There’s a lot of value in letting customers place orders for your goods or services electronically … unless that first shipment they crack open isn’t what they ordered at all!
That shouldn’t happen if you do this first.
In some ways, a paper-driven process is easier. What you see is what you get — customers spell out exactly what they want on your purchase order.
Wouldn’t automating your ordering process introduce a greater margin of error?
After all, even if a customer clicked the wrong button or put in the wrong quantity, your company will be the one to get an earful. And the back-and-forth necessary to clear the confusion will undercut any savings you’d gotten by “streamlining” your ordering process.
Test run with a twist
You’d probably do some test runs before rolling out a new system where John Q. Customer at ABC Industries places an order for 44 widgets.
Think about going a step further. Instead of a simulated test, try using actual customers with data from actual purchase orders (do this before the system goes live).
That will give staffers a truer feel for how the system will work. It’ll also help you to see anywhere you could potentially come up short.
A dry run will point out needed tweaks, like sending an order acknowledgment to catch mistakes before the shipment leaves the warehouse. Or that you need to post a list of product specifications or frequently asked questions on your site.
In any event, you’ll be more confident you can enjoy the streamlining benefits of technology without the headaches.