When complicated processes give way to efficiency, that’s a powerful opportunity.

Channel Partners

April 25, 2016

4 Min Read
Call to Action: 6 Ways to Help Customers Work Smarter, Not Harder

Dave WrightIf you’ve shopped online at a site that really has the process nailed, you were probably impressed with the polished user experience and the speed and efficiency of the transaction.

Now, imagine if, instead of making a few clicks and getting your stuff in a day or two, the process of placing an order looked like this:



  1. Print an order form.

  2. Fill out the order form.

  3. Scan the form to be able to email it.

  4. Email the form for approval.

  5. Call to follow up on the pending approval when your email is not answered.

  6. Hope someone doesn’t screw up as they manually key the information from the approved order form into a spreadsheet for someone to collate into a weekly order batch.

  7. Wait for the weekly order to be placed.

If this sounds familiar, it’s most likely because these are the broken processes your customers face every day. Many of them are just stuck in a time warp — they rely on 25-year-old tools such as email, spreadsheets and phone calls to manage day-to-day operations. Every time one of these outdated tools is used when a better alternative exists, another process goes unoptimized and inefficiency proliferates. With no way to track, update and monitor these processes, they will continue to be an administrative burden that causes a drain on productivity and introduces undue complexities into the business.

This lack of digital modernization is how fast, nimble companies like Uber decimate a market.

You can play a big role in helping your customers let go of the manual tools of the past and make a change. Help guide them through the implementation of modern software solutions and processes. Otherwise, they will continue to experience work delays, reduced productivity, increased chance of errors, and perhaps most importantly, lack of time for innovation and strategic initiatives. 

Bring the Right Tools to the Table

It’s important to remember that every customer is different. One size doesn’t fit all. When it comes to implementing a new technology for a given customer, make sure you understand their overall business goals, day-to-day operations and core challenges. Once you’ve established these, it’s time to choose a technology. 

It’s no surprise that cloud-based solutions are becoming the norm in forward-looking organizations. By harnessing the power of the cloud, even small customers can affordably automate processes that have become unwieldy. 

Yet, for many, “the cloud” is not well understood. Customers have concerns about security, cost and performance. With your expertise, you can answer questions and bring to bear the right tools that will not only save them time and frustration, but will also give you better insight into how their businesses run. With smart solutions, problems become opportunities.

Here are six ways to help your customers on the path to working smarter, not harder:

  • Do a reality check: Help your customers recognize the strain on resources caused by inefficient work processes.

  • Introduce automation: Use automation to help identify where time is being wasted and where processes can be improved. Deliver automated software that is flexible and easy to implement while providing the most self-service control and transparency that you can.

  • Unify the workplace: Bring multiple departments together to simplify processes and work flow. Find department leaders that believe in the potential for improving processes, and enlist them as evangelists who can help cultivate a culture that finds purpose in doing things smarter and better.

  • Give them the right tools: Reduce administrative work, improve productivity and increase time spent on strategic thinking by modernizing the technologies being used in their daily work tasks. Suggest modern collaboration systems to replace emails, phone calls and spreadsheets.

  • Inspire change: Help them catch the vision of change and the benefits of new technology adoption. Most customers will quickly become advocates when systems are put in place that save them time and frustration. At that point, they can turn their attention to innovation and those strategic initiatives. 

  • Foster the partner relationship: Develop a mutually beneficial relationship as their service provider through continual support. When ready, help them get to the next level by investing in a positive trusted adviser relationship.

Grow Your Business While Growing Theirs

As you help your customers transform their organizations, you may also benefit and experience a change in the way your own business grows. For example, a successful solution you provide your customer will begin to spread organically, allowing your services to be further embedded into the day-to-day operations of their organization. 

Finally, don’t forget to practice what you preach. As you help customers transform their businesses, look inward. Are you working as efficiently as you could be?

Dave Wright is chief strategy officer at ServiceNow, and serves as the company’s evangelist for how to improve workplace productivity. He enables ServiceNow customers to eliminate their reliance on email, spreadsheets and other manual processes so their employees can work smarter, not harder.

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