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  • Long-Term Customer Satisfaction Trumps Short-Term Cost Savings

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    Long-Term Customer Satisfaction Trumps Short-Term Cost Savings

    Satisfying your customers is a very important way of defending your company’s bottom line over the long term. A loyal customer is a steady source of revenue. But sometimes this long-term benefit can be difficult to prioritize when pitted against opportunities to cut costs in the short term. And yet, many companies are now prioritizing in precisely this way, valuing long-term plans to retain loyal customers over short-term savings.

    A Changing Business Philosophy

    This focus on the customer is made clear by the results of a recent Gartner survey of customer relationship management (CRM) programmes across Europe.1 Whereas in previous years respondents had listed boosting revenue/generating growth among their top three priorities, this year, the primary objectives cited by survey respondents are all decidedly customer-centric:

    1. Increase customer satisfaction (ranked #1 for four consecutive years)
    2. Increase customer engagement (new category, not previously an option in prior surveys)
    3. Create a single, holistic view of the customer (supplants revenue/growth as #3 objective)

    Clearly, the agenda — even in a time of economic uncertainty — is focussed on investing in the customer. As for how this investment impacts strategies for short-term savings, Gartner emphasized:

    “Cost cutting might be unavoidable in some circumstances, but any action that has a negative impact on the customer experience can have serious long-term implications on corporate performance and should be carefully considered.”

    Of course, we all know that the bottom line has not utterly disappeared from the agenda. Managing spending and seeking out ways to improve efficiency will always be valid and important company concerns. All the same, it’s clear that a remarkable shift is taking place. Customers now have almost unlimited access to information and an overall sense of connection and immediacy that is very empowering. And it is this power that companies have learned to respect — by making customer satisfaction an inviolable goal.

    But how do they plan to achieve it?

    The Roots of Customer Experience

    The Roots of Customer Experience

    When it comes to developing a strategy for customer satisfaction, there’s no better resource than customers themselves. So what do they say they want from companies today? I recently came across an Oracle survey of 1,400 online shoppers in Europe who had interacted with a customer services department at some point in the previous year,[2] in which customers listed the following as their top four wishes:

    • They want their issues resolved in a single conversation (84%)
    • They want their emails answered within 24 hours (58%)
    • They don’t want to provide information or explanations more than once (58%)
    • They want customer service agents to have access to purchase history and information (57%).

    Email responses rank pretty highly, but people still like to have their issues resolved by talking to other people. So the workers you have staffing the contact centre need to be well trained and fully equipped with the information and tools that enable them to deliver the kind of service customers are saying they want. Equipping your workers in this way requires optimizing business processes and removing obstacles to the flow of information. Customers’ most emphatic desire is to resolve issues in a single conversation — and this is only possible if the people they’re speaking to have instant and easy access to all the information necessary.

    Ricoh commissioned a global customer service study by Forrester that found that more than one in four managers cited poor information access as a “major” barrier to effective customer service. A similar percentage specifically identified poor document services support as something holding back their efforts. Based on this research, Ricoh encourages a focus on:

    A Changing Business Philosophy

    • Adopting and implementing technology and processes that free up time for customer-facing workers
    • Stressing processes that improve worker agility — such as their access to guidance and ability to start new case processes — which enables them to handle complex customer issues with speed
    • And, finally, streamlining document processes, which helps create a smooth, consistent path for information between diverse customer touchpoints and the back office.

    Without that kind of cohesion and fluidity, you can’t develop the “single, holistic” view of the customer that companies are committing to obtaining.

    Final Thoughts

    The quality of customer experience can directly affect company performance. And with customers growing ever more demanding and enabled, companies are stepping up their commitment to customer satisfaction. Following through on that commitment requires empowering the people who serve your customers, and this is where a third party can help: mobilizing valuable business information from capture through transformation and management, so that customers have their needs met in the moment — and trust your company to take care of them in the future.

    1 Gartner, “Gartner Says European CR Budgets Remain Strong Despite Economic Uncertainty,” March 2014.

    2 Oracle, “Why Customer ‘Satisfaction’ Is No Longer Good Enough,” 2012.

    Source: Ricoh 

  • 2014 Awards_toshiba.001

    Toshiba Named “Best-in-Class Manufacturer” in Annual Dealer Survey Awards

    Toshiba America Business Solutions today announces it has been recognized as the “Best-in-Class” multifunction product (MFP) manufacturer in the 29th Annual Dealer Survey Awards conducted and presented by THE CANNATA REPORT, a leading domestic and international management media resource for the office products and workflow solutions industry. Toshiba receives this honor for providing exceptional levels of service […]

  • RICOH NAMED MFP MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

    THE CANNATA REPORT will honor Ricoh at annual awards dinner; results based on responses to CANNATA’s 29th Annual Dealer Survey   Malvern, PA, September 22, 2014 - Ricoh Americas Corporation today announced it has been named for the second consecutive year the “MFP Manufacturer of the Year” by THE CANNATA REPORT, published by Marketing Research Consultants […]

  • 9 Tablet Deployment Tips Your Business Needs to Consider

      How can your business enjoy the benefits of mobility without breaking everything in the process? Tablets have become the de facto endpoint device for many enterprise workers. WorkIntelligent.ly has written in the past about which ones are best for various business purposes, while the latest details of an IBM/Apple partnershippoint toward them becoming even more enterprise-ready. Even Apple’s upcoming iOS […]

  • Lexmark’s AccuRead OCR takes the errors out of unstructured content

    Click here to see video The AccuRead OCR application creates a searchable PDF or an editable file when scanning printed documents at the multifunction printer (MFP). Today, businesses of all sizes struggle to create searchable data and editable content from unstructured source materials, like invoices, contracts and job applications. Many resort to inefficient and error-prone […]

  • Ricoh Interactive Whiteboard D5500

    In a new world of work, it can be difficult to write comments on whiteboards during meetings and often times, another device is needed to project images. With the Ricoh Interactive Whiteboard D5500, you can innovate workflows with its advanced digital technologies and enable more effective inter-communication. Contact IMAGETEC for more information!

  • Hospitals lose $8.3 billion using old technology

    By Byron Acohido, USA Today SEATTLE — U.S. physicians and hospitals are in the digital dark ages when it comes to using the latest mobile devices and Internet services to deliver patient care. As a result, U.S. hospitals are absorbing an estimated $8.3 billion annual hit in lost productivity and increased patient discharge times, according […]

  • Fill positions faster by streamlining the hiring process.

    Gather all types of applicant information automatically With Lexmark’s recruitment workflow solutions, you can boost your productivity dramatically in several ways. For instance, you can automatically capture all applicant materials sent to you as hard copies, faxes and emails. Link captured materials to applicant records in Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), such as Lawson or […]

  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) Solution for Special Education

    Click here if video does not appear When a child is struggling with schoolwork, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may be recommended. Each IEP team includes the student, the IEP Case Manager or counselor, one or more parents, the home room teacher, special education teacher—and, when appropriate, a speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist, as well […]