Over the past years, the digital era has transformed the customer experience on multiple levels with 80%1 of people stating that they would switch to a competitor after more than one bad experience. Due to this, businesses need to adapt and learn fast or be at a risk of being left behind and losing customers to digital-first businesses. This is where a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can have a positive impact on a business, developing the relationship with customers and providing a seamless customer experience across platforms.
CRM refers to all strategies, tools, and technologies used by businesses to acquire, nurture, and engage customers, with the key purpose of establishing long-lasting relationships and developing customer loyalty. CRM technology, put simply, is used to manage the information collected across departments ensuring it is always up-to-date, track and respond to activities such as emails and social posts efficiently, manage tasks and track performance.
But, what is CRM?
Here are some reasons why it is worth the investment:
Why should I invest in CRM?
- Visibility and single source of truth: Storing data about a potential or existing client in multiple locations provides a lack of a visibility about the contact and hinders collaboration, which in turn can have a significant impact on the customer experience. Storing the information collected from the sales experience on a single system allows instant access irrelevant of your department. Therefore, sales can identify cross-sale opportunities, customer service can immediately identify the person they are speaking to and view details of the purchase, whilst marketing can personalise a campaign to build loyalty.
- Cross-team collaboration: Empower teams to work together by involving people from different departments and expertise in a sale or a marketing campaign providing a greater experience to the customer.
- Operational efficiency and increased productivity: With the data being centralised, repetitive tasks and processes can be automated, such as reminding sales agents to follow up if no feedback was received in the last week or sending a survey after a case was closed. Further efficiency improvements are the use of email templates for repetitive content, technical-macros to quickly update or take action on multiple records, and a knowledge base to share solutions and articles across departments and agents.
- Boost sales: Aside from the amount of administrative work, a key pain point for sales agents is the lead quality qualification. Using a CRM and further through artificial intelligence features and automated criteria, sales agents can be guided to focus on the right prospects through the assistance of lead scoring. Thus, ensuring their time is spent on ‘warm leads’ which are most likely to close a deal. Through the visibility provided by the tool, teams and management can quickly understand at what stage in a sale process the customer is and identify what next steps need to be taken without losing track of anyone.
- Adopt an omni-channel experience: Customers want to be able to reach out to businesses on their preferred channel, this can be via social media messages, calls, live-chat or emails. Adopting an omni-channel approach and merging communication channels into a single stream, will allow the team to respond directly from the platform, whilst ensuring all interactions are tracked against the contact and the related opportunity or case.
- Analytics: Reports are a key element of a CRM. Based on the information available, management and employees can quickly understand which opportunities to focus on, forecast pipelines, understand how much time it takes for agents to close a case, identify what are the top complaints or if customers are receiving a poor after-sales support and so on. Through reports and dashboards, data can be crunched and analysed as required.
- Mobile: If the CRM you choose is cloud-based, your team can access the platform from anywhere given they have an internet connection, allowing them to provide a greater service to the customer. Agents can quickly update key information, schedule appointments, share information, open files and documents or track and manage cases whilst on the go.
To conclude, CRM technology can enable your business to increase both sales and customer satisfaction by putting data at the heart of the business. However, to reap the benefits of such an investment it must be implemented in the right way. Therefore, prior to embarking on this transformation, the stakeholders will need to review and revise their business processes to understand how all departments are currently working and how they can be transitioned to work together for a customer-focused approach.
Sources: Understanding customer expectations: Management tips and examples, Maggie Mazzetti, Zendesk Blog, June 2021.
For more information, please visit www.deloitte.com/mt/crm