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CRM software is effective tools in helping companies manage their business database more effectively. Eventually collection of this valuable information results in a better understanding of what their customers want. Knowing what your clients like is important aspects of doing business in today's fiercely competitive economy. If you would like to have big data insights into your clients and increase sales and bring more business into your organization then, consider what a CRM technology could do for your business.
CRM is a type of software that offers a wide range of applications to organizations, enabling them to manage their client’s information and customer relations more effectively. This customer centric data is centralized, which makes accessing and analyzing information easy. A CRM system creates a well-integrated database that helps employees of different departments work together .Employees of the organizations stay on the same page regarding objectives and goals.
A consumer's first interaction with an organization is often through its website or in social media. When a potential consumer visiting your website and looking at your products, a CRM system allows you collect information on all of your website visitors, chase that potential purchase more easily by targeting the best of prospects and how to attract them for the purchase.
Building better relationships with clients should be every company’s goal to stay competitive and grow in today’s business world. A CRM system will improve customer loyalty by monitoring and managing customer data through sophisticated programs. Understanding your clients' concerns, shopping habits and preferences will allow you to enhance their overall experiences with your organization.
One of the most important aspects of understanding your customers is how well your departments deal with potential complaints. CRM will make this process faster and efficient by automatically forwarding a complaint to the correct department. Your customers will be more satisfied when a customer's concern has been dealt with promptly and fairly, they are going to be more satisfied overall with your business.
CRM system monitors daily operations of your business, so your management always aware of the latest developments and tasks. Accessing a report, for example, gives you a glimpse into how your business is faring at any particular time. CRM software provides management reports that track business performance, forecast sales and returns, measure service activities and identify potential business opportunities. CRM is a good strategic-planning tool that provides report dashboards, data insights and will undoubtedly help your managers make better business decisions.
A CRM system will enable you to communicate with customers more effectively and helps with the rapport-building process. Once your clients notice that your company is looking out for their best interests the chances of creating customer loyalty will increase. They feel like they know your company on a personal level.
In addition to building strong connections with your clients, CRM software is an effective communication tool within an organization. It keeps your sales team up-to-speed with the most recent exchanges. Communicating effectively in this way helps to improve the formulation process and, ultimately, secure more sales.
Technology has become important part of businesses and companies are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages CRM can bring to their business. This customer relationship software can significantly improve your sales and enable your business to be a serious contender in today's competitive marketplace.
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Providing great customer service is a challenge for many businesses today.
Companies like Amazon and Zappos have raised in the bar in terms of what customers expect, and there are an increasing number of tools and technologies that businesses people can use to improve their support.
So, we asked 14 customer service and customer experience experts this question:
What's the biggest customer service challenges today's companies are facing and how can they overcome it?
Here's what they said:
Too many companies focus myopically on the infrastructure and technology to support voice of the customer (VOC), customer experience (CX), and enterprise feedback management (EFM) and neglect their greatest customer experience asset and feedback source: competent, customer-focused, and engaged employees who are both capable and inspired to consistently provide superior customer service.
A majority of companies employ capable workers who possess adequate job knowledge and demonstrate sufficient job skill. These employees know WHAT to do and HOW to do it.
Where most companies fail (and where the consistency of customer service quality routinely breaks down) is they stop there, assuming that employees are now equipped to consistently provide exceptional customer service.
How can they overcome this challenge?
What these companies overlook is the need to define and share the organisation’s purpose, which informs employees about their highest priority at work.
Employees need to know WHY they are doing WHAT they are doing HOW they are doing it.
Instead of just being given something to work ON (duties and tasks), employees must be given something to work TOWARD (purpose).
The result is a workforce that is not only capable of providing superior customer service, but inspired to do so consistently.
For most companies, the biggest customer service challenge today is meeting diverse customer expectations in public on diverse channels – email, live chat, telephone, face-to-face, and social media.
If you think far back in history, interactions with customers were local, one-to-one, and face-to-face, advances in travel brought diverse customers to businesses and companies then had to meet more diverse expectations. Telephone introduced the challenge of understanding people without seeing them.
