Member Since: 27th Nov 2009
Business Consultant Pegasystems
29th Jan 2010
It is no surprise that businesses are acting cautiously in making any IT investment and CRM is no exception. Yet as we emerge from recession, it is equally clear that, in order to survive and thrive, businesses must move beyond a narrow ‘what we have we hold’ mentality to proactively driving new customer programmes.
To support this and ensure the best return on any investment in CRM solutions, the key is flexibility. Whilst businesses with complex, data-centric implementations will find it especially difficult to make software changes which can take months to execute, by contrast, for those adopting a rules-driven, process-centric approach, the business user can be involved from the outset, removing the need to include the IT team each time a change is required. As a result, software development times are cut dramatically. In-turn, this frees up valuable and limited IT resources for other value-added activities, especially true when these solutions are hosted in a Software-as-as-Service or ‘cloud-based’ environment. A CRM system that also complements both customer retention and cross-sell/upsell strategies also resonates strongly with the market’s move towards service a key differentiator, especially as capturing new customers is historically several times more expensive than developing the existing customer base. And, looking ahead, the ability for individual departments to rapidly flex in line with their customers and prospects will assume even greater strategic importance if enhanced customer satisfaction, the top priority for 2010, is to be fully realised.
30th Nov 2009
It may be worrying, yet not surprising, that two out of three communications service providers are having to make two or more attempts at resolving customer calls. And that an even greater number fail to provide customers with a consistent brand experience across different delivery channels.
Many businesses recognise that the solution lies somewhere around the area of effective multi-channel customer management and an ability to act on their key customer data. So, for example, they know that customers will be coming up for renewal but are simply unable to access and act on that information. So, how to tackle this? Much of the problem results from inflexible siloed back office functions that cannot talk to each other. By contrast, in driving the entire process from the front office and using automation to remove these silos, a common, unified response will both improve first call resolution – so improving the customer experience - and deliver wider economies of scale. And by using agile business process management software they can respond rapidly to change, so making the most of new opportunities presented by fast-evolving customer and market requirements. Businesses often suffer the frustration of knowing what the problem is as they continue to lose out to more agile competitors. By looking less at data and more at process, businesses can empower their agents by putting the right information – and only the right information – at their fingertips at the point of customer contact. The outcome is better first time resolution, resulting in happier customers – and more motivated staff. A rare example of true win/win.