Blogs & Articles

Order Entry and Order Processing

If you are running your supply chain on an enterprise level software or a SAAS platform, you will need to have processes for entering order information into these systems While you can create web and mobile application for your customer orders to be taken & such orders can be transported into your enterprise order management system, there are several other orders that need manual intervention Orders received on phone. Orders received by email. Orders received by fax. Orders given to the sales team. All these orders need to be entered into your SAP or other systems In addition, to data entry the following tasks need to be performed: Validation of orders Clarifications on orders where not legible. Modification of orders where ordered products are out of stock Cancellation of orders Tracking of order status Handling inbound enquiries Post order customer contact to access services quality A professional service company like Kankei can be used for outsourcing of your order entry and order processing. Kankei  has vast experience handling such processes. We can provide these services to International companies located in Australia, Singapore, USA and other English Speaking Countries. To receive a proposal for management of your order entry and order management please contact...

How companies in India are losing tons of marketing funds through wasted marketing campaigns

Have you ever sent a response to a short message (SMS) code advertised in the papers or on Television? There is a very high chance that you will not get any response. Have you written to a company asking for product information? Again, high chance that you will not get a response on time. Or on receiving a telemarketing call you have requested a callback later and the call never comes? These are some of the small ways that companies in India are losing lots of marketing money. Companies and marketing heads need to put in place a simple funnel management system. All leads and inbound enquiries should be put into a central data repository. Such a repository can be easily set up on a CRM platform like zoho.com or salesforce.com.  Website forms too can be easily integrated on such platforms. A responsible in-house or outsourced team should be tasked with funnel management. The teams responsibility could be as follows Collate all the incoming leads and enquiries in a systematic way Respond to all inbound sales enquires on a timely basis. Follow through with internal stake holders for example: sales team to ensure that the lead has been followed up on. Call the customer through a service tracker calls to check if the lead was responded to and if it generated sales. Set goals & sales target for the team and set up processes to monitor them. Companies should encourage inbound enquiries, as the chance of conversion is high And a proper funnel management system will ensure that the company gets results from this channel To know more about...

How FMCG and pharmaceutical companies in India can outsource their consumer services helpline?

We have been handling consumer services for several FMCG, Pharmaceutical & Multi- National Firms since 2001. In the current business environment, company managers have several market challenges ahead of them. Dealing with individual consumers, while a very important aspect, can be handled by third parties By creating a specialist outsourced consumer services team the company can create an effective way to handle consumer queries and to have them resolved on a timely basis. The role of the consumer services response management outsourced partner can be outlined as below: Set up consumer helpline (Toll Free) , web chat & email response management & social media response management infrastructure. Hire and set up a team of consumer services specialists to manage the consumer services function Train the teams and set up quality management processes Set up reporting and analytics dash boards Operate all the consumer response management touch points – call center, email response, web chat, social media response and snail mail (Yes, people do write to companies) Pharmaceutical companies can benefit from outsourcing their consumer services management to reliable service partners like Kankei. Kankei is headquartered in Mumbai, India and able to provide consumer services management for companies in India, USA, UK, Australia, Singapore and more To know more about Kankei visit our website (www.kankei.com) or write us at...

The need to keep your databases updated and how to go about doing so

Customer databases get obsolete pretty fast. Here’s what you can do to make sure you are not carrying junk data in your customer information files Unless you have a bank, credit card company or utility company chances are that your customers are not going to inform you about any changes in their contact and other information If you are running loyalty programs or have a customer base built up over time, chances are that many of the customers have either moved or changed their phone numbers or even their email address This can be very challenging for marketers who want to stay in touch with customers Every marketer who knows his or her customer base is an asset would need to be doing ongoing “Asset Maintenance”. Here are a few tips for database management: Host your customer database on a CRM platform or system. For example: salesforce.com or zoho.com. Extract information on bounced emails from your email marketing engine and update this in your CRM system. Make arrangements with your courier company so that they ask customers for their phone numbers and have this reported back to you to have this updated in your system. Regularly contact your customers (opted in) on phone and update your records. (This could be very expensive). Create a hook for customers, which will encourage them to update you about changes in their contact information In some countries you can also work with the postal department to get updated addresses of your customers Summary If you have a firm or business that relies on Direct Marketing, you need to make these investments. Else you...

I tried Amazon live chat customer service – they were great!

A recent interaction with Amazon Customer Service gave the following insights: It is very difficult to get to a live person at Amazon. Amazon encourages customers to help themselves to an answer and is very persistent in this approach. However, it has all the technology and the information workflows to enable this. Once you get to a service representative the experience is very good. You are kept informed about the status of your Live Chat Support and how long it will take to connect. On connecting with the representative you encounter high levels of service. The representative has full access to your account is mature and confident and can spot your issue quickly. The representative is empowered to take decisions and to communicate these to you. My experience was flawless and the representative made sure that my issues were resolved.  Summary While Live Chat Support is seemingly a quicker way to resolve issues if may not always be true. With such a large range of customer enquiries it is difficult to create a knowledge base that can support every query. And if there is a customer problem that requires investigation, web chat will not be able to resolve this. Organizations that deploy web chat especially for ecommerce and online business should do so with care, planning and by making the right investments in technology. You can outsource your live Web Chat Customer Service but remember not to only go by costs. It is better to request your outsourcing partner to hire well-qualified, trained mature team members who have domain and industry experience. Web Chat can cost more than processes like Email...