Email brought the challenge of understanding emotions and communicating well with no tone of voice. Now with social media, companies face all those challenges with the extra pressure of doing it in front of the world.
To meet this challenge:
The degree of change that all service operations are facing is unprecedented.
It is clear that choice, availability, responsiveness and personalisation are all pretty much engrained in customer expectations.
Yet few service organisations have delivered the corresponding responses in terms of omni-channel, 24x7, real time and tailored customer journeys.
Budget allocation, business cases and ability to change at speed are still holding back the mainstream. A few are finding the real start point is about changing mind-sets and behaviours in the first instance.
As has been said before in many other contexts, 'you have to be digital to do digital'. This costs nothing apart from the willingness to leave behind familiar ways and learn new habits. The real challenge right now is us.
The customer’s expectations are changing. They are smarter and demand a level of service that is no longer compared to your competitor, but to any good customer service provider.
In other words, you may be in manufacturing, but you are being compared to the great experience your customer had with the restaurant they ate at last week, or the hotel they stayed at on their last business trip.
So, the first challenge is to meet the every changing and demanding expectations of the customer.
Another big challenge is technology:
Are you keeping up?
Do you connect through channels other than the traditional phone support?
Customers are enjoying “self-service” solutions that go beyond a website with a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
Customers want information fast, which is why they like instant chat, videos, and other solutions that help them get the answers they need without the hassle of calling a company and being put on hold while waiting for a CSR rep.
The challenge is knowing what’s right for your customer and your industry.
1. Many companies are still struggling to achieve a single view of the customer. Customers are walking into stores, placing orders online, calling companies when they have a difficult problem, self-serving and interacting with firms via the web and social media.
In their minds they are having ‘one’ conversation albeit across multiple channels with one organisation.
The challenge for firms is to integrate all of these conversations into one system, integrate that with order and account history as well as equipping staff with the right tools, training and authority to be able to deal with every and any customer problem or question that comes their way.
Companies know this, customers expect this but yet many firms are still struggling to pull this off.
One of the main reasons is that many firms are attempting wholesale and complete transformation and encounter too many problems along the way with legacy systems, culture, management style, staff skills etc etc.
However, perhaps firms should try to go slower in order to go faster and further in their efforts and start with a ‘pilot’ approach in one or two areas of their business where they can trial, test and learn from a new approach, adjust and then scale one they have it right.
2. Re-evaluating the role and value of customer facing staff. If we assume the above challenge is right then there is an additional challenge that comes out of that and that is how we recruit, organise, train and reward our customer facing staff.
In many organisations, retaining an organisational structure that is very silo based, is very focused on risk minimisation and limits the autonomy and responsibility of staff acts as a real hindrance to delivering then sort of service and experience that organisations want to deliver.
BT and Avaya in a recent report: SuperAgent 2020: The Evolution of the Contact Centre stated that:
“The primary function of the Contact Centre will be largely complex problem solving because products and services are becoming more complicated and more customers are using web, social and mobile self-service to do the simple, transactional stuff."
This type of 2020 scenario doesn’t seem to be the domain of employees that are paid, on average, 30 percent below the average UK salary.
Isn’t it time that we re-evaluated the role of customer facing staff, for us to give these roles the appropriate level of respect and value that they deserve and then recruit the right people, equip them with the right skills and tools and reward them well?
Many companies want to be customer-centric, but few actually plan or provide for that. They are challenged by viewing customer service as a purely reactive exercise.
Organisations focus on putting out fires instead of never creating them in the first place.
The best companies see proactive customer service as an important function in their organisation.
Having a customer experience mission is a key part of this. Ordinary mission statements saying things like "to be the best" aren't directing everybody in the organisation with how to delivery exceptional service to customers.
The well-known service leaders have missions that see serving customers as part of their core mission. Zappos and Southwest Airlines missions, for example, don't dwell on products or shareholders at all.
They both focus on providing service to customers.
If an organisation doesn't share this sort of focus, customer service will always remain an afterthought.
