CRM In the New Age of Customer Experience
In today's world where technology dominates and customers expect a whole new level of attention, digital transformation has taken place and a new breed of socially engaged and informed customer has emerged. Businesses have to be competitive and you need to go beyond the expected and deliver a great experience all round, but how?
This is where a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can help you achieve and improve your customer experience that you need to provide. According to a Walker study done in 2013, by the year 2020, 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience. Customers expect companies that they do business with to bend over back for them, so that little they plan to spend is fine. Essentially they want the experience!
According to Gartner, these numbers have grown and it is already 89% of companies that are determined to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience. PwC’s Digital IQ survey claims that 25% of businesses expect their digital enterprise investments to result in creating a better customer experience. Still not convinced? - then take a look at this study also published by Walker that states that in just 2 years’ time, customer experience will be the leading brand differentiator when it comes to a buying decision, leaving behind such criteria as product and price in 2020.
The study asked “How important are the following to your business strategy?”
Getting Started With CRM and Customer Experience
So, what do you have to do in order to create an exceptional experience for your customers? Fortunately, there is technology available to help you achieve this and the best technology on the market is CRM software. Essentially CRM software enables you to get a 360-degree view of your customer, which you can then use to create highly customized offers based on their interests, purchase history and more.
So how can you use your CRM software to improve the customer experience?
1. Communications - Having great customer experience is impossible without ongoing and meaningful communication. Basically every contact that you have with a customer, influences their decision as to whether or not they’ll do business with you. You only get that first impression once so you have to make it count!
A CRM system can be a great help, as it is increasingly used as a customer loyalty enhancement tool. By keeping in touch you will ensure that your customers stay satisfied and loyal. The system contains a wide range of information about your customers and how they interact with your business – including past activities, conversations and purchases. Using the data, you can keep your existing customers updated with company news, offers, sales campaigns, or other initiatives. A CRM software also allows you to segment the customers and address the right audience with the right message, instead of sending them all the same type of information.
2. Customer Needs - Customers today will always have something to say, sharing opinions and information about products through various communication channels, such as social media. So, if you want to be the loop of what’s hot and what’s not, you’d better start social listening to what they have to say!
One way to do this is by monitoring your social channels and keeping it active by posting questions and asking for your customer's opinions. Send them a survey through email marketing and ask them what they think of your products, services, and what you can do to make their experience better. This way it will show your customers that you care and this is a step in the right direction to keeping them happy.
3. Creating Personal Relationships - You need to start creating individualized relationships with customers and this is done through personalizing your communication. Customers can contact your company through a variety of channels, including email, phone and website, and through different departments, such as sales, marketing and customer service.
A CRM software captures all of these conversations over time, no matter what channel was used or from which department it came from. Since the information is stored in a central place, everyone in your organization has access to the information. This allows you to create the personalized customer experience that we all crave . Addressing them by their name, having a history of their communication, knowing exactly what the issue is without having to ask them to repeat themselves.
4. Be Proactive in Your Offerings - Your CRM system is a gold mine, since there are plenty of choices out there for the customer, you need to proactively offer them relevant products and/or services. A CRM system gives you knowledge of what your customers need by telling you what products or services they’re interested in, have asked for or have already bought. You also know what problems they've had before, and whether they were happy with the solutions you offered them.
5. Providing Customer Support - This is probably one of the most critical areas in providing a great customer experience, providing help and support to your customers when they need it. Since a majority of people prefer online communications when it comes to solving their problems and handling their complaints, your CRM software will ensure that no customer inquiry is lost, as each request is logged into a central system that can be accessed.
Once a customer sends in a request, you can set up the system to automatically send an email to inform the customer you have received it. This email can include a tracking number, information about the received inquiry and even suggest helpful FAQs and where other self-help resources, such as a knowledge base, can be found. This way, all customer requests receive attention and don’t disappear into the unknown.
6. Responding Quickly to Requests and Keeping up With Customer Needs - With the tracking capabilities of a CRM system you can address customers needs immediatley. People hate waiting for information and they also want to be responded to on their terms, not yours. This means that you will have to connect with your customers at a time, place and in the form that they choose.
With CRM software, you can speed up your responses to customer inquiries by using ready-made emails. With pre-made responses/templates, you can answer the most frequently asked questions quickly by selecting the template from a knowledge base. Another benefit of using templates is that each email is consistent with your brand.
With customers expecting you to do business on their terms and be able to read their minds, so to speak, a CRM System will help create full 360-degree view of your customer regardless of who in your company is talking to the customer. It also gives you the chance to personalize your communication, offer relevant content and service, and respond quickly to their requests ensuring that no question goes unanswered. Ultimately allowing companies to keeps everything straight and ensuring that they provide a great customer experience.