Don't let your company's legacy systems stop you from achieving

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Don't let your company's legacy systems stop you from achieving customer experience success.


Don’t let your company’s legacy systems stop you from achieving customer experience success.

Earlier this month, I attended a customer communications conference in Orlando, Florida. Xploration18 provides the What, Why and How for industry trends, best practices, regulations and new technologies in this ever evolving industry.

Yet with all the innovations that are happening within the industry as well as the exciting new technology on display (Augmented Print really is the next big thing!), there was one common theme that was apparent throughout the week: the importance of customer experience.

It didn’t matter whether you had the best product on display, the lowest price or the coolest gadget; if the experience you were having with your customers was not strong enough, your business would struggle to survive.

You can go a long way to managing the customer experience, mapping each stage of the customer journey to control individual customer touchpoints. But what about those touchpoints that you can’t manage, or that go unseen?

Legacy systems are used within organisations to help business processes and aid workflow. They are also used to generate a lot of the customer documentation that leaves your business on a daily basis: statements, invoices, response letters can all be generated by ERP systems. But when these systems restrict the make-up of documents or the channel that they’re communicated through; businesses could be failing to address a crucial element of the customer journey, putting the customer’s experience at serious risk.

Take a look at 4 ways that legacy systems could be damaging that all important customer experience.

  1. When ERP software limits document output, brand identity can lack the image you want to project.

How frustrating is it when you work on your brand, spend time and money in ensuring it’s kept consistent – but then are let down when you see the wrong logo appear, or the wrong template used for an outgoing customer communication?

It sounds simple, but with a strong brand identity, customers are much more likely to remember your business. But far too often, companies are sending out documents (whether that’s in printed or digital form) from internal systems that use old and outdated logos or templates. The systems also limit what can be done – so you may notice that documents are not right, but can’t access the back end to rectify or update them. Trust in an organisation is often based on the brand image, so it’s important wherever your brand is being displayed, it’s clear, consistent and correct.

  1. Response rates and engagement levels increase significantly when personalised and tailored content is presented to users.

By 2020, customer experience will be the number one deciding factor for consumers on whether they use your services. It’s therefore crucial to the success of any company to establish a document automation process that mitigates any errors in customer data and heightens the use of personalisation.

Organisations need to stop seeing personalisation as the ‘new thing’ and understand that in today’s world it’s just normal. It’s about providing content that is tailored, relevant and most importantly valuable to customers. Transactional documents such as bills or statements provide huge opportunities for marketers and internal teams to provide relevant information in a tailored, exciting and engaging format. Don’t let the ERP system hold you back.

  1. The GDPR requires you to achieve data and document accuracy.

Without sounding like a broken record, data accuracy when communicating with customers is imperative. The GDPR makes it absolutely clear that you need to be able to prove that you have the systems, processes and procedures in place to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to not only protect customer data, but to ensure it is managed correctly.

However, standard documents that are output from legacy ERP systems often lack user level content control; so ensuring data is accurate can be somewhat challenging.

  1. You need to seamlessly provide multi-channel delivery.

Sometimes, legacy systems not only limit organisations to produce undesirable and static PDF documents – they provide a barrier to outputting those documents digitally. More often than not, organisations are either forced to email the PDF (which can be insecure) or develop a whole new system just for digital delivery.

Gen Y and Z will make up 75% of the population by 2025 so it’s important that companies are able to output documents in a variety of formats to respond to the digitally focused consumer. Customers now expect and demand that their information is offered to them through one seamless experience.

When I receive my printed monthly bank statement for example, I often like to compare it to last month’s; so I’ll open up my laptop, log in and view it on the bank’s secure portal. But if I’m on the sofa or away from my laptop, I’ll log in on my phone instead and view it on there.

Document output matters.

Living with a legacy ERP system that restricts document output can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are applications out there that free the ERP system from its shackles, allowing you to communicate accurate and engaging multi-channel documents. You will enhance relationships, build new ones and provide efficiency and cost savings to current business processes.

Now the brief sales pitch… Aceni applications help you free those documents and ultimately, improve your customer experience. No investment in new systems, no need to remove current ones; just simple SaaS applications to enable engaging, multi-channel communications.

One of our clients, through using the Aceni suite of applications, has enabled their operations team to save the time of 17 people per year who can now focus their efforts on customer service. Their system generated documents are now controlled and approved prior to delivery, with the company’s time and resource now spent on improving and maintaining customer relationships. Read this success story and others here.

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