Revolutionising Retail – a behind-the-scenes approach

Recognizing that happy customers tend to become repeat customers, retailers are investing great effort in delivering an enticing shopping experience – from using artificial intelligence to help shoppers find the exact product they want, to holding workout classes in store, to offering personalized embroidery on jeans. These big-ticket innovations are complemented by service-oriented initiatives, such as intuitive online shopping apps and same-day delivery, that make the whole retail experience easier, more efficient and faster, while still maintaining a crucial element of personal interaction.

It’s not just the front-of-house experience that has an impact on the customer journey from potential lead to closed sale. At a back-office level, efficiencies in day-to-day operations can have a knock-on effect on customer experience too. One area that businesses often overlook when it comes to implementing innovative software solutions is document generation.

The status quo

Businesses around the world, in all sectors, produce billions of documents every year, most requiring some degree of manual involvement. Retail is no different, with documents such as stock reports, quotes, contracts, invoices and receipts typically being produced on a daily basis. It all takes time…

Even where a template exists, it often requires the relevant staff member to switch between screens and programs to cut and paste all the relevant information into the new document. Inputting data manually causes its own issues, allowing human error to creep in, potentially causing your business embarrassment or even financial loss. What’s more, updating other systems with changes in customer details usually requires a separate step, which may or may not be carried out contemporaneously, leaving some records out of date. Finally, if template changes aren’t saved centrally, the next person in the organization to use that template won’t have the most recent version, resulting in inconsistencies in documentation and wasted time. In short, the result can be an administrative nightmare, with implications for costs, time and productivity, that undoubtedly affects the customer experience you deliver.

An automated future

Automating document generation solves all these problems, while also delivering additional benefits that give you a competitive advantage. The Docomotion app, which is available in the AppExchange, integrates with Salesforce in a joined-up, high-quality approach to creating documents that delivers time savings, increased efficiencies, enhanced productivity and greater accuracy.

So, how can retail businesses benefit from automated document generation? Let’s break it down step by step.

First, there’s the document creation itself, which can be done with one click, all in the correct format, populated with all the correct information for that customer taken directly from your Salesforce CRM data. You can also save your updated templates back into Salesforce, so anyone else in the company coming to use the document can be confident that they have the most up-to-date version. So far, you’re already working more efficiently, saving time (businesses using Docomotion report time savings of up to 60%), enhancing accuracy and ensuring consistency in documents going out across your organization.

But with Docomotion, that’s not all…. the app offers an interactive element, which means that when the end customer receives the electronic document, they can comment on the text, enter data, make corrections and insert their signature. When they send back the document to you, their input is automatically worked into Salesforce, enhancing the records you hold for that particular customer. So, the next time you write to them, for example, to confirm a sales order, advertise a new product, or offer them of a special promotion, you have a more personalized document to send them.  Customers respond better to retailers who have taken their particular needs into account, rather than simply mailing them generic text – so, again, this is a great way to generate customer loyalty, and, of course, sales.

Because there may be times when you need to attach documents that are not held in Salesforce – perhaps a prescription if you’re in pharma, or a catalog of your latest clothes line – Docomotion has an External Data feature that allows you to incorporate data from your other systems, such as ERP or an external CRM. Again, being able to do this from one central point saves time and enhances accuracy.

So, remember: if you’re looking to improve your customer engagement, there are subtle ways to do it behind the scenes. They may not come sprinkled with glitter or have the same ‘wow!’ factor as a grand in-store experience, but they can still make a huge difference.

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