When we think about the customer experience, it’s easy to focus on the tangible—like how a customer was greeted by staff, whether the instructor was pleasant and supportive, if the resources and equipment were up to standard, and how the customer felt after spending time with your business.
However, there’s so much more to this equation that can go under the radar but has a significant impact on how a customer feels about you—sometimes before they even get started with your organisation. In fact, you may need to work harder to win over a customer from the very beginning if their first interactions with you are challenging in some way.
For example, did their application form for direct debit billing get misplaced or was there a discrepancy in data entry between head office and the local branch? Did their first payment fail as a result? Was their membership inactive when they visited because of a paperwork backlog?
Software integration can help!
When your software, billing, entrance control or other management systems, talk to each other, it not only simplifies your administrative processes, but also avoids double entry of data and can contribute to a better customer experience.
Information Systems Integration means linking your software applications together so they all ‘talk’ to each other. For example, a fitness club may use PaySmart direct debit billing, Clubware, which drives the key functionality for member management, and they may also run Paxton, which manages security access control. It’s critical that all systems ‘talk’ to each other and for information to seamlessly pass between them—particularly for 24-hour clubs.
When your systems are integrated and there is a single data entry point, this becomes your trusted, true data—a single source of truth. And when your data is correct, trusted and complete, rather than being stored in silos by different departments or branches, you can realise benefits from this data as it tells you the full story. When reviewed regularly and mined effectively, it can tell you more about your customers and their behaviour and can help you to better tailor your offering to ensure the customer experience is positive.
What happens if systems aren’t integrated?
If information systems aren’t integrated, often someone in the business must update each system separately, which is an administrative burden susceptible to error. When different areas of the business store different kinds of data and don’t share that data with other areas, there can be discrepancies in your data and sometimes missed opportunities if you don’t have the full picture about your customers.