Service reps will be left to clean up very big messes again and again. And organisations will never stand out as being customer-centric.
I think a big challenge for customer service is making sure it’s an integrated part of the end-to-end customer experience. Customers don’t like to repeat themselves.
When an interaction starts on the web or an IVR and then transfers to a live agent, don’t require the customer to start from scratch.
Unfortunately, my research finds that about 80% of companies suffer from this “touchpoint amnesia” – forgetting customer information during a multi-touch experience.
The right technology can help, either by using one platform or through integration. However, it’s not just a tech issue.
Most large organisations also find customer-centricity hampered by a lack of cooperation across organisation silos.
Each department or function does its own job but sometimes treats one customer differently in marketing, sales, purchasing, and service.
Senior leadership, sometimes with the aid of a chief customer or experience officer, can help foster better collaboration and an improved total customer experience.
Customer service is about human interaction and solving problems. Often times under very stressful situations.
CSRs are usually under pressure to quickly solve the case which can make empathic interaction a challenge. But, empathy is number one. To be able to understand the emotional issues impacting the customers experience.
An additional challenge to ensuring that you have high-quality interactions with customers is in the area of empowerment.
If you want your people to act like it’s their business, make it their business. Empowering your CSR staff will lead to them never losing a customer over a stupid rule.
The biggest challenge lies with conquering the mindset of trying to drive customer service costs down, particularly using technology.
If the desire is to "win" the customer service wars in a niche (and to profit from the victory), the winners will be those who hire enough PEOPLE, amd train those people properly, recouping those costs through improved sales, lower customer acquisition costs, and better retention.
People CRAVE human contact. The winners will be those who build relationships, even if the process has short term financial hits.
Let's look at this question from the end and work back toward the beginning.
Assume that a problem has been overcome. That creates requirement for success #4: the ability to implement a desired change.
Going backwards one more step lands on #3: having a clear picture of the change you want.
Stepping back one more time gets to #2: finding the sweet spot between what customers truly want and what the business can deliver authentically well.
Finally, we arrive at #1. Its requirement for success are being able to listen to customers accurately and having the corporate will to do so.
In my humble opinion, the biggest challenge is #1 – getting the organisation to truly listen to what customers want and act on it.
Many brands I've worked with (successfully) have a predisposition to use ROI (return on investment) which is biased toward doing things the way that's best for the company – not necessarily best for the customer.
As a result, many cool ideas don't make it pass the first consideration cut because they don't meet a back-of-the-napkin ROI threshold.
That's too bad because I've seen data that shows many customers (especially those of commodity brands) truly want the businesses that serve them to do so differently.
There's lots of opportunity. The first challenge to overcome is to provide inside innovators with the latitude to listen to their customers' needs –then to do something about it!
The techniques to overcome this first challenge are proven and pretty straightforward.
11. John Ragsdale: vice-president of technology and social research for the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA)
TSIA surveys members about top business challenges, and we categorise all of our member inquiries to track which business challenges are generating the most questions.
While there are some interesting strategic and technical issues on the list of “what’s keeping people up at night,” including knowledge management and the retiring workforce, shifting service operations from supporting on premise to cloud technology, optimising renewals, and improving adoption of self-service, the number one challenge by far remains a more tactical problem: understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) for support services.
One of the key values of TSIA membership is benchmarking.
We track hundreds of operational and financial metrics from our members, show them how they compare to their industry peers, and provide guidance on how to improve problem areas.
Understanding which metrics to track, how to calculate them, what ‘best practice’ ranges are for the metrics, and how to move them, continues to be the #1 issue technology support operations are dealing with.
There are a number of underlying problems here.
Though metrics such as response time, resolution time, first contact resolution rate, operating margins and retention rates are common to all support operations, there aren’t any recognised standard definitions.
Most support managers were promoted because they were good support technicians, and as I experienced early in my career, there isn’t always much training provided to new managers on the science of support and the metrics involved.
Add to that the challenge that most technology companies have rapidly grown through acquisition and mergers, and information required for metric calculations may be spread across a dozen or more systems.
