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Archive for July, 2015

Post-Sale Service: Strengthening Customer Engagement After the Sale is Made

July 16th, 2015 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

Post-Sale Service: Strengthening Customer Engagement After the Sale is Made

Congratulations! Thanks to your hard work, you closed the sale and have a brand-new, happy customer. But don’t pop the cork on the champagne bottle quite yet – your job isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning.

Maintaining strong customer relationships is crucial to maximizing profitability. With competition for customer wallet share growing fiercer, and the cost to acquire new customers growing higher, companies that focus on increasing customer retention rates gain a significant advantage.

Providing exemplary customer service (even immediately after a successful sale) is essential to making loyal customers.

Show Your Appreciation

This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s shocking how often companies simply ignore a customer after a sale. You know that old saying – the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s apathy. If a company signals indifference to a customer’s decision to choose them over a competitor, the customer will mirror that indifference and take their business elsewhere. Because why would a customer stick with a company that doesn’t care about them?

Expressing appreciation to a customer shows that you value them and their business. A token of appreciation doesn’t need to be big or flashy – a handwritten thank you note, a coupon, a small special offer – can go a long way toward making a customer feel special. A positive emotional experience is what binds a customer closer to a company.

Know Your Customer

Working hand-in-hand with showing your customer appreciation is actually knowing your customer. What are their likes and dislikes? What are they looking forward to? What do they need right now, and a few months down the line?

Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system is extremely valuable in keeping all of this important information in one place. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, sales reps can view all pertinent information on a customer record, such as contact details, location, and all past interactions with the company. By leveraging this information, sales reps can better understand and anticipate customer needs, and thus create more meaningful engagements.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM also enables companies to include personal details about the customer, such as relationship status, birthday/anniversary, and can also link people who are related to that particular customer. For instance, in the below example, a sales rep can see that Emilia Clark is married to Dominic Clark – if Dominic Clark is also a customer of that company, the sales rep can link his customer record to Emilia’s as well.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM also enables companies to include personal details about the customer, such as relationship status, birthday/anniversary, and can also link people who are related to that particular customer.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps sales reps see a complete view of the customer, which facilitates more targeted – and more conversion-worthy – engagement.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps sales reps see a complete view of the customer, which facilitates more targeted – and more conversion-worthy – engagement.

Encourage Feedback

To better serve your customers, you need to hear from the people who know best: your customers. As with any relationship, open communication is crucial for a mutually beneficial relationship between a customer and a company. Your customer wants to get the most value out of the time and money he gives to your company; your business wants to make him keep coming back.

Encouraging feedback, especially negative feedback, helps you better understand what works and what doesn’t. Negative feedback is particularly valuable in that it a) helps you pinpoint and correct specific issues that are causing your customer headaches, b) helps you prevent other customers from experiencing those same issues, and c) gives you another opportunity to delight your customer.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables sales reps to store all interactions with a customer on the customer record – from email, to phone, to in-person. This interaction history serves as a helpful reference point for future communication, leading sales reps to better connect with the customer’s needs.

For example, in the case of Darla Worth (screenshot below), a past issue she experienced was a delivery of poor quality paper. While that issue was resolved and she continues to be a customer, a sales rep can follow up with her on if her paper orders have still been meeting her standard of quality. This attention to detail and consideration can be the difference between Darla being a company advocate or a company antagonist.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM keeps track of all interactions between the customer and the company, providing a useful reference of any previous issues, questions, or requests.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM keeps track of all interactions between the customer and the company, providing a useful reference of any previous issues, questions, or requests.

Investment in Customer Relationships Pays Dividends

The bottom line for any customer service initiative is the fact that if you invest in the customer, then the customer will invest in you. By putting in the effort to genuinely connect with your customers and make them happy, you can benefit from a long-term revenue stream.

If you have any questions on how a CRM system can help you more effectively strengthen customer relationships, please email CRM@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Personalization with Microsoft Dynamics AX: Five Ways to Streamline Your User Interface

July 7th, 2015 Brianne Schaer No comments

We personalize everything: from screensavers to ringtones to the apps in our cell phones. So why not make sure that each user’s workspace within Microsoft Dynamics AX is personalized too?

Microsoft Dynamics AX’s standard display can only take you so far. If you haven’t added some homey touches to make your workspace your own, then it’s time for some housekeeping. By personalizing form views in Microsoft Dynamics AX, end users can expect to speed data entry by minimizing keystrokes to enter required data. Since the entire form will be tailored specifically for each person, they can move with ease between fields because everything is familiar to them and right where they want it.

Easy to read Purchase Order List

This is an easy-to-read purchase order list. The grid is organized to show key data upfront, and in the order of importance. Column names are proportionate to the width of the information therein to maximize space. Other data can still be accessed from the fast tabs in the line details section.

Purchase Order List of Microsoft Dynamics Axs Standard Setup.

This is how a purchase order list can look with Microsoft Dynamics AX’s standard setup. Notice the wasted real estate in the grid due to long column names and unused cells. There is also key data that is hidden in the fast tabs that should be displayed at a glance, in the grid. Additionally, the column order is random and makes finding key data time consuming.

