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The goal of client-centric Customer Relations Management is to optimize customer value. Client centric approach treats relationship marketing as a continuous effort as opposed to treating it as a means to an end. Organizations that view Customer Relations Management as mere software end up automating business operations, instead of using the tool to optimize customer communications, transactions and improve their purchase experience.
A client-centric approach to Customer Relations Management system uses customers as the axis around which all thought processes related to a business revolve. This notion is based on the belief that every customer is unique and so are his/her needs. In order to garner customer loyalty, enterprises should recognize this uniqueness, and customize their services and products to serve these needs. What is Customer Relations Management? It is defined as the practice of analyzing and utilizing marketing databases, and leveraging communication software to determine best business practices and methods that will create customer satisfaction, loyalty and your organization will keep existing customers and gain new ones.
Since many companies are in business for profit-making, your business goal must be to maximize client value (both current and future) for your company's benefit. Customer value is calculated by each customer's contribution to the net profit of a company. Towards this end, ask yourself these questions.
• Can you gauge the lifetime value of a client?
• What is the link between client loyalty and profitable customers?
• Does customer loyalty always pay? If not, identify instances when it does not.
• How can you optimize your marketing efforts to get the most out of customer centricity?
Answering these questions will give your management team the basic ideas upon which to chart your marketing decisions and campaigns. Your marketing team will get a clear idea of when to profitably pursue customer loyalty and when to let go. They also pave the way for client identification and prioritization.
Customer loyalty is one of the basic building blocks of a business' profitability and growth. However, loyalty heavily relies on customer satisfaction, which is in turn influenced by the value of services provided by your company. But the question is that how do your management team quantify customer loyalty? Well planned surveys or client response data collection methods are the most reliable means to measure loyalty.
Customer Relations Management software allows you to identify clients who are the most value to your company. Since these customers are loyal to you, you won't have to expand your budget on expensive loyalty programs to retain them. They are mostly happy with occasional prioritization for special treatment.
In summary, Customer Relations Management is not specific to any particular department within an enterprise. As people are the heart of any business, CRM in general and customer centricity, in particular, are the weft and the warp holding together the health of your organization.
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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.
Many business professionals understand a Customer Relations Management tool is great for maintaining a central database of client details, address and contact information, communications and appointments.
If you are not using Customer Relations Management Software for client relations, communications, and to service your customers, you’re missing an opportunity to increase your company’s customer service levels.
Below find out reasons why CRM yields a better customer service:
Case management function in Sage CRM is very powerful tool. Customer service support case management are great opportunities to demonstrate your organization's commitment to client relations.
Clients may report support issues for different reasons including software bugs, product defects, operating instructions,unclear installation or general questions.
Sage CRM will collect information from incoming customer emails,support forms or from customer telephone calls, social media.
Once all of this information is in Sage CRM, the cases will be managed by a case workflow with automatic notifications, workflow escalations and cases can be tied to service level agreements.
Remember the saying “an issue is an opportunity in disguise?” Many support cases can be solved by services or products that you sell. The Sage CRM case workflow supports automatic transfer of cases to sales opportunities – another great source of revenue for your company.
For many businesses, patterns are part of support calls. Several different customer service members may receive calls for the same problem.
Sage CRM’s knowledgebase enables a customer service representative to record the call and how the problem was solved. A typical example for a software company is a hot fix or patch that, when installed, corrects a software bug. The rest of the team can then access this solution.This should dramatically improve customer service by shortening the response time for subsequent support calls.
The rest of the team can then access this solution. This should dramatically improve customer service by shortening the response time for subsequent support calls.
Customer Relation Management supports quality control through a review and approval system for solutions. Solutions are posted by the customer relations team as drafts. Once reviewed, the solutions can be accepted and published to the rest of the team or rejected as unacceptable.
The Sage CRM Knowledgebase can therefore provide a source for accurate and reliable solutions to commonly reported customer service issues and an easy and effective method of increasing the wow factor of your customer service efforts.
If you manage a client support team, you probably understand the challenges involved with establishing clear communications and effective customer service. For example, with a disjointed system, a customer may call the support team and be given a suggested solution that does not work.
For example, with a disjointed system, a customer may call the support team and be given a suggested solution that does not work.
They may then call back and have to explain the details all over again. They may even receive the same suggested solution a second time.
