How often do you get a call from a client looking for some information, or backup related to their scale certificates? Chances are if they are calling you, it means they are being inspected, audited or are in the midst of compiling some regulatory paperwork. Like most scale dealers, you have probably developed a system to retrieve and send certificates to customers. Does your system include giving customers access to their certificates online 24/7? In the age of information, more and more customers are beginning to expect this service.
What would this approach tell your customers about your business?
Certificates are the go-to documents in our industry. For anyone involved in commercial trade, certificates need to be complete as well as accessible. While it is ultimately the customer who is on the hook to ensure that their certificates are available for inspection, we all have customers that may not be as diligent as they could be where managing these documents is concerned. A critical value proposition for scale dealers is that you can be your customers’ added peace of mind by managing this part of the business for them.
Either way, the data contained in your client’s certificate is important to your business – as it dictates the next visit your technicians need to make in order to recertify or service the scale. The bottom line is that if the customer cannot find the certificate, you are their first (and often slightly panicked) phone call.
Perhaps you keep an Excel® spreadsheet that has all of the critical information they need, as well as a link to your server or computer where a copy of the actual certificate is held. Hold that thought. Why do they need to call you at all? In the age of information consumers have come to expect that this information, their information – should be accessible without having to make a phone call. It should be available online. Very few people call their bank to find out their account balance. Most credit cards, mobile phone services and cable providers allow customers to access their data online. Not only is the phone call becoming anachronistic, it also costs you money. Employees are expensive, and customer self-service can free up some of their time to be spent on more productive activities. Being a data retrieval system is not one of them.
Although it’s fair to say that your company is smaller than a bank or a phone company, small does not mean customers should expect less. In many cases, smaller is understood to mean better customer service – and these days better does not mean a phone call. When it comes to information, it needs to be online and available 24/7.
Going online with your customer data will propel your company into a higher level of service for your customers. There is more to it than just making this information accessible; it shows customers that your business has systems and processes in place that are sophisticated. This perception gives the customer confidence that you are the right service partner.
Most dealers believe that going online has two drawbacks: data security and cost. Both of these are valid concerns, especially if you are trying to do this yourself. Miracle Service and CRS alleviate both of these issues. Our systems provide customers with easy access their data online. We’ve helped thousands of service companies in over 50 countries worldwide automate their service operations and gain a competitive edge.