It is not difficult to personalize form views. The following five personalization tricks can transform your form view to the setup of your dreams

  1. Hide and Unhide Fields
  2. Add Fields
  3. Reorganize Column Fields
  4. Rename a Field
  5. Save and Retrieve Different Versions of the Form

1. Hide and Unhide Fields

Hiding Fields.

Right-click on the field you want to hide. Make sure you click on the grid, and not on the column header. Click hide.

Oh no—you now realize you hid the wrong field. Don’t worry, it’s easy to unhide fields.

Unhide Fields.

Simply right-click on any field (again in the grid, not the header) and hover over show. Then select the field you would like to see back on your grid.

2. Add Fields

Reorganize Column Fields: Personalization Form.

Right-click on any field in the grid and click personalize. This will open the personalization form, which reflects the form components in a tree view.

Adding Fields: Click Add Fields Button.

Click the add fields button.

Adding Fields: Select Field to Appear on Grid.

Expand the purchase order lines section, and select the field you would like to appear on the grid. The fields are in alphabetical order. Click add.

Adding Fields: Tree View

Added fields appear in the tree view, with a green plus sign to the left to distinguish them from the standard fields. Note that after you close the personalization form, you must also close and reopen the purchase order form before personalization changes take effect.

3. Reorganize Column Fields

Adding Fields: Click Personalize.

Right-click on the field in the grid that you would like to move and click personalize. This will open the personalization form, which reflects the form components in a tree view.

Reorganize Column Fields: Drag and Drop Fields.

Make sure that the correct field is selected, and click the up button until it appears where you would like it to be in the grid. Note: you can also drag and drop fields to where you would like them. Also note that after you close the personalization form, you must also close and reopen the purchase order form before personalization changes take effect.

Reorganize Column Fields: Line Number Field.

The line number field is now the first field in the grid.

4. Rename a Field

Rename Field: Open Personalization Form

Right-click on the field in the grid that you would like to rename and click personalize. This will open the personalization form, which reflects the form components in a tree view.

Rename Field Type: Name in the Label Section Field.

Type the preferred name in the label section of the field you would like to rename. Click outside of the text box, in the personalization window. Note that after you close the personalization form, you must also close and reopen the purchase order form before personalization changes take effect.

Save and Retrieve with Other Team Members.

In the personalization form, click save to make your new setup available to other members on your team. Name the setup in the popup window and click OK. Note that you will not be able to view this saved setup on your account, since it automatically saves to your user.

Save and Retrieve: Click Retrieve from User Button.

In the personalization form, click the retrieve from user button to access another user’s saved setup. Double-click on the users name in the popup window.

Save and Retrieve: Double Click Name Organization.

Double click on the name of the configuration you would like to use. Note that after you close the personalization form, you must also close and reopen the purchase order form before personalization changes take effect.

This is just a snapshot of all of the ways you can personalize your user interface within Microsoft Dynamics AX to best suit your individual needs. For more information on Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email dynamics@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is Worldwide Microsoft Partner in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

City of Long Beach and Microsoft form a ‘Digital Alliance’

July 1st, 2015 Brianne Schaer No comments

Ignify is proud to call the city of Long Beach our home. Headquartered in downtown Long Beach since 2011, we have embraced the city’s laid-back atmosphere while still working to provide the highest level of software services to maximize efficiency and streamline business processes.

Our Microsoft Dynamics AX customer, The Port of Long Beach, supports more than 30,000 jobs in Long Beach and is recognized internationally as one of the world’s best seaports. Ignify’s partnership with the Port has led to improved operating efficiency due to automated financial processes and increased visibility into reporting and analytics.

As a Microsoft Partner with strong ties to the city of Long Beach, we would like to share the collaboration between Microsoft and the Long Beach City Council to form a Digital Alliance. The Digital Alliance program was launched in 2012 in Washington, D.C. and aims to bring increased technology access, education and training to students, residents, and small businesses.  

Check out the article below, released by the City of Long Beach.

The Long Beach City Council has agreed to collaborate with the Microsoft Corporation to bring Digital Alliance programs to the City and its residents. Partnering with local governments, Microsoft provides staff expertise and capacity building workshops designed to inspire young people as well as entrepreneurs.

“This new partnership is part of our commitment to creating a tech culture and economy in Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Microsoft is a global leader in innovation and I'm excited that they are going to leverage their expertise and talent to support workforce and economic development programs for local residents and students.”

Currently, two types of events are proposed in Long Beach: Digi Camps and a BizSpark session. Digi Camps, which offer separate sessions for girls and boys, give kids a chance to take on technology challenges through small-group work, interact with Microsoft executives, and learn more about technology-related careers. The BizSpark session will serve local entrepreneurs and demonstrate how technology can simplify everyday tasks, increase their productivity, reduce business operations costs, and grow their business.

“By combining the numerous digital and training assets of Microsoft with the Mayor and City of Long Beach’s focus on education and investing in the technology sector, we know that this relationship will empower the citizens of Long Beach to realize their full potential,” said Tori Locke, General Manager for Microsoft’s State and Local Government business. “Microsoft is excited to support the City in its efforts to create more economic development and educational resources for the businesses and youth in Long Beach.”

The City and Microsoft will determine the best dates and locations for the events. Once planned, up to 100 girls, 100 boys, and 200 local business owners will be able to participate.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is Worldwide Microsoft Partner in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.