With today’s instant shopping abilities that can be done via computers and smartphones, such as Eat24, GrubHub, and Amazon the rules of engaging with customers has changed forever. Companies no longer try to differentiate their product or services only, the way that product or service is delivered has become an important factor.
78% of global digital companies try to differentiate themselves in the way they present the customer experience. This experience is measured in touch points. These include mobile, on site, social web, and customer contact centres. Every opportunity with your business and customer becomes a chance to delight them and build brand loyalty for repeat, and worthwhile business.
CRM Game Changing
Its more difficult today than ever before to delight and amaze your customers. There are more companies than ever before in every industry competing for their business and willing to satisfy and delight them. At the same time that organizations over deliver on the expectations of today, they must be ready to capitalize on the opportunities of tomorrow, such as with smartphone technology.
There is a constant battle in every sector to stay ahead of the game which is difficult with the amount of acquisitions and mergers that take place every year in a effort to leverage expertise. Existing customer relationship management (CRM) software is finding it increasingly difficult to keep pace with the needs of enterprise and the ever more changing and complex ways that customer interactions and relationship building is taking place.
When organizations have come to implement a CRM system solution, they have had to look at 2 aspects. Either choose an inflexible pre-packaged off the shelf CRM application, or hire a development team to build a customized CRM solution, which is very expensive. There has been a huge hangover from the CRM software of the 1990’s which was the result of large and mostly very expensive CRM applications that done little extra than aggregate customer data, providing no meaningful reporting functions to give guidance and intelligence value to the business adopting it.
Vendors of the new wave of cloud CRM based software application have promised increased simplicity, claiming they can deliver a better experience for business then the previous CRM conceptions. You have to be careful and evaluate the proposed software correctly though. There are still CRM applications that even when built with the cloud only offer business conformity with the application.
The problem that runs through the veins of much of today’s CRM application is they have been built from the ground up as contact management systems. They are great at presenting consolidated customer data and details but what they lack is the ability to convert any of that data into a context to help understand the content of the customer. They severely lack the ability to apply any of this context in an automated and intelligent way to allow for a simpler approach to understanding how your brand can fulfill its promise to the customer.
How can CRM application businesses provide a solution that meets the needs of today’s customer demands? It starts with the definition of a clear CRM strategy that outlines the objectives for how organizations who purchase the application want to engage with their customer base. CRM applications need to be able to provide a way to directly capture the vision of the company for their CRM objectives and have this made a reality in the execution of the system on a day to day basis.
Customizability is one of the main features that organizations demand from their CRM applications. As business change and adapt their approaches and delivery of their products and services to customers, so should the CRM they use follow this concept of flexibility and adapt also. CRM software should be an active participant of the customer experience process, and help analyze needs, and deliver the right information to people who are in contact with that customer. This should all be done intelligently, and with the lifetime value of customers serving as the basis for mission of any good CRM provider.
A successful CRM application should reach into all parts of a business to ensure that whatever aspect of the business the customer interacts with, a congruent and frictionless experience is delivered to them. From the first initial marketing effort, through to sales, onboard marketing, service and delivery, and then ultimately the growth of the customer relationship, CRM should deliver a constant and evolving contact ability.
CRM applications should be able to allow the users to get things done by integrating with business process management (BPM) and also through dynamic case management (DCM), enterprises should be able to automate their service and fulfillment process and deliver customer details at any point of the lifecycle. Relevant analytics should play a part also. WIth visualizations and reports allowing management to translate the best decisions into the next best action for that particular customer.
Customers each of their interactions, from marketing through to sales, and then service and operations to be seamless, and there are examples of companies that achieve this. Its with this consistent and relevant experience that engaged customers feel more loyal to a business and are happy to recommend their friends, and write positive feedback on forums such as social media. We all already know thats its easy for the to do the exact opposite. That’s why its so important to get CRM right, as its the lifeblood of every successful enterprise.