NTI News & Articles

Improving Customer Service with Document Management Software


According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, customer service representatives hold over 2.2 million jobs. Many work in telephone call or customer contact centers. Others work in insurance agencies, banks, stores, or other organizations that interact with customers. Businesses engaged in a competitive market know excellent customer service is a key differentiator. We’ve all had a bad experience with a company that doesn’t seem concerned with the level of service they provide. It’s a wonder how they even stay in business. On the other hand, when we deal with a company that provides outstanding service (after we get over the initial surprise) we recognize that these companies care about their customers and clearly have invested in making sure excellent customer service is provided.

According to the Peppers & Rogers Group, “81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition.” Expediency and providing accurate information are very important aspects of providing excellent customer service. In the marketplace today, Electronic Document Management Software (EDMS) systems are helping businesses improve customer service by allowing the customer service support team to find customer documents faster and respond to customer requests in real-time. By standardizing documents and processes in a structured and controlled filing system, customer service representatives spend less time chasing documents and more time helping customers.

Benefits of Using EDMS in Customer Service

76% of companies motivate employees to treat customers fairly and 62% provide effective tools and training to gain trust with their customers, source: Peppers & Rogers Group.

Instantly Answer Customer Inquiries

Customer churn is caused by customer feelings of poor treatment 68% of the time, source: TARP. Imagine a customer calling about a product, service call, insurance policy, lawsuit, tax return, or other service. The call usually centers on information contained in a document that was submitted by the customer or generated through the business process. Without an EDMS, chances are several minutes, if not longer, can be spent trying to locate the necessary document or information the customer needs.

In effort to ensure a positive customer experience, search and retrieve capabilities of an EDMS offer instant access to documents stored in the system. This sure beats putting the customer on hold for extended periods of time or telling them you will call them back after you ‘research’ their question.

Document Sharing and Distribution

Many times when dealing with a customer request, copies of documents or additional documents may need to be exchanged between the business and the customer. A document management system with the built in ability to send and receive documents via email, fax, and secure portal services is key to rapidly handling these document transactions. Documents that may have required mailing in the past can now easily be shared electronically, increasing the speed of response to the customer.

Document-Based Task Scheduling and Workflow

As customer service handles customer inquiries, it may be necessary for the representative to notify an account manager, service technician, lawyer, CPA, etc., about the customer’s need and route information contained in documents to the appropriate staff person. Document management systems can assist with this process by using features such as scheduling and workflow. A particular document(s) could be added to a scheduler for follow up on a specified date or routed to an electronic workflow process to handle a customer request. While the items are ‘in process’ either on the schedule or in workflow, customer service and other staff would have instant visibility as to what step of the process the document is in. This facilitates answering customer questions as the document moves through an organization. This is another example of how instant exposure to information needed to support the customer can better improve both the company and customer experience.


Customers trust that brands today are keeping their information safe and secure. With an EDMS, control and security of customer confidential information is much higher than paper documents floating around the office or randomly stored on multiple desktop computers or servers. The EDMS must have built in provisions to manage user rights at multiple levels within the system. Documents entering the EDMS should be instantly secured based on defined permission levels. These permission levels control which users have access to which documents and what they are able to do with those documents. This also limits unwanted exposure within the office environment to sensitive information companies may not want certain staff to see. An added benefit of most EDMS security structures is the ability to audit user activity such as accessing, editing, or deleted items, etc. The audit is important so companies can provide proof to the customer (or regulatory agency) if a question ever arises about who had exposure to sensitive documents.


According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, “Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about four to six people about their experience.” Attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one. source: Lee Resource Inc. A document management system grants an organization instant access to client documents, the ability to accelerate processes, and provide greatly improved customer satisfaction. The power of instant access to all document related customer information cannot be underestimated when it comes to providing first-class customer service. Without managing all customer related data in a central EDMS system, it is virtually impossible to get questions answered, appropriate staff involved in the customer process, and ultimately the information to the customer in an effective, proficient manner. Customer retention is key to maintaining business success and getting the critical word of mouth referrals that can continue to grow businesses today.