-productive administrative work, such as sales order entry or book balancing, while accelerating processes at the point of sale. With your business modernized on an ERP platform, you can stop worrying about slow turnaround time while you watch your customer reap the rewards.