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Uber is disrupting the taxi business, big time. Uber completed 62 million trips in the US in July 2016, up 15% from 2015. The competitor Lyft delivered 14 million trips. What is the secret sauce?

Price is important, but it’s the simplicity for the customer that is key. No more unknown waiting for if and when a taxi will arrive. You can see the available inventory (cars in the neighborhood) before ordering and track your order (how the car is approaching) in real time. I meet Infor M3 customers in many industries every day and there are still companies that don’t offer online customer self service (eCommerce) – let alone mobile self service. Taxi, please hold.

Self service increases sales

Can your customers place and track their orders online and have full visibility into your supply chain? Customers today expect a consumer experience even in a B2B scenario. We have Infor M3 customers that now do 75% ($300M+) of their business online. Their experience is that sales volume increase when customers move from Taxi orders to Uber orders. Making it easier to do business with you should be a top priority. Put yourself in your customers seat and think about how you can eliminate your Taxi line.

Self service decreases cost

Belief: Our customers wants to talk to customer service. Fact: No, they don’t. Customer service is key for customer advice on complex orders and are needed to resolve issues. For regular order entry, customer service is an obstacle that drives the order entry cost to the double of customer self service orders. If you look at your current order volume you’d be amazed how much money you’re leaving on the table. One of our Infor M3 customers launched their B2B site 11 months ago and they now receive 20% of their orders online. Customer service can take 1 day a week off and the customers are happier.

Mobile Wow!

Last week I witnessed a fashion replenishment order of €114,000 that was placed on a mobile device. This customer used to place his replenishment orders on his laptop and when asked why he now ordered on his mobile device he responded “I was downstairs”. Can your customers place their order on a mobile device in less than 10 seconds? Your future success relies on making it easier for your customers to do business with you.

One of the B2C winners in simplicity is Starbucks. You can order your “dirty chai, soy milk, no water”-drink on the phone while waiting for a green light at the closest intersection. Order is fast and the checkout/payment step is even faster. This simplicity makes millions of us pay $4 for a coffee with milk even though other options are just as tasty and less expensive.

Some of you are now thinking, well that works for consumer sales (B2C), not for our professional customers (B2B). Isn’t it a fact that you know your customers better than most retailers know their customers? Many orders are repeat orders and often your customers know exactly what they want.

Companies that can provide the Uber and Starbucks simplicity will be the winners of your industry – will this be you?

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