Computer 2000, the UK arm of Tech Data, has made improvements to two of its key on-line services – Despatch On-Line (DOL) and Returns On-Line (ROL) – in a move the distributor says makes it easier for resellers to streamline everyday processes and keep their costs down.
Resellers can now use their purchase order number in DOL to find and check details of their orders and view proof-of-delivery (POD) notes with fuller details for more carriers. There are some other important features. For instance, the contents within each box are now detailed and the weight of the shipment is also recorded, making it easier to track discrepancies. DOL also enables customers to look up serial numbers on the system. As well as adding more functionality, the user interface has been updated to make it easier and more intuitive to use.
The changes to ROL make the process much simpler for resellers. They can now request a pick-up from the courier immediately on receipt of approval. Previously, they would have had to wait two to three working days after receiving the approval for a Returns Pack to arrive with all the necessary labels and documentation. Only then could they contact the courier to arrange a pick-up.
“All resellers will welcome the simplification of the returns process”, says David Gibbon, newly appointed general manager customer services at Computer 2000. “It is faster and involves less effort on their part. We can typically get an approval back to them within one working day and the courier will almost always be able to pick up returns the next day. So now, instead of it being usually four or five days before a return leaves their premises, it should be two or three days.”
Gibbon pointed out that this won’t always be the case, as vendors have different returns processes and policies; some take longer to approve returns than others and in a few cases, pick up returns themselves. “It would help us and our customers if vendors could decide on a standard process for handling returns and this is something that we would like to encourage as part of our plans to improve customer services. For now though, the new process should make it much simpler to manage.”
By streamlining the processes and systems for DOL and ROL, Computer 2000 hopes to make it much easier for resellers to deal with routine queries or requests without needing to call the customer services department personally. “We have an excellent and very experienced customer services team here and if we can deal with more of the routine events through on-line services, they will be able to put more focus on the more complicated situations and resolve them faster”, says Gibbon.
The 18-strong customer services team currently fields an estimated 200 calls and a similar number of emails per day, and Gibbon estimates that approximately one third could be dealt with on-line. He does not however, want to discourage resellers from calling the team at any time. “It is very important for customers to know that, if they need to talk to us, we are here, and that we will always put their needs first. At the same time, they should also make use of the on-line systems when it’s appropriate as they will find that this is the quickest and most efficient way to get the job done.”
Gibbon says that the enhancements to DOL and ROL are part of an on-going and continuous effort to improve the company’s all round levels of customer service. “We already deliver what we believe is a very high level of service to our reseller customers but there is always more that we can do. We will continue to improve our on-line systems and our internal and external business processes so that we can deliver the very best distribution service to all our customers.”