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Take Care of your Customers or Someone Else Will

Recently I wrote an article about how important it is to take care of your employees and balance work and personal priorities. Recently, I have been reminded how important it is to take care of your customers. In the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software business, getting new customers is always emphasized. The software vendors always want new licenses – they want the increased user count for marketing and, of course, the increased revenue from new sales.  As a reseller and implementer, a lot of our 28-year longevity stems from existing customers ‘new projects as SAP Business One helps grow and evolve their businesses. Balancing new projects and servicing existing customers is a full-time balancing act – trust me – that is my primary job at ACUMEN!

As I mentioned, I was reminded recently how important it is to take care of your existing clients and relationships. I will give three examples in just the last 2 weeks.

First, we were contacted by a customer running the same SAP Business One software that we sell, implement and support. This customer is already up and running at several locations but still needs to implement at several more. They have a relationship with another vendor who sold them the software and implemented it for them. However, possibly due to pressure to always get the next sale, the vendor has not been as attentive to the customer as they need, so they decided to look elsewhere. Fortunately, they found us, and after several meetings we have determined that we think this will be a great long-term relationship and are getting ready to start the implementation at one of their sites.

Second, we were contacted again by a customer running SAP Business One who is just getting started, both as a business and with the software. Once again, after the initial sale, they did not feel that they were getting the attention they needed from their vendor (not the same one as the first customer, by the way) so they looked around, found us and reached out. As with the first, we are looking forward to working with them for many years to come.

The third example is slightly different, but just as important. In this case, a long-time software partner reached out to us. For many years ACUMEN was the primary implementation and support provider for a UK-based accounting package. This package was the accounting engine for several vertical ERP systems, and ACUMEN implemented it successfully innumerable times, many throughout North America. While the software authors have gone through several mergers and acquisitions, we have maintained that relationship with them. Now, they have a new software alliance in the UK who is looking to move to the US and needs a partner for implementation and support for that same accounting package. The partner immediately thought of us because of our on-going relationship with so many of the clients who have implemented it over the years – they know they can count on us not only to implement, but also to be there to support the clients for the long haul. We are looking forward to a new partnership now and the opportunities to forge more long-term customer relationships.

The bottom line is this – if you aren’t talking to your customers and taking care of them, chances are someone else is!

At ACUMEN, we stress something we like to call ‘gonzo customer service’. If you become a customer, you become a long-term partner with a company that you can count on to listen, pay attention and take care of your needs for many years to come.

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