In my conversations with support executives about service technology, CRM remains a hot topic.
Not only picking the right solution, but also how to increase adoption by employees, how to standardise processes and data capture across global enterprises, and how to optimise reporting to automate metrics programs.
Having a good metrics program in place is critical to calculating ROI for any new technology purchase, and unfortunately, many companies don’t have a strong enough understanding of “before” metrics to accurately calculate the business impact of new processes or tools.
Here are some high-level guidelines to better understanding of support metrics and improving a metrics program:
Services and products have become commoditised. Competition is stiff and companies like Amazon are consistently reinventing ways to provide better and faster service.
When consumers evaluate your company’s service delivery, they are thinking how quickly and easily it was to do business with the Amazons or Zappos of the world even if those businesses are not direct competitors.
The companies that can deliver personalised service will be able to create and build relationships to positively impact bottom line revenues and profitability.
Organisations can meet these new challenges by employing technology used to enhance, not diminish that relationship.
Make sure any features added make it easier for the customer to do business and help provide a more customised experience.
Training and coaching for representatives must include teaching them to be welcoming, listening to underlying emotions, as well as what the customer is saying, and leaving the customer with the feeling that the company cares about them as an individual.
The right technology, coupled with the human-to-human touch, is a winning strategy.
There is an ever-greater emphasis on improving the customer experience as competition intensifies, margins shrink, and buyers more actively compare suppliers.
In this digital and social age we now live in, based on their last interaction, your customers are probably sharing how your company treated them—positively, negatively, or indifferently.
Instead of just meeting, talking about, and guessing what the customer experience is, make it a point to experience being your customer, so you can better understand your customer experience.
You may be delighted or disappointed with the results, but either way, you’ll be a much more effective champion for the voice of the customer within your organisation.
I think the biggest customer experience challenge organisations face today is getting executive buy-in.
Without company leadership committed to changing the culture and changing the company's focus to make both the customer and the employee experience priorities, there's no moving forward.
Companies might have localised or departmentalised efforts, but those will be silo'd efforts that translate to silo'd experiences for the customer. Without executive commitment, you'll never get resources - human, capital, or other - to execute on your customer experience strategy.
The most effective way to get executive buy-in is to build the business case. Identify your objectives and then align the outcomes and benefits tied to each. Clearly, the stronger the business case, the better.
Your outcomes may be customer retention, account growth, new business through referrals, culture change, etc.
Benefits might include cost savings and other efficiencies. Communicate objectives, outcomes, and benefits to gain buy-in.
To support the business case, show some quick wins, which can be achieved through service or account recovery examples or by listening to customers at a specific touchpoint, making improvements, and showing ROI.
To help build your case, focus on what's important to the customer as well as to the business; use a critical touch-point or moment of truth as your stepping stone.
Providing great customer service means never letting a customer down, and according to these experts it's more important than ever. Great service is what today's customers expect, and it's the key to building lasting relationships that will help grow your business.
If you'd like to learn more about how an integrated CRM/ERP solution can help you, check out 5 must-read reasons why CRM enables better customer service.
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By: Bryan Collins, Originally Posted June 30, 2015.
Reposted from original source here.
Implementing an ERP system is, among other things, needs analysis of your current business and expertise of the vendor you purchase your software. The first step in implementing an ERP system is collecting information on your business, your market, your goals and strategy. For an effective and successful ERP implementation you need to gather a lot of information.
Essentially what you are doing is establishing the essential parts of your business. Your management team and decision makers need to find out what you are actually doing, not what you think you're doing.
It should not surprise you if you have discovered that your business is not doing things the way you think you are. This is true of many organizations to a greater or lesser extent. It can range all the way from business processes that don't work and also find out that your business operations are different than you thought they were.
An ERP implementation has to start by putting the business under a review to understand the depth of the business, and figuring out detailed tasks of employees. This is unlikely to happen without ERP implementation because few companies would gather information at that level of detail otherwise.
