Retail companies have always succeeded or failed based on how well they serve their customers. When service is consistently great, it’s that much more likely that customers will become loyal to a specific retailer.
That’s a big deal because — while they might account for only 15% of a retailer’s customer base — loyal customers can drive as much as 70% of all revenue. Create more loyal customers and the results will follow.
On the flip side, when the customer experience is inconsistent or hits a speed bump, customers are quick to find a substitute. After all, the customer experience is a key differentiator today, and competitors are always a quick search away.
In today’s fast-paced, on-demand world, customers expect orders to be in stock and shipped quickly. If they go to a website and products aren’t available — or they’re told they need to wait weeks to get something — that’s a customer service breakdown that could lead them to search elsewhere.
When retailers are suffering from supply chain and operational problems, they’re incapable of delivering exemplary customer service in each interaction. For this reason, retailers need to focus on strong supplier relationships to keep customers happy and satisfied. By doing so, they can mitigate supply disruptions while offsetting rising inflation and increased labor costs while ensuring their products are available to customers where and when they need them.
One way retailers can minimize supply issues and strengthen supplier relationships is by automating accounts payable. AP provides a key interface with suppliers and is the lynchpin to getting those suppliers paid on time. Slow, tedious AP interactions will lead to difficulties with suppliers.
With an AP automation solution in place, retailers can achieve streamlined and automated straight-through processing of invoices, give suppliers visibility into their payments, and avoid credit holds — all of which enable them to focus more on improving the customer experience.