How to Improve Customer Experience
with CPQ

The ‘One Size Fits All’ Myth of CPQ Solutions

I recently found myself shopping for new window blinds and was surprised to find the company operated from a very thick, paper sales catalog. Considering the complexity, including fabric, opacity, color, material, not to mention size, room location, I found it bewildering they hadn’t implemented a more modern system that would create a better customer experience.

Typically, a complex product such as this would benefit greatly from a CPQ tool, but even the best CPQ tool on the market has its limitations. The standard off the shelf CPQ solutions claim to be a one size fits all model, but in practice, the reality is more customization is needed to have a truly functional sales application.

Take, for instance, the example of buying blinds. The number of product options alone can create exponential complications, from fabric types, colors, functionality (corded, cordless, or motorized? Light blocking or light filtering? Vinyl, plastic, metal, or wood? Roman shades, honeycomb, or bamboo? Horizontal or vertical?

And this is before anything is even measured.

Now add to this the environment. Will the blinds be in a high moisture room, like a bathroom? Will they be in a room with a west facing exposure? Will they be in the ceiling for a skylight?

By adding in a system level blinds configurator, sales can calculate not only the room size, but the function of the room and how that effects the choices available.

Creating a quote using a standard Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) system, you would end up with a group of lines for each room, with each line representing a configuration corresponding to one window (width, height, color, etc.). So, if you have a room with five windows and want to change the color, you would need to remember to edit that in 5 configurations (opening the configurator, change the color, close it again).

Using a platform application such as Configit Ace®, you could build this into the application so that there were concepts of rooms and operations on rooms (such as color and type of room) which affected all windows in the room. You could add a room, specify it was a bathroom and then only be able to select blinds that would work in environments prone to heat and moisture.

With an additional offline capability, my customer experience (CX) would have looked more like a salesperson coming to my house with an iPad with the configurator loaded on it, and I could simply choose by room, or by operation, or by material. As it was, there needed to be several iterations even after placing an order, as errors in the chosen configuration were later identified and needed to be amended.

This sort of trial-and-error can lead to a significantly longer time from quote to order and the risk of losing the sale to a competitor due to customer frustration.

Beyond CPQ – Mastering Complexity
to Improve Customer Experience and Sales Performance

Hear industry leaders from Unity, CNHi, and more discuss how thinking beyond CPQ creates a seamless customer experience.

Configuration Lifecycle Management Summit 2022

Configuration Lifecycle Management for Sales