Over time your company might be in a different business or a different part of the business. Because over time your business has responded to competitive changes in the market and evolved to accommodate changing customer needs. Over time this process can be so subtle you never really notice it. You simply do what you need to and suddenly you're doing something very different.
A good example of this is IBM and its response to competition in the business PC market place. The company, which had practically invented the business computers as we know, it was facing heavy competitive pressure from new start-up companies like Dell that essentially built their pcs to customer order and the customized for memory, hard drive, graphics . Every computer that Dell shipped was a custom product, put together from a long list of options. The model worked and Dell was growing fast.
To be able compete with Dell and cutting back on inventory, IBM decided to install an Enterprise Resource Planning system to cover its entire distribution chain. So there was a massive effort to gather information about what was actually its business processes and business model.
Soon enough IBM has found out that very few of the PCs it sold into the business market were actually stock units. Their clients wanted their PCs customized with things like more different capacities of hard drives, memory, better graphics, etc. So the distributors took the IBM systems apart and fit them out to the clients' orders.
As it turns out that IBM was in the custom PC business without even knowing it.
With this information in hand, IBM has changed its processes to conform to a new business model. The company started shipping computers in pieces to make it easier for the distributors to meet the clients' needs.
They found out the truth about their business practices by examining their business practice for ERP implementation. The company was actually in the business of custom systems rather than stock computers – they were able to regain competitive advantage. Another change was that they radically cut their inventory and the time it took to deliver a system.
Before implementing an ERP system, it is crucial that businesses find out the ground truth about their business processes. Considering your employees spend all of their paid times trying to work around your business practices.
This is one of the reasons that the early investigations of your business practices and gathering information for an ERP are so important. If you don't have the ground truth when you start modifying your processes before an ERP implementation , you are more likely to end up with business problems .
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Do you dream of developing your business to be the best in the world at what you do? Do you believe that you can do it?
Many businesses are doing "OK". It may feel like a bit of a grind, many things are less than perfect and after a while we accept them as givens. But deep inside we would really like to be part of a team that could take it to a new level, to be the very best in our market or even the world.
To change seems so difficult, all of these roadblocks seem to stand in front of us. And yet the threat of being complacent is real and present. And, while you are standing still thousands of new companies all over the world are working on implementing their "uber" approaches to your industry, in an attempt to attract your customers with a new-economy approach. (Uber is a company that provides on demand, decentralized Taxi-services in many cities across the world. You may have heard of them in the news.)
What if? What if you could begin an initiative that would allow your organization to change? What if you could create a breakthrough that would result in your organization becoming better and better? How can your team compete with the best companies in your market?
Is your company like most out there? You have a good team but you know you could be doing better. It is hard to get all the information to make really good decisions. Too often you need to make decisions based on far less information than you would really like.
Jim Collins in his book Good to Great studied great companies to find what made them different from the pack.
As shown in his graphic there are a series of components necessary to achieve greatness and above average success.
Confronting the brutal facts presents another challenge. In too many of our companies there is not enough timely information to truly confront the brutal facts. The first fact that needs to be confronted is that the information needed to make good decisions needs to be aggregated so that it can be analyzed and the real brutal facts can be seen. This will need the right tools and the people will also need to understand "what's in it for them". Compliance can be challenging without the right groundwork, culture and approach.
Spreadsheets, informal databases and knowledge that goes home every night, limits the collection and consolidation of facts to truly identify the brutal facts. Any effort to collect that information without it being a by-product of user efficiency and benefit will be met with resistance and non-compliance.
Obtaining the brutal facts also needs to become part of an empowerment process where every member in the team can be contributing and working towards improvement in their role, their team’s performance and the overall company success. The organization loses when the system becomes Big Brother and is primarily used to reprimand people for substandard metrics.
As identified in the graphic, technology is critical to achieving a breakthrough. For many organizations, the high value place to impact this process is with a powerful CRM implementation that provides the following capabilities:
For some companies confronting the brutal facts will mean that they have implemented the wrong CRM and would be well served by initiating a move to a system and team that can deliver all of the needed core capabilities.
