From helping employees work faster to enabling entire businesses to do more with less, technology has numerous benefits. So, why are some businesses refusing to tackle Document Management and implement digital workflows, and how is this refusal hurting customers?
Why Are People Resistant To Change?
Businesses and employees are used to doing things a certain way, and adopting a different approach often causes concern.
Where does a resistance to change come from? Fear of the unknown, mistrust, loss of control, bad timing or simply a predisposition to change. In some cases, perceptions are interpreted as reality.
While some employees think turning paper processes to digital means they are going to lose their jobs, what Document Management really does is increase their speed and allow them to do other things besides shuffle paper. For customer-facing employees, Document Management is a tool that helps them manage their workloads and improve customer service.
Identifying Weaknesses In Customer-Centric Processes
When looking to digitize paper-based, customer-centric processes, it’s important to ask a few key questions:
- How does the paper document come into the business? How could we pull this document into a digital system?
- What is the first thing that gets done with this document? What information needs to be captured and delivered to other systems?
- Where does the document go next?
- How does the document move through the business?
- How, where and for what duration is this document currently stored?
Ultimately, these answers help businesses determine the blueprint for a Document Management system and resulting digital workflows. An important exercise is identifying which departments need which piece of information to begin a workflow, and how soon after obtaining the information via a document that work is able to begin. In this way, the digital workflow you implement will resemble the business process as it exists today, but with slight tweaks for efficiency.
Improving Customer Service Through Document Management Software
Faster Response To Customer Inquiries
With a searchable database of client information, customer-facing employees are able to quickly obtain information about, for example, a product, service, insurance policy or tax document. There’s no need to put a customer on hold or hang up to research their answer only to call them back later. An electronic Document Management system puts that information front and center for the person answering the call.
Quicker And Easier Document Sharing
Today, when a client requests a document, a copy is made and sent to them via email, fax or letter. Copies of the document may be made by the client without the business’s consent, with a copy of a copy being sent back to the business. Imagine managing all of this electronically and sharing a document with a customer using a link in an email. Electronic document sharing through a Document Management system increases response speed and reduces a business’s liability of information falling into the wrong hands.
Streamlined Scheduling Of Tasks
Customer service inquiries often result in work needing to be done by someone else in the business. A Document Management system helps to organize tasks and schedule workflows based on routing information contained inside a document. As a particular document or associated task moves through a business, the customer service representative is able to view the work being done and provide updates to a customer within minutes and without ever contacting anyone.
Using Electronic Document Management For Improved Customer Service And information management
In the case of Roberts Wesleyan College, the school used electronic Document Management to eliminate the storage of student information in multiple places and created a workflow around a single student file. Prior to a Document Management system, the school relied on a mix of electronic and paper documents to assemble a student portfolio. Applications, transcripts, letters and test scores were all stored in separate electronic systems and physical filing cabinets.
After the school implemented Document Management software, all of this information was absorbed into the system, where administration could generate all accompanying documents simply by a student’s last name or ID number. For new students applying to the college, after all required materials were received, a digital workflow was triggered to deliver various forms to other people in the admissions process.
Ultimately, the results of implementing an electronic Document Management system were more informed responses to students calling in about application status, more efficient workflows for student onboarding and better information management for an administration that knew exactly where to look for the most up-to-date information.