Keeping your customers happy and creating customer loyalty is one of the most important facets of any business, and inventory stock management is critical to that customer satisfaction in many ways. Obtaining and retaining your customers trust is a must if you want to keep them happy. It’s common knowledge that getting a current customer to buy again is much cheaper and easier than attempting to acquire new customers. So if your existing customers are not happy with your service, they will be reluctant to buy again. Word of mouth can enhance your reputation and sales but can just as easily become detrimental if that customer becomes unsatisfied. A great customer relation management (CRM) system, inventory stock system and shipping platform are essential for keeping your customers happy and a recipe for repeat custom.
Picking, Packing and Shipping
Picking, packing and shipping also known as fulfilment time is a significant component of customer satisfaction. In the online retail industry, current customer expectations dictate that orders should go out the same day or at the very least the next day. Every time a customer receives an email within the first few hours of purchase indicating that their item has been shipped increases customer confidence in the seller. An inventory stock management system enhances the order to fulfilment time, that is where picking lists ensure that items are picked faster, quality control ensures that the right items are being sent to the customer and a great shipping platform enables the best and correct carrier as well as ensures the best shipping methods are being used.
Out of Stock
A primary function of any good inventory stock management system is to ensure that the quantities on your marketplaces reflect the true available quantities in your warehouse, which, goes a long way toward eliminating out of stocks. A major disadvantage over out of stock items is that it decreases the customers trust and confidence in your business. There are sales opportunities missed as those customers are likely to go to the competitors as well. If your business is online, negative feedback is available to future customers and also is detrimental to your search result rankings when people type in key product features that align with your business. This then has a flow on effect of reduced sales and inherently affects your businesses bottom line.
Inventory Stock Management System
Great inventory stock management systems can tell your business how long you are holding inventory for instead of selling it. They are also able to show your business if your selling out of season items because you bought too much. In addition, your business can know what product categories have the highest average margins. These are important variables that sellers need to be able to be able to pinpoint as it can be utilised to make better informed business decisions. The right reporting and data can help lower overall costs, which allows you to keep your product prices down, and that makes your customers happy. Advanced reporting like this can also allow you to see trends and make better purchasing decisions, which ultimately benefits your customer as well.
The way in which your business executes its operations that are hidden to the general customer directly affects the customer in terms of satisfaction. Inventory stock management in the e-commerce sphere is also much closer to customer interaction than traditional inventory systems have been in the past. In e-commerce what we are seeing is that everyone in the world needs to be able to know what you have in stock. The idea is that you can share inventory across all of your channels. The ability to reflect quantities across your channels according to what is actually happening in your warehouse is essential to customer service and satisfaction. An e-commerce inventory and warehouse management system can help keep your customers happy by improving how your back end operations serve your customers.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.