These five critical components provide the organization empowerment and user benefit. They can also provide sub-year payback if leadership is committed, engaged and following the right process with support of experienced advisors.
To learn how you can achieve a break through and build its greatness, contact Robert Nickel of CRM Systems.
One of the main ways Enterprise Resource Planning improves efficiency is by standardizing company processes. Part of the ERP implementation is the review of all the major processes in the organizations. These practice result in the standardization of the business practices in organizations.
ERP provides standardization that brings efficiency and entirety of different departments in enterprises. Most businesses will end up realizing the problematic, unreliable, costly operations of their own business that may not be looked or examined before. Standardization will give a set of expectations on how the company’s operations will continue and therefore will increase productivity in your business.
Standardization of the business processes bring consistent results with the same money and time invested in the operations. That is one of the reasons why business consultants spend more time on studying and standardizing the operations of the enterprises. Re-engineered and optimized processes result in automation with ERP. Automation will reduce human error on the daily operations of the enterprises. As processes are studied and standardized as part of the Enterprise Resource Planning implementation they are also optimized to give the best possible outcome.
ERP implementation will bring a great value in your company’s customer service. Your customer service representative will able to provide real time information to your customers. Sales team and customer service reps will be working off the same database. By having one database will help your employees give the same information to your customers therefore customer service satisfaction and customers’ loyalty will increase significantly.
ERP will change the way your organizations do the business. This might be challenging for some employees. It is important to educate your employees on the benefits and methods of ERP.
Enterprise Resource Planning also increases efficiency by integrating functions closely across the entire organization. An ERP implementation combines all the important areas of the business from sales, customer service to accounting and warehousing. The modules of an ERP system are designed to work together tightly; the result is less error and generally improved overall efficiency.
ERP systems have the capacity of generating complex business reports for managers. Reporting system means better knowledge of the business at a given time and control of the business. With ERP managers can generate their own ad-hoc reports and perform even moderately complex analysis without the help of IT staff.
In conclusion businesses simply run better with an ERP implementation. Errors are greatly reduced and managers can concentrate on running the business rather than having to spend time correcting errors and trying to determine the state of the business.
Many companies around the world are trying to improve their productivity and increase sales with modest sales and marketing budgets. The truth is that in most cases, with every marketing dollar spent, return on investment is unknown due to the many different variables involved. Your company may be in a geographical location of where there are many similar businesses operating and you therefore face fierce competition and have to have a large marketing budget. Despite the budget your business also has to try out different marketing strategies until you get the success you are looking for, and that enables you to grow.
For small to medium size businesses, your executives want to know the facts and they would like to forecast revenue and growth based on those details with unknown parameters. Your management team also want to get the most out of your labour force. So how do all these small to medium size companies can stay in business, grow and increase shareholders investments?
The good news is you are not alone. In Canada many business are small to medium sized companies. They all have the same business problems as you would be trying to solve.
In 2012, over 7.7 million employees, or 69.7 percent of the total private labour force, worked for small businesses and 2.2 million employees, or 20.2 percent of the labour force, worked for medium-sized businesses in Canada. In total, SMEs employed about 10 million individuals, or 89.9 percent of employees (Figure 1).
A perfect CRM and ERP software solution integrated with your current technology can solve many of your business problems by automating your business operations, increasing the effectiveness of your sales teams, creating targeted marketing campaigns, providing real time data on your sales prospects and customers information, collecting valuable customer data insights, reducing unnecessary administrative and paper work of your labour force across your entire organization and much more.
Many business are looking into software solutions to solve their business problems. The below projections of spending in technology demonstrate the fact that business rely on technology to continue their operations. Gartner says global IT spending will reach $3.5 trillion in 2017.
Most of the growth is driven by growth in software and IT services revenue, worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9 percent from 2016 estimated spending of $3.4 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Below is the chart created by Gartner research.
Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)
2016 Growth (%)
2017 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems
Source: Gartner (October 2016)
Most of the spending is in software. This proves that organizations find the solutions in their challenges by investing in technology.
