Bringing Order to the Customer Journey

November 29, 2022

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...

With apologies to Julie Andrews, this line from “The Sound of Music” is apropos when it comes to establishing and maintaining human experience (HX) throughout the customer journey.

Strengthening Customer Relationships

Much HX attention is appropriately focused on post-sale support activities, where customer problems and solutions are the most obvious, and where a poor experience for customer or employee can be most damaging to a company or brand. But upon closer consideration, it’s obvious that that the customer relationship usually begins before the sale. Often the customer engagement includes research on the product or service features, evaluating reviews from other customers, and even taking a test drive. But in every case, the order process is where they officially become a customer, so a robust customer and employee experience should be a priority from the beginning of the relationship.

Completing the order

Order management is a key component to the customer journey. It’s important to consider the varied processes and tasks throughout the product and service lifecycle. Following the initial order, sale, fulfillment, and shipping, come the company’s own orders from their suppliers. These orders must be aligned to customer demand, forecasts, and inventory. All of which can be impacted by the following changes; new product releases/discontinuations, seasonality, competition, and lastly, other market conditions.

Order management processes are central to customer returns, exchanges, warranty, and support requests. Efficiency and customer satisfaction must be balanced with fraud avoidance using processes. This will maximize their employees’ success at resolving customer issues the first time in the most cost-effective manner.

At the end of the product lifecycle, effective order management processes can help drive repurchase and renewals. They also enable retirement of end-of-life (EOL) products as part of the ever-important circular economy.

Order of magnitude process improvements

For many companies, a wealth of data is provided by customers during orders (and often captured from orders to their own suppliers, partners, and vendors) but is largely unused. The ActioHX approach to Order Management starts with an evaluation of current processes and tools to identify process refinement opportunities which will automate common repetitive tasks, resulting in improved accuracy, consistency, and scale.

Subject matter experts (SMEs) document as-is process to detail the activities, data sets, and tools in the company’s current order management scenario. Using advanced AI and machine learning engines, we discover hidden insights that may be limiting order management effectiveness and provide recommendations for addressing them. Automation options apply company business rules and consolidate information from various systems into a user-friendly UI. Doing so will eliminate the time-consuming swivel-seat between tools, ensuring timely allocation of order priority to meet service level agreements (SLAs). It will also expedite exception handling by classifying issues and routing them to the most appropriate individual or team.

ActioHX Order Management will improve a company’s ability to offer value-add upsell options, renewals, and repurchases. It will also enable valid substitutions when inventory may be low, or when faulty products or components are being replaced as part of a support event. Intelligence can be generated from return processes when initiated by the customer and when the return is required as part of the order (e.g., an automotive part with a core charge, or a warranty replacement such as a computer hard drive).

Finally, the Order Management solution provides robust order reporting, metrics, and KPIs, delivered in real time, along with ongoing actionable insights into trends and issues. These could include feedback on the product or service, sales and returns, logistics, and profitability, providing each level of company management the information required to make timely business decisions.

Order without the IT chaos

A major impediment for many companies to deploy an order management solution is the complexity of packaged software solutions and dependency on their IT team to install, configure, and maintain it. The ActioHX Order Management solution avoids the IT burden with a nimble cloud-based implementation that can leverage existing APIs or create custom connectors to existing tools and data sources. Our solution can also ingest from data spreadsheets or other documents if that is part of your process. Our web-based UI enables your team, or ours, to easily monitor and manage the order process, and to receive real-time reporting and alerts. Additionally, we provide ongoing insights and recommendations for further refining your processes.

Moving forward in an orderly manner

Along with helping provide a solid business intelligence foundation established around the customer journey—including order management—ActioHX helps companies improve the human experience with a variety of other capabilities, including:

ActioHX is ready to help your company optimize human experience for your customers and employees. Contact us today

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