Finding the ‘I’ in CRM
At some point, we have all experienced situations in which we were not satisfied with the way a customer service team or another point of customer-facing contact within a company addressed our questions or issues. Perhaps we have even fallen into that frustratingly perpetual cycle of having to repeat ourselves to different members of a company, all of whom are unaware of the prior conversations we have already had. No customer wants to feel like they are just another number on a list. In fact, it’s estimated that 78% of consumers have bailed on transactions or not made an intended purchase because of poor service experience. In an age of increasing consumer choice, it’s more important than ever to take into account your customers’ individual profiles and needs during every interaction. Failure to do so creates a wall between your business and your customer base, which has the potential to threaten the business’ bottom line.
One of the great pitfalls that many businesses fall into is focussing too much on making customer interaction efficient and measurable in a bid to deal with customers quickly. This all too often results in a stiff, impersonal approach. Moreover, many larger enterprises have the added complication of various business units being coordinated under one customer service team. This can lead to customers being passed around from pillar to post, often experiencing delays while information is found to answer their queries. What modern businesses desperately need is a way to bring together all the past relevant data that exists for the customer in question, into a simplified view. The resulting 360° view ensures that each call can be assessed and dealt with in a highly personalised manner.
By empowering customer-facing staff with this complete view of data, so they can adapt their service, means that a business can deliver a more personalised and positive experience for customers. In order to do this staff need access to all the existing useful information about that particular customer via a modern game-changing CRM tool which offers that important 360° view of their customer base. By making this information available to all customer-facing employees, the entire organisation can make informed decisions quickly and efficiently, tailoring customer relations to meet the specific needs and requirements of each individual customer.
One key element that plays an important role in ensuring individualisation in customer relationships is the ability to break away from the difficult-to-use traditional CRM interfaces that can prevent customer-facing staff from viewing the information they need quickly. Modern generation CRM solutions now offers easy-to-use user interfaces which contrastingly provide a consistent experience for each individual staff member across all devices whether working in the office or remotely on a client site.
An individualised approach not only revolutionises how organisations interact with their customers, but impacts the success of bringing in and retaining new customers too. However, organisations must ensure that they embed customer-centricity within all operational layers and levels if they want to succeed. The time of customer interaction being reserved for call centres belongs firmly in the past. Businesses today need to empower all employees to deliver tailored customer service across the entire customer lifecycle. CRM solutions have the potential to be a powerful tool that can deliver the customer insights, which organisations need in order to move into an era of true customer-centricity.
Senior Director of Marketing, EMEA, SugarCRM
Daniel Heck is Senior Director of Marketing EMEA for SugarCRM and responsible for strategic and tactical marketing and communications activities in the region. Heck was formerly Senior Director EMEA Marketing with Canadian Solar, a leading global solar company...