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Growth in the Digital Age? You Need a Powerful CRM

The past few years have been extremely challenging for businesses and thanks to the implications of the pandemic, they have been a catalyst for fourth industrial revolution technologies.  Businesses were solely focused on survival for the most part of 2020 and into 2021. A direct impact of this meant online conversation and sales dramatically grew. A secondary impact also meant customer experience (CX) requirements grew more complex as most companies brought in a patchwork of disparate technologies from different sources. Often, each technology deployed comes with a completely different underlying tech stack – so there is the added task of them working well together.

With a mismatch of systems all being used simultaneously, the burden of making them work as one was, and still is, foisted onto the customer. This holds companies back; it slows down processes and means businesses lack a complete customer view – arguably one of the most vital components of improving the customer experience.

Now, as we learn to live with COVID-19, businesses can no longer use the ‘survival mode’ reason as an excuse for a bad experience. Those that utilize CRM systems, however, will be properly able to track and manage all interactions and communication that reps have with prospects and customers, as well as nurture prospects.

And the evidence speaks for itself. Companies that have successfully used CRM have improved sales by 29%. So, what does having CRM at the heart of the business truly mean?

Capitalize better on customer behavior data

A good product will not save any business, and today only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers actually complain – the rest just leave. Today, it is crucial organizations build a customer experience that is better than its competitors. People tend to buy from companies that create incredible end-to-end experiences — not just incredible products.

To truly enrich a customers’ digital experiences in the ‘always on’ and digital-first world, one where ease of use is critical to everyone’s day-to-day lives, customers need to benefit from software that’s cohesive, customizable and empowering.

That’s why data is a crucial component when running a business. In order to enrich experiences, businesses should look at how they put data findings to use. Data is the tool which can make pre-emptive and proactive decisions. But for too long, businesses have relied just on their own internal data (such as sales and other financial metrics) to make these crucial decisions.

The unfortunate reality is that most companies today still don’t have the tools available to sufficiently clean, aggregate and interpret the data they do capture, such as customer behavior data. Given that CRM provides a continuous stream of data – that’s organized and structured with insightful customer trends and predictions – putting this to use is a no-brainer.

It’s possible to create simple, efficient and measurable customer journeys, from the first engagement at the top of the funnel, all the way through to the sale and post-purchase care. To avoid the missed opportunity and capitalize on great data, businesses need to understand how they can find the right tools to collect and articulate its valuable, high-quality customer data. The consequence?

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Business decisions backed by data that increase conversion, experience, and loyalty.

Teams must draw from the same source

Even better, when businesses smartly pull data – meaning the data is not siloed or made available to only one or a few teams across the organization – the business will further benefit from an even more impressive customer experience.

However, today, that’s not the case. While our own research found that 75% of users are satisfied with their CRM – it was the primary one. A downfall many CRM users cited was a lack of customizability, usage, and flexibility.

A reason for this is that many businesses are relying on complex and cobbled-together CRM systems that aren’t fit for purpose as they scale.

There needs to be much greater integration across the business. Yet rather than stitching together technology and hiring people to manage that, which leads to spending more time fixing systems than delighting customers, businesses need to simplify and consolidate. Doing so will allow any business to have a user friendly, simple, and easy to use CRM system. One that meets this increased customer expectation of a seamless digital experience thanks to the aligning of customer data, channels, and teams.

De-risk the processes

For those businesses itching to offer competitive customer experiences, they need to implement the best CRM tool. Although, like choosing any technology or software, the right CRM isn’t easy – and it isn’t just a procurement process or price point. Given how essential it is that CRM is deployed and used effectively, getting the change management process right is key when, historically, CRM deployments tend to have a patchy track record.

As our research suggested, businesses that really get CRM experience clear growth. Relationships with customers must be at the forefront of business strategy to allow authentic customer interactions.

CRM systems deployed correctly allow businesses to maintain thorough, accurate insights to provide better experiences for all. Added to this, constant technological advancements are improving CRM systems all the time – thus allowing businesses even more space to grow and scale up.

[To share your insights with us, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

 

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