Some companies excel at customer experience, and some don’t. Which are you? No matter what category you’re in, one thing is certain: future success depends on delivering an exceptional customer experience no matter how your customer decides to interact with you. And to deliver that customer experience you need a modern CRM.
This year we’ve seen a dramatic shift in buyer behaviour. Some businesses have thrived because they were prepared to operate in physical and virtual worlds. Some companies were able to pivot and offer customers enhanced options to meet changing demands. A final group of companies is still struggling to get started. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
The greatest accelerator of digital transformation has been COVID-19. It forced companies to ramp up application modernization automation, and their digital journey more quickly than anyone could have imagined. A key focus area has been improving the customer experience across touchpoints like mobile, web, e-commerce, and email.
To accomplish corporate goals for customer service and experience, businesses need to operate efficiently in physical and online worlds. And to do this, they need a solid customer relationship management system (CRM). Outdated tools and technology are a significant barrier to delivering the experience customers want today because, among other things, outdated technology often traps information in silos preventing a single 360-degree view of the customer and their interactions.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools allow companies to manage interactions with their current and potential customers:
- Creates loyalty and customer retention
- Build engagement across digital platforms
- Personalize experience and build relationships
- Automate workflows, sales, marketing, and support
- Simplify interactions for your customers and employees
It’s no wonder CRM is topping the agenda for businesses looking for an edge. Leading CRM platforms, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, can help companies tackle the challenges of delivering a good customer and employee experience in a cloud-based solution for any time, anywhere on any device access.
Also, CRM solutions help employees do their jobs more efficiently whether they are working remotely or in an office. Upgrading from outdated platforms can eliminate some of your employees’ frustration and the barriers they encounter when trying to deliver exceptional customer service.
The customer imperative
As brands compete for customer loyalty, it’s the experience across all channels that sets companies apart and brings customers back time after time. IDC estimates companies will spend over $553 billion on customer experience technologies and services in 2020, and it’s a top target for IT spending.
And we all know it’s not just about the technology we put in place, but it’s how we use it. By capturing and analyzing customer data, we can start to see a clear picture of opportunities to engage with our customers better … but we will talk more about how data, analytics, and AI play in delivering exceptional CX in an upcoming post.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that happy customers are repeat buyers and unhappy ones not only stop doing business with you but tell others about their negative experience.
Speed of interaction, convenience, consistency, and friendly service matter most for customers, and during the pandemic, customer experience became tightly tied to the level of trust placed with a customer. When there’s a negative interaction, trust is lost (and often, so is the customer).
If we’ve learned anything over the last months, it is how critically important technology and digital experiences are to business survival … and yes, the word survival is intentional. The business models of the past aren’t coming back so to survive, businesses must change and modernize their operations.
The bottom line: CRM is required to lead in customer experience
The new normal requires companies to interact with customers in new ways and has highlighted the gaps preventing companies from effectively pivoting to an online world. Outdated applications and technology and a lack of CRM technology are barriers to creating a customer-centric business that helps you retain market share.
Forrester has found that 88% of executives believe that customer experience is tied directly to application improvements, but 48% feel application improvements aren’t happening fast enough.
Do you need to modernize your applications to improve customer experiences? Are you considering a new CRM solution? We’d love to hear from you. Let’s chat.