Entering Retail Orders into SAP and other Supply Chain systems – challenges and how to overcome these

Several Companies operate their supply chain processes on high-end enterprise systems. However these systems are internal and used internally. Opening up their internal IT systems to their external partners is a challenge as it requires administration, security and ongoing maintenance. All of which are time consuming and cost money Retailers who are not part of an exclusive arrangement with the company may be using their own systems including ERP, order placement, accounting & others. In many cases, retailers may be still using manual processes for several stages of order placement. When a retailer needs to place an order with the supplier (Distributor or Principal) it may do it in one of the followings ways:- Verbal Order to Sales representative Telephone Order to the Company Call Centre Fax Order to the Local Company Office Email Order to the Company Designated ID Online via an Online Order placement system provided by the company Using a Mobile Application provided by the company Via Text message (SMS) Via Written Purchase Order wanted to the company In future via social media, robots and more The types of transactions would be as follows: Placement of New orders Modification of Orders Cancellation of Orders In the Current Stage of business evolution and automation it is not practical for all non exclusive retailers to have systems that connect to the ERP of the supplier or principal. The interface is still largely manual with retailer’s placement orders in one or more of the channels above. Companies can overcome the challenges through the following route: Create an online B2B ecommerce site that integrates with the ERP being operated by...

The Need to Invest in (and Outsource) Consumer Services Management

They often say, “it takes a lot of time to get a customer and very little time to lose one”. It also takes a lot of money to get a new customer and relatively less money to retain one. The Consumer Services function plays an important role in being the listening point for the company However, listening is not good enough. Companies also have to respond to their consumers. Consumers should be provided the opportunity to reach the company. This would be in more than one of the following ways: Call the company. This would be on numbers published by the company on its website or on its packaging. It can be a toll call (paid by customer) or a toll free call (paid by the company) Send the company an email or a letter or a fax Drop into the branch of office of the company Reach out through social media like facebook, twitter, etc Web chat on the company website We recently conducted a consumer services audit of over twenty well-known firms. This was done by calling the phone numbers as given on their product package. The service levels varied a lot. Some company phones went unanswered, while some went into voicemail. Others had a real person answering. Responses and readiness levels varied a lot too. Surprisingly, some of the large, rich, well to do companies had poor levels of service. Given the exploding social media scene and the ease for bad news to travel fast, companies need to up-the-ante on their consumer services management. This had to be done with the following components: Appropriate technology to...

What are Facebook Chat bots and how can you use them to engage with your customers?

Bot or Robot? In computing terms a Bot is an automated program that can perform certain tasks based on inputs provided to it. Inputs can be provided by humans or by computer programs or systems that interact with the bot. You can use Bots to automate certain tasks that would otherwise take a human to process. You can even use bots to play part of the role of humans and then let humans take over at the appropriate stage We all know that facebook messenger is a good way for brands to interact with their customers. The issue is that the process of a chat is usually time consuming and the person who initiates the chat can easily hijack the agenda. When using a Bot for facebook messenger you are able to lead the customer through a focused path that is defined by you. Be this about product discovery, making purchases, delivering content, making reservations or bookings for product demos and more As a brand that has a brand facebook page, it would be good to explore opening up the messenger button for your customers and prospects. And enable this with a Chat Bot who will take your customers through the agenda that you set for them. You can always supplement your Chat Bot with a Human Chat or can simply direct your prospects and customers to your website or contact centre should the Chat Bot not meet their requirements. Facebook has recently opened up this wonderful opportunity for brands to engage with their customers. Brands need to get their developers to create chat bots based on their requirements...

Database and List Building for Email Marketing

As marketers seek to stay in touch with prospects (with the ultimate aim of selling their products and services) they encounter several practical challenges While the buzz is to reach out using mobile and web, the fact is that every other marketer is also seeking to do the same Spam marketing has been brought under control for phone and mobile marketing. However, email marketing is still largely uncontrolled and has considerable spam Marketers who would like to indulge in email marketing need to have the following considerations: Need to have qualified, opted in prospects on the database Good quality campaign management tools to effectively deliver email campaigns Crisp, relevant and engaging communication that will make recipients open emails and actually read them Meaningful call to action for every communication Brand relevance and consistency within the campaign as well as other communication on social media, mobile and web The key starting point and foundation for email marketing is list and database building Databases of prospects who have opted into your email-marketing program can only be through one type of source – legitimate Legitimate databases can be from one or more of the following Individuals who have registered with you in the past with the understanding that they may receive communication from your company Individuals who have responded to an open media or above the line campaign eg advertisement on television Customers of other companies with whom you may have marketing or affiliate partnerships. These companies should have specific permission from the consumer to share their information with their marketing partners like your company Consumers who have participated in a product...

How can an Inside Sales Team boost the productivity of your Business Development Managers?

In my early days working for a multinational financial services firm in India, I was in the B2B Sales function. One day our CEO stopped by our sales outpost only to be surprised that all the sales people ‘Are sitting in office’ Unlike door-to-door salesman or a distributor field rep or medical rep, B2B sales often requires you to have appointments set up in advance Put an MBA from a leading management institute behind a phone and ask him to start getting appointments with prospects. Chances are that the cost of getting appointments is going to be very high. Business Development through face-to-face meetings is an art that requires special skills. The same ‘Great Business Development Person’ may not be very effective when it comes to getting an appointment To improve the efficiency of your high cost business development team, you can invest in an inside sales team. Their job would be to create a solid pipeline of prospects with which appointments are set up for the sales team. The inside sales team should be equipped with the following: A central database and lead management system such as salesforce.com or Zoho Good quality phone system and headsets that cut out any background ambient sound from the office Access to high speed internet to be able to do extensive research on prospects A premium account to business networking sites like Linkedin Sales support materials including email templates, direct mail, presentations Case studies and white papers that highlight your services in action Access to the sales team calendars to be able to set up meetings with prospects at short notice Setting...
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