With a fully integrated Sage CRM and ERP you can achieve below successes:
Where do you want your business to be in this growing and competitive business environment? Looking at all growth in software technology, wouldn’t you like your company to benefit from Sage CRM and ERP software solutions?
I would like to finish this blog with an example of recent business news about Nokia being taken over by Microsoft. Nokia CEO ended his speech by saying this “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow we lost”. The advantage you had yesterday will be replaced by the trends of tomorrow. You don’t have to do anything wrong, as long as your competitions catch the wave and do it right , you can lose out and fail.
We can help you with your business. Please contact us for more information on our services and products at 204.480 9772.
Customer relationship management (CRM) issues can often be traced to ineffective business processes that involve human communication. Companies can overcome the limitations inherent in those marketing, sales, and service processes by pursuing communication-enabled business processes (CEBPs) -- processes enabled by communication systems that are tightly integrated with business applications. With CEBP, firms can reduce latency, enhance the ability to locate people with the right skills, provide recording of and visibility into interactions, and better enable end-to-end processes involving employees, customers, suppliers, and partners.
CEBP yields the most value in contact-intensive situations where service requests are complex. In particular, when business requirements call for a high volume of interpersonal interactions, when customers demand service through multiple contact channels, and where there are globally distributed resources, CEBP can bring the greatest benefits. When CEBP is well-deployed for CRM and other processes, it results in simplified interactions for a firm and its customers, faster response times, greater accuracy, a breaking down of organizational silos, and a better social context for communication.
Here's a story: at first, the chief marketing officer (CMO) of a global consumer electronics firm was quite pleased -- management was finally shifting from a technology focus to a marketing focus to enhance differentiation. But in the rush to initiate new programs, there was little time to carefully revamp customer relationship management-based marketing processes. Telemarketing staff across a dozen locations worldwide handled new campaign materials -- including call lists and scripts -- using paper, spreadsheets, and e-mail. Sales leads resulting from the campaigns were simply distributed by e-mail, and related call information wasn't recorded.
Improving processes involving human communication -- different industries with common issues
The CMO in the consumer electronics firm and the VP of sales in the telecommunications company -- and, in fact, executives in every industry -- are facing CRM issues that can be traced to a common source: ineffective business processes involving human communication.
Performance problems are particularly acute in complex, global organizations in which knowledge and responsibility are widely distributed and staffers are highly mobile. Difficulties with processes persist because of latency in accomplishing tasks, inability to locate the right skills to address an issue, and delayed execution of transactions in business applications. As a result of these human communication issues, companies are adversely affected by:
Outdated customer data, which can result in cold leads and inappropriate communication with customers
- An inability to control events in real time, such as marketing campaign execution, call center staffing levels, and sales force assignments
- Limited insights into the root causes of high or low performance by employees, including sales staff and customer service agents
By pursuing CEBPs, companies can overcome the limitations inherent in business processes involving human communication.
Firms can create value by:
- Substantially reducing latency
- Enhancing the ability to locate people with the right skills
- Providing recording of and visibility into interactions
- Better enabling end-to-end processes involving employees, customers, suppliers, and partners
With software-based applications increasingly replacing hardware-based communication systems -- such as private branch exchanges (PBXs) -- firms can more flexibly connect mobile and geographically distributed workforces that use a range of communication devices and methods, such as desktop phones, soft phones on a PC, mobile phones and PDAs, e-mails, short message service (SMS), instant messages, and Web contacts. Figure 1 below illustrates the move from isolated
communication system silos to software-based integrated communication and business process applications in which counterpart systems can readily exchange information.
Firms can also provide new platforms for process innovation (for example, using technology to automatically trigger responses to events and to route calls based on customer value), therby transforming company operations and favorably shifting the perception of company stakeholders. In short, by better sensing and responding to changes in the business environment, companies can substantially improve their agility.
CRM Systems is a full-service professional service provider of end-to-end ERP and CRM solutions for the SMB business market.
We are experts at what we do.
Contact us today for more information.
CRM Systems serves all of the United States and Canada with particular emphasis on the south-western USA, Ontario and western Canada.
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