How asset tracking can improve your customer experience

December 12, 2019

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Imagine yourself as the customer in each of these three scenarios:

Scenario 1

You need to buy a particular product from a store yet they’ve run out of floor stock. The store says they can process your order but at the moment they’re not sure if they have the product in the warehouse and they need to send someone to check. They’ll let you know. They ask the warehouse manager who conducted a manual stocktake last week and his records show there’s one item in stock. After a lengthy wait, the store comes back to you and they were unable to find the item in the warehouse after all. It looks like someone didn’t update the stock records correctly. They offer a choice of waiting 3 weeks for the new shipment or providing refund and their apology.

Scenario 2

You order a product online and are told that it will take 2-4 weeks to arrive. After 4.5 weeks you call the company and they can’t locate your product. There might have been a delay in the shipment they’ve received, and unfortunately they’re not sure how long it will be yet….

Scenario 3

You’ve hired a construction company and they were meant to arrive at 6:30am. It’s currently 7:15 and they’re not on site yet. You phone the contact and you’re told that they were expecting a forklift to be returned yesterday from a finished job but they’re not sure where it is and they’re currently looking for it. They should be on site soon….

Effective asset tracking ensures you always know where your assets are – regardless of what they are. This means you can identify any loss or delays in advance and act accordingly so you’re providing transparency to the customer and a better experience in general.

However, a remarkable majority of businesses polled in the Telsyte Track and Monitor Survey 2019 said they either don’t track their assets at all or use a manual process to do so. The ripple effect from this undoubtedly touches customer service, in a number of ways.

The bottom line is that if your company doesn’t know where, in what condition, or how best to utilise its assets, it won’t be as successful as it could be.

Improve Efficiency

Proper asset tracking helps to ensure that your assets can be distributed in a timely fashion, and that all information regarding your assets is visible to you at all times. Issues of asset loss can be addressed quickly, and your asset management processes can be modified as new data is received.

If you can guarantee that the assets your employees use on a daily basis are operational and available, you are also reducing the risk that your customers will have to wait for information or for the products you sell or produce.

As it currently stands for many businesses, asset tracking is a long, arduous task that often results in data compromised by errors. If the errors are picked up, it takes even more time to fix them. Making mistakes in spreadsheets and similar manual tracking solutions is just human nature, yet as businesses continue to rely solely on manual asset tracking – they are sacrificing employee time and data integrity which in turn leaves them susceptible to providing a poor customer experience when their records happen to be wrong.

Increase Customer Trust

By showing customers that you know how to manage what you own (equipment, vehicles, tools, etc.), you exhibit competence. A company that effectively tracks and manages their own assets creates a positive working relationship between the company and its customers.

With an effective asset tracking solution, you’re able to reduce billing mistakes, to send out invoices in a timely manner, and eliminate costly administrative errors. It also ensures you don’t spend time chasing mistakes or dealing with concerned or irate customers.

Often, businesses feel they can skimp on asset tracking for the sole reason that this aspect of the business isn’t visible to customers. What they can’t see, they can’t judge!

However, the truth is, issues with your asset tracking can seep into the customer facing arena, affecting the way you conduct business and damaging your brand or reputation with customers and clients.

Enhance Administrative Services

If you’re able to track your assets effectively, you can in turn provide customers with their own relevant information – including asset borrowing or purchasing history. This doesn’t just make it easier for your customers, it also reduces your own administrative burden and allows you to repurpose your employees to get more out of them.

The worst customer service experiences occur when the people involved in the business having no idea how to fix a customer’s issue. A deficiency of information, data, etc can result in an unpleasant and franking unsatisfying experience for the customer, who just wants to know when their product is arriving, or how they can receive a refund.

Your business may also suffer in ways you didn’t expect when your administrative services are lacking. Customers can, knowingly or not, take advantage of your loopholes and missteps, which ends up costing you can comprising your bottom line.

The Takeaway

There is nothing more infuriating for employees than expecting to have the tools they need to do their job at their disposal, only to find that something critical has gone missing. Without adequate asset tracking, companies can fall behind on the tasks that make their business runs—and thus compromise their relationship with the customers who make their company viable.

At the end of the day, happy customers lead to repeat business, and bad customer service leads to a customer leaving (and possibly bad mouthing your business and costing you further customers).

However, proper asset tracking doesn’t just help your customer service—it also makes your business run more effectively and make decisions based on accurate information.

Asset tracking is easy to implement if you have the right technology. The influx of IoT solutions is making it simpler (and more affordable) than ever.