How Contract Management Builds Value in Customer Relationships
Web-based contract management software offers numerous internal efficiencies to businesses. But often overlooked is the impact contract management software can have outside of the organization.
Web-based contract management not only increases productivity and reduces costs internally, it makes it easier for customers to do business with a company.
A blog on destinationcrm.com, a site devoted to customer relationship management, points out the importance of contract automation in pleasing customers: “When the price and value are equivalent between competitors, customer experience becomes paramount, particularly at the final point before the sale – when it’s time to sign the contract. When prospects can quickly complete intuitive Web-based contract tasks that take seconds rather than days or weeks, both businesses and their customers win.”
Convenience Matters to Customer
Enterprises that still rely on a paper-based contracting process are sending a message that they are behind the times, and from a sales and marketing standpoint, that’s a disaster in itself. But there’s more to the problem than simply perception. As the destinationcrm.com blog indicates, there’s the immediate issue of ease of use. The more convenience a business can offer its customers, the more likely customers are to do business with that company again.
Contract management software – particularly in conjunction with e-signature technology – simplifies the process for customers and reduces delays in negotiation, thereby increasing closing rates and shortening sales cycles. And customers will be thankful to not have to mess with paper anymore. With mobile technology, they can literally always have their contracts at their fingertips, wherever they are.
Customer Support Improves with Automation
Customers also get better support from enterprise contract management software. Consider the case of hospital contract management. A typical regional hospital will have many thousands of contracts active at any given time. It will have contractual relationships with doctor’s groups, insurance companies, medical suppliers, vendors, and companies providing outsourced services (e.g., cafeteria management, janitorial). And every procedure done at the hospital requires a patient contract.
To respond to an inquiry about a particular contract using a manual healthcare contract management system could easily result in delays and confusionand thats clearly not the type of customer service that builds loyalty. But with enterprise contract management software, all contracts are easily accessible from within the software, allowing customer issues to be resolved much quicker, more accurately, and with less chance of errors that result in upset customers.
Automated contract management with e-signature capability can actually work to prevent problems by helping customers correctly complete forms and by providing them with alerts when contract deadlines are looming. This simple support can have a significant payoff if it keeps a contract on course. Customers don’t like a delay-even if it is their fault-and friendly reminders will be appreciated.
Web-based Authentication Is Secure
Another customer relations problem that can be avoided with web-based contract management is inadequate security. Using digital authentication methods, validation of e-signatures is now more reliable than paper validation. An increasing number of enterprises realize this fact and want the added security. They also want to be reassured that if a problem arises, theres an indisputable digital trail for each contract.
Contract Management and Relationship Management Go Together
Leading contract management software can be fully integrated with customer relationship management software. This integration is entirely logical- and beneficial- considering the key role that contract management plays in customer satisfaction.
Enterprises that have not yet automated their contract management or tied it into their sales and customer-retention strategies are missing a golden opportunity to make doing business easier, more secure, and more profitable-for both the enterprise and the customer.