Many of the businesses we work offer made-to-measure solutions for their customers. For one of our healthcare customers in particular, every single sale is different. No two quotes are ever the same. This is because they make products to fit not only a specific person, but also a specific house. This is why their customers love them so much – besides their great customer service, of course.
To give you a measure of how much variety they offer, their catalogue includes:
- 110 base products
- 15 measurements
- 460 optional extras (whether an option is available or not depends on the base product)
- A variety of warranties with different levels of protection
- Each product can be sold as new or reconditioned at different prices.
To add to the complexity of it all, they also quote for any outsourced building work. This varies massively from house to house.
Overall, we’re talking astronomical numbers of possibilities.
Getting the correct price for a quote like that must be difficult and time-consuming, right?
Nope. Not anymore – because they’re now using a bespoke software system.
How much time do they save?
When we first met this client, it took about 30 minutes for them to raise and send a quote. Now it takes them about 5 minutes.
They send an average of 75 quotes per month. In some months they send as many as 140.
Their software saves them a whopping 58 hours per month, or 2.9 hours per day, just writing and sending quotes!
They now spend that extra time providing excellent customer service.
How did we achieve this?
The root of their problem boiled down to two issues:
- They weren’t keeping important information (in this case, pricing) in a central location – it was in somebody’s head.
- Too many people needed to “touch” the quote before it could be sent to the customer.
A common theme occurs here, as with a lot of the problems we help people with.
That is: humans were doing the menial jobs that could be given to a computer.
Here’s how we addressed these two issues:
Get it out of your head
Our client has a team of surveyors who visit the customer’s house to perform measurements and determine which product is the best fit. Previously, they had to write everything on a paper form and come up with a rough price on the spot, if possible. Sometimes this couldn’t be done, so the client was left waiting. There was also the added risk that the paper form could be lost or damaged.
The solution to this was clear: We built them a mobile web app which gives them a price instantly. The surveyor simply selects the product they think is the best fit, and picks all of the relevant options. (The system only shows them the options that are compatible, so no risk of errors.)
As they add more detail, the price updates immediately on their screen. This includes the construction work and warranty, so the price the customer sees is 100% correct before the surveyor leaves their house.
We took this one step further and allowed the customer to place the order, right there and then.
Reduce touch points
The prices of the products change regularly. This office staff needed to communicate to surveyors, to avoid them quoting an out-of-date price. There’s one touch point.
Once they had completed a survey, the surveyor handed the paper form to the office team, who would type it up.
As well as this being another touch point, there were a few extra challenges – can you spot them?
- The customer wouldn’t receive the quote until the surveyor was next in the office – that’s potentially a huge delay. By then, they could have gotten a quote from elsewhere.
- If the surveyor’s writing wasn’t completely clear, there’s a risk of the office team misunderstanding or mistyping something.
Once the office team had typed up the quote, they’d check it with the surveyor for accuracy. That’s a third touch point, and the customer has seen nothing yet.
We simplified this process by linking the surveyor’s app directly to the back-office.
Within 1 second of completing a survey, the system adds the quote with all of the correct customer and pricing information. The office staff can print or email this in seconds.
No need to type anything up. No need for the office staff to check any details with the surveyor, because the information came directly from the surveyor.
Are you struggling or wasting too much time raising and sending quotes to your customers? Do you wish it were easier? If you’d like to chat about your current situation and future optimisation, drop us a message.