Customer Enquiry is a customer facing transaction that can be used for simple communication exchange, as well as for product offering and quotations.
Enquiries can originate from website contact forms, emails, telephonic conversations and more. The very basic enquiry has customer contact details, such as name and email address and optional phone number. Most enquiries start with a message from the customer and have a conversation thread. Enquiries can be attached to a customer account or be account free.
Enquiries can contain products. Typical use of product enquiry is to add a "Product Enquiry" button on each product page. When customer opts to use this functionality, the generated enquiry would contain a product in addition to the contact details and the message.
Cart & Wish List Enquiry
It is possible to generate an enquiry from the cart content or a wish list, so that it contains one or more products.
Hierarchical Product Structure
When the retailer is processing an enquiry, it is possible to add additional items to the enquiry, for various reasons. One scenario is to offer an alternative for an out-of-stock item, offer more suitable item for the customer needs, or offer additional products, such as accessories, consumables or services. When adding products as alternatives or accessories, these products can be placed "under" the original product, resulting in a hierarchical product view, and rendered as such in the response email to the customer.
A product enquiry can be converted to a quotation, having a list of products, quantities, prices, totals etc. It is also possible to generate an invoice or proforma invoice from a quotation and email it to the customer.
There is support for four types of quotation structure: all items, individual groups, one item per group, individual items.
- The "all items" structure means that the quotation is valid only for purchase of all items in the quotation.
- The "individual groups" structure means that the quotation is valid for purchase of one group of items, meaning a single top-level product and all products under it. This is useful when offering several alternative options, and each option has its own set of additional items. Example is, offering a mobile phone and a charger - one offer can consist of phone A with a car charger and screen protector for phone A, and the other offer may consist of phone B, which comes standard with a car charger, and screen protector for phone B. Customer is expected to either buy phone A or phone B with the offered accessories under that phone, but not both phone A and phone B, but yet, if the customer does not want to buy the accessories offered the quotation then is not valid.
- The "one item per group" structure is useful for offering alternative for out-of-stock or discontinued items, or simply more suitable items for the customer's needs. In this case the customer needs to order one item from each group consisting of a top level item and possibly some alternative items placed under that top level item.
- The "individual items" structure allows the customer to order any of the items in the quotation, with no restrictions whatsoever.
The quotation structure determines the intent and possibly the presentation of the quotation in the email sent to the customer or presented online, but still needs the means for the customer to make his selection (except for the "all items" structure, where there is nothing to select). The platform allows for setting up an interactive quotation online, where the customer can select the items they want and get real-time total cost based on selection, while keeping the customer inline with the intended restrictions for the particular structure. For example
- The "all items" structure offers no options to add or remove items, and single "place order" button that will generate a sales order from the quotation, containing all items as per quotation - this is the base case.
- The "individual groups" structure means that the customer will have a "place order" button and total cost under each group of items, allowing them to place an order for that group of products with one click.
- The "one item per group" structure means that the customer will have selection buttons against each item, and they need to select one item in each group of items in order to be able to place an order. As they make selection, the total at the bottom is being updated to reflect the current selection.
- The "individual items" structure means that the customer can select 1 or more items with no restriction, and then can place an order as long as there is at least one item selected. Again, total cost based on current selection is updated at the bottom of the quotation.
Quotation Discount Mode
Discounts can be added to a quotation in 3 different ways - by specifying a discount per cent, discount amount or discounted price. In all cases the total quotation amount and remaining profit are calculated immediately, subject to supplier products and costing being configured for each retail product included in the quotation.
Apply pre-configured discount profile to all items in the quotation with just two clicks. Useful when using pre-defined discount model.
Place Order from Quotation
Both the customer and the retailer (on behalf of the customer) can place an order from a quotation with just few clicks in mere seconds.
Lead functionality supports engaging the prospective customer in a systematic manner, with the intend to close a sale. Lead status allows for progress monitoring and conversion tracking based on source and sales person who handled the lead.
Tagging enquiries is a useful feature that can be used for attaching hints to the transaction, to aid its processing (e.g. "urgent" tag), or be used in reporting.
The customer account has all the customer information as provided by the customer, as well as full session, enquiry and order history.
Account details contains all the known information about the customer, such as name, contact details and addresses.
Full customer enquiry / quotation history is available under the customer account.
Full order history is available under the customer account.
Full product purchase history is available under the customer account. This is simply a different way to look at the order history - starting with the product, rather than with the order.
Useful for analysing usage patterns of the customer.
Cash accounts are used to keep customer's cash for future use. For example, if a customer orders few items, and one is not in stock, they can opt to keep their cash in their account and later use it to fund another order. It is also possible to setup pre-funding of accounts so that the customer can fund their account and then use the funds to pay for future purchases.
A tier can be assigned to an account for automatic discounting purposes. When a customer logs into their account, all the prices displayed on the website will be adjusted to the associated tier.
Add free text notes to an account, so important information is not lost and can be used later for better and more personalised service delivery.
Add tags to account to hint about aspects of the individual or entity behind the account (e.g. "VIP").