Africa's services industry is diverse - spanning accounting, financial services, tourism, media and marketing, security, healthcare and more besides. What companies under this broad grouping have in common is that they need to focus on business efficiency and customer experience to ensure profitable growth in an increasingly competitive market.
Matthew Kibby is vice president: Sage Enterprise, Africa & Middle East.
Too many of them are still stuck on mundane, repetitive tasks that add few benefits to the customer experience. Their employees are weighed down by tedious, time-consuming administrative tasks that prevent them from giving customers the right attention. This slows down productivity, stifles flexibility and inhibits growth.
There’s also the issue of compliance.
Many service organisations are required to maintain strict compliance with ISO standards, financial regulations and other laws and regulations. Some of these regulations may seem mundane to the untrained eye but failure to comply could lead to severe consequences, including revoked licenses and hefty financial fines.
Removing the heavy lifting
To ensure that they are getting the best value out of the services they are offering, services companies must remove as much of the heavy-lifting as possible. Or at least, explore solutions that make it easier for employees to focus on the most important thing – serving customers.
Addressing the challenges of productivity, customer service and compliance begins with the implementation of an appropriate business solution. Many of the typical challenges faced by services companies are the result of inefficient, outdated or siloed technology systems.
According to a recent Forrester report, service companies can realise up to 197% (ROI) within five months by implementing effective business management solutions. As well as receiving significant ROI within a short amount of time, services companies reported strong improvements in financial management, procurement, customer service, and sales management.
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There are also other, more unquantifiable benefits of effective business management solutions, like easier document management and improved access to business documents. For example, every vendor invoice can be scanned into a document management system with PDFs uploaded and attached to the records.
Anyone that needs to see these documents can have mobile, 24/7 access without having to search physical cabinets. As a result, services businesses can process transactions and respond to customer enquiries much more efficiently.
Creating an efficient and streamlined process can work wonders for a services business. Not only can it improve productivity and accelerate growth and ROI, it also enables organisations to focus on keeping the main thing– delivering an exceptional customer experience.
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