Information systems can have a significant impact on customer relationships. Several points in the customer relationship cycle occur through information systems. In some cases the impact is through presentation while in others it involves interactive information exchange. At whatever degree this occurs, the relationship with the customer is affected. If information systems reinforce the basis for the relationship the impact will be positive. The following key points should be evaluated when considering the impact of information systems on customer relationships:
- Document Presentation – All documents provided to the customer impact their perception of the business. Quotes, invoices and statements are examples of documents the customer receives. Any document that’s given to a customer influences their perception of the company. All documents should reflect the basis of the relationship between customer and service provider.
- Lube Stickers – These can be one of the most powerful marketing tools available to an auto repair shop. They serve as reminders to ensure proper vehicle maintenance while reinforcing the relationship between the vehicle owner and the repair shop.
- Service Due Reminders – Email reminders to a customer reminding them that preventive maintenance service is due on their vehicle provide a valuable service to the vehicle owner. The customer is reminded to have services performed that keep the vehicle safe and reliable reducing the cost of ownership.
- Appointment Reminders – Reminding a customer of a scheduled appointment is an important service that a shop management system can provide especially if the appointment was made a several weeks or months in advance.
- Marketing Correspondence – Sending emails to customers for special events can have a significant impact on customer relationships. Special emails can be sent for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Also special events and offerings at the shop can be communicated.
- Interactive Website Processing– Many shops have options for customers to request quotes or make appointments through their websites. This can make things a lot easier for customers as they can do this when they have time available.
- Integrated Status Notification – Software systems often have integrated email processing that allows the shops to send an email or text message to a customer notifying them that their vehicle is ready for pick up. They can also support sending documents to customers such as quotes, invoice or statements.