Customer-facing employees, whether they’re working in sales, service, logistics, support, or project management, understand customers better than anyone else within an organization. And, their success is, without a doubt, contingent on the tools and equipment they have at their disposal to provide a positive customer experience. When they have what they need, they can reach their highest degree of productivity and ultimately provide the most impact to the top and bottom line.
Better Customer Experience With Enterprise Apps
Of course, an organization requires more than just customer-facing employees. Those involved in core operations are equally important and are vital for supporting those on the frontline of business. However, one of the most common organizational challenges is the gap between the processes that customer-facing employees want to execute and the actual processes created by those supporting them. When you throw into the mix that many software applications that power these processes must now be available on the entire gamut of devices, the quandary becomes even more complex.
Are customer-facing SMEs part of the equation?
Typically, business processes are derived by those in core operations, and they often dictate the overall process flow of an organization. For example, CRM-SFA is a system that is commonly deployed according to core business processes developed by IT. However, for the system to be successful at the field level, it must be configured to execute effectively for the customer-facing employees who are using it.
Often CRM-SFA is configured to a specific sales process starting from prospects to leads to opportunities, and then to closing the sale along with some core capabilities like account management and contacts management.
Field sales would also be using these systems to enter data, as a sale goes through all of these processes (Prospects -> Leads -> Opportunities), as well as retrieving data for accounts and contacts. However, the process followed by a field sales rep on a day-to-day basis could be totally different from the business process configured in the CRM-SFA.
For example, the day for a field sales rep could start with reviewing tasks that could be managed in their calendar. The reality is that not all activities for a day can be tied to a lead or an opportunity, and some of them could be purely for hunting prospects including calling or meeting various people during the course of the day. Once the plan for a day is reviewed, the field sales rep could execute it. This may entail calling or meeting people based on their availability, but not necessarily in the Prospects -> Leads -> Opportunities order.
The field sales rep could be lining up potential opportunities for next quarter or next year while at the same time paying attention to closing in the short term. In addition, they could be calling in existing customers to touch base and may need operations information such as last order status, shipment status, service tickets status, etc.) that is not available to them from the CRM. In this case, they might have to reach out to an SME to get the current status of order/delivery/services.
In addition, they may also need SME or executive presence during customer meetings. This may involve synchronizing calendars with other SMEs or their managers and booking their time to get them to meet with prospect/customers. During customer meetings, they may need additional information like pricing on a made-to-order product or inventory levels to promise a shipment that is not available to the field sales rep. And, the only thing the rep can do is ask for another meeting with the customer to come back with the requested information.
It’s very apparent that while applications deployed at the core business process level almost always have the information required by customer-facing employees, they are not always configured to execute in the same process sequence required by these employees.
Here lies the problem
The majority of customer-facing employees are being supported by large enterprise applications that were never truly designed for their needs. As a result, the applications have morphed into a data repository, but rarely do they make their day-to-day processes any easier.
To be competitive, organizations must have enterprise applications that are superior to those of their competition. enterprise apps definitely can be competitive differentiators, especially when you consider how they affect customer experience. They can have a profound effect on branding and overall customer satisfaction. This requires that real business functionality be combined with a superior user-experience in order to provide true value for those who use them.
However, organizations often simply mobile enable back-end enterprise applications, and unfortunately, this strategy usually results in low adoption levels.
There is a better solution
With the introduction of mobile devices, the frontier of business processes has expanded tremendously. Now applications can be fine-tuned to processes all the way to the boundaries of an organization. This creates a never before available, golden opportunity to catapult an organization ahead of the competition.
Customer-facing employees need to be the focus when developing the competitive tools they will be using. Not only will these tools enhance their productivity and the customer experience, they will provide more visibility to management and core operations.
Aligning a enterprise app strategy to business goals and IT strategy is critical and goes a long way in driving tangible results in user adoption, as well as company performance to derive the full value of the enterprise app store.
At appsFreedom, we have developed the Freedom Platform to provide your customer-facing employees with the right tools to optimize their processes and leverage real value out of mobility. The Freedom Platform is the only mobile platform built around this strategy where the platform lets a business analyst design and deploy frontline business processes without getting constrained by back-end applications during development : providing full and real-time collaboration capabilities during the app development cycle.
This eliminates second guessing and enables you to deploy the perfect app required by customer-facing employees to make them more productive and able to provide the best customer experience.
Sound interesting? It is! Contact us today to learn more.