The customer experience is one of the most competitive arenas for businesses today – it is the space where decisions are made (sometimes within seconds) and loyalties are won over. Customer experience is set to overtake product and price as the driver behind consumers' purchasing decisions by 2020, according to customer experience consultancy firm Walker. In fact, a 2017 Gartner survey revealed that 81 per cent of marketers believe that customer experience is the focus of competition between businesses in 2019.
Given its crucial importance, how can businesses up to the ante and bring their A-game into play when it comes to customer experience?
Here is where customer relationship management (CRM) software can help. There is a common misconception about what CRM actually is. What it isn't is a mere database of customer details.
CRM can be a goldmine of information and a treasure trove of insights that can help you track your customer relationships throughout their lifecycle. It can offer a single, central place to safely store customer data and the tools to analyse your relationship with each customer.
Here are three benefits that an efficient CRM system ensures:
Ease of access to customer information
Mobile CRM gives you the benefits of desktop CRM wherever you go, whether in Dubai or Ajman, empowering you to give your customers the best service anytime. No matter where you or your sales team are working from, everyone has access to the same, up-to-date information. This means that no matter who the customer speaks to, everyone can offer the same reliable service, accurate information and great experiences.
Research by Innoppl Technologies shows that 65 per cent of salespeople who adopt mobile CRM meet their sales targets. The same research also shows that companies using CRM can shorten their sales cycles by between 8 per cent and 14 per cent. Yet, 22 per cent of salespeople don't know what CRM is and 40 per cent still use informal, and outdated methods like spreadsheets to store customer data. Such storage is not secure and could quite easily lead to a data breach.
Better manage marketing plans and social media campaigns
Consumers are exposed to thousands of brand messages daily, via SMS, emails or a billboard along Sheikh Zayed Road – and we have become very good at tuning out anything that's irrelevant. Through being relevant at the right time, on the right channels and platforms, CRM can help you stand out. This is because you can segment your customers and deliver highly targeted, personalised marketing messages and information at the exact times they need it.
CRM software also lets you monitor, measure, and analyse the results of your campaigns across paid and organic channels. You can save successful campaigns as templates to use again in future. This not only makes launching campaigns faster and cheaper, but because they've been successful in the past, you're guaranteed results. You can also discontinue ineffective campaigns.
A lot goes into the planning, execution, and monitoring of successful marketing and social media campaigns, with many different tasks and workflows to support. This can get overwhelming if you're running multiple campaigns simultaneously. With CRM software, you can automate key processes, analyse content performance to understand how customers respond to your communication, and use features like lead scoring to track leads and quantify the probability of conversion.
Nothing stifles team collaboration and productivity like data silos. When teams work from different datasets, they are inclined to make business decisions based on different insights.
In such a situation, how do you know which dataset is the most accurate and up to date?
You can avoid the guesswork altogether by adopting CRM software. It breaks down data silos, encourages the free flow of information, and ensures the online activity of all employees is transparent, visible, and accessible. From the CRM dashboard, everyone has access to the same information and the same insights. This results in accurate decision-making and ensures collective efforts towards the same goals and targets.
CRM software provides sales management tools, workflow and process automation, reporting, and project management capabilities. This integration allows sales teams to spend less time on admin and more time understanding customers and building relationships with them. Predictably, this results in the ultimate goal of improved customer experiences. When choosing CRM software, make sure it has the basics, like customer data, contact management, marketing, sales, service, analytics, and reports. The right solution can give your business a significant boost in productivity and could potentially double your revenue within 36 months.
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