With Sage CRM it is easy to record the details of the support call and the suggested solution. If the customer has to call back, the details of the case are carried forward, even if their case is handled by another customer service team member.
Sage CRM enables your customers to benefit from the power of a team approach to customer service without the common irritant of having to repeat their complaint multiple times.
For effective team and volume management, Sage CRM also provides metrics like case volume, history and resolution times.
Your customer service teams can manage customer queries and support cases from one intuitive, graphical workspace with dashboards.
Team members can access current, accurate information on a single screen. You can configure the dashboard for all aspects of your business, but it is especially powerful for client service case monitoring and processing.
Customer service team members can use the dashboard to see which cases are queued for me and their priority. Team supervisors can view the entire service case list, identify which cases are beyond their SLA response times, and increase their priority.
You can also review and adjust the case load for each team member.
You and your team can create dedicated dashboards for priority customers who need a higher level of care.
If something is important, measure it. If you measure it, report on it. For customer service teams, support response time is often the best metric to measure.
This critical component of customer service can easily be reported on with Sage CRM. The program provides a comprehensive list of standard reports and, if required, custom reports can easily be created with the CRM reporting tool.
Key metrics such as case volume and resolution times can be displayed and reported on.
Sage CRM reporting is an essential part of the cycle of delivering service, measuring results, reporting on the measurement and improving services.
It is easy to underestimate the value of excellent customer service and to concentrate on sales and on acquiring new customers.
However, if you don’t serve current customers, you will lose a critical source of referrals and ongoing revenue. If you want to WOW your customers to increase loyalty and build a strong referral base, Sage CRM is a key tool to deploy in your company.
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Originally Posted Nov 13, 2014
Author: Paul Caron
Original source here.
Customer segmentation is a business strategy where you divide your client base into small groups that have similar characteristics. It is a powerful marketing technique. Once the prospects and customers are segmented into smaller groups, you can target these groups with customer-centric marketing campaigns that generate a huge return on your investment. Customer Relations Management streamlines this process so you reach the clients who are most receptive to your products and services. Here's why combining customer segmentation with CRM system benefits your brand.
Customer Relations Management system collects pools of customer data and stores it in one centralized place for an easy reference and data access. As well as being an important resource for your customer service representatives, CRM collects customer data, such as a prospect's location, hobbies, interests, age group, and purchasing behavior for your marketing staff. CRM software can then analyze trends and patterns in this data for effective client segmentation. Manually slicing your customer base into sections won't provide you with accurate results; CRM makes it easy to segment your demographic with precise and articulate information.
Customer Relations Management system will produce predictive analysis which will determine profitable customers based on their lifetime value, an important metric that calculates the net value of a future relationship with a customer. By using this software, your marketing team will have an exact idea of your market with the highest CLV and deliver marketing material that resonates with these customers. You can also discover customers with a low CLV and use CRM data to find methods to increase their lifetime value.
Segmenting your prospects allows you to target different marketing to your high-CLV and low-CLV groups. Your marketing want to nurture low-CLV customers through your social media platforms, creating content that sets you apart from your competitors. Facebook, for example, lets you filter your posts based on gender, age, relationship status, location and interests. You can create a post that targets the bulk of your low-CLV clients and reach a cross-section of your demographic instantly. You can also address a specific audience on LinkedIn and Google+.
Your organization will increase sales by approximately 30% with CRM even more when CRM software used with a customer segmentation strategy. That's because you reach the right customer with the right message at the right time, something that is not achievable with generic "one size fits all" marketing. For example, CRM lets you target a customer with product suggestions based on his or her purchase history.
Some of the world's biggest companies use market segmentation to create local advertising campaigns that reach different portions of their demographic. These businesses rely on Customer Relations Management system to sift through heaps of customer data, something that marketers can't do manually. Pepsi, for example, divides its target market into different groups based on the "likes, dislikes, moods, preferences, fashions and buying habits" of its customers.
Engaged clients are more profitable customers. Eighty-six percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, while clients who are fully engaged represent an average 23 percent "premium" when it comes to profitability, revenue and relationship growth compared to the average buyer. Using Customer Relations Management system for customer segmentation will help you separate your demographic based on common collective characteristics so you can engage with them on a deeper, personal level. Customer segmentation helps you understand the needs and behaviors of your customers so you can create marketing material that drives a higher rate of engagement.
CRM provides you with useful insights into client behavior and attitudes by tracking interactions, collecting sales data and analyzing trends among specific segments. You can send powerful marketing material to smaller groups who share similar traits, resulting in increased customer lifetime value, stronger sales and higher engagement rates.
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Delivering excellence consistently requires commitment, customer-centric focus – and an active CRM effort.
CRM is central to excellent customer service because it equips you with the tools you need to understand your customers and their wants and needs. However a good CRM effort, while important, is only part of the equation. The tools won't do you any good if you don't use them properly.
Using CRM properly starts with attitude. A consistently excellent customer experience requires a focus on the customer, not the product or process. It means putting the customer first and putting yourself in the customer's position.
Delivering excellent service requires making full use of the capabilities of your CRM system. CRM provides the basis for excellent customer service by giving you a 360-degree view of the customer and his or her interactions with your business.
CRM system should contain records of all your customer contacts with your business, including any problems that might have arisen and especially any promises that have been made to the customer.
By reviewing this information when interacting with the customer, your people can present a unified, customer-focused appearance to the customer. This is important because it prevents giving the customer differing answers to the same question.
Presenting a consistent view to the customer is an important part of excellent customer service because one of the major things customers want is consistency. They need to have confidence that they will have a consistent experience when they contact your company.
Like many aspects of excellent customer service this involves more than the CRM system. Most importantly it needs a well-trained staff who understand how vital it is to interact properly with the customers. Your staff needs to develop a customer-centric view of the business where the customer and the customer's needs always come first.
This kind of customer-centric attitude needs to permeate the entire business, but it is most important in the people who will deal directly with your customers. They need to be trained and indoctrinated to always put the customer's needs first.
This isn't always easy to do and it requires strong support all the way to the top to make it work. Make sure your employees know they are judged on how well they meet the customers' needs. If you use metrics to judge employees those metrics should support the values of customer service and not work against them.
For example, rating your sales force solely on how much they sell this month without considering other factors can work against excellent customer service. A measure of customer satisfaction should be a part of the sales staff rating system as well.
This attitude has to extend all the way to the top of the organization. Policies should be established to support excellent customer service, not work against it. Often this means going the extra mile to make sure the customers are satisfied, even if it seems to cut into short-term profits.
If you deliver consistently excellent customer service you will build repeat business. You may lose a little on this sale, but in the long run your business will be stronger built on a base of satisfied long-term customers.
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CRM is the core of modern customer service departments. In today’s competitive environment your organizations future and reputation is measured by the quality of the customer service you provide. What makes for a good customer experience? What do your customers perceive as a superior experience and how can your organization achieve its best results?
Defining what makes up a good customer experience can be challenging: it involves how your organization delivers its services and products in a way that is most efficient, cost effective, and is most humanly satisfying. While that seems simple to understand, you need to consider the industry your organization in, the size of your company, your organizational culture, the number of employees, and the quality of your employees when defining what is necessary or you to provide the best customer experience possible.
The impact CRM can have in improving customer experience is large – and is a very rewarding investment. CRM will make your company’s operations more efficient. It can increase the administrative efficiency of your organization by as much as 20-25% provided that you select an implementation vendor that specializes in CRM implementation and customization. It is important that your CRM solution is tailored to fit your business. Not that your business fits the CRM solution. CRM increases efficiency by centralizing customer information such as demographics, geography, location, interests, source, products and service history, and much more. Customer segmentation allows you to promptly provide your customer service representatives with the information they need to provide the best customer service possible.
A properly selected and implemented CRM system should also be a cost effective choice for your organization. Your initial investment can be returned to you in as little as 1 year. This is accomplished by providing an efficient user interface that reduces the time spent on the phone, on site or in person by your employees. Your customer service team will have access to the information they need, when they need it, information such as communications logs, previous complaints and solutions, purchase history, delivery preferences, location of the customer, and much more.
Your customer service team is there to satisfy your customers and make their experience as smooth and comfortable as possible. Understanding them – and their needs leads to a long lasting relationship. This can be as simple as ensuring that when a customer phones your organization they don’t feel like they have to repeat themselves regarding problems they previously explained, but have not been solved yet. If a customer has to repeat themselves multiple times – its evidence that you are not providing the customer experience that you could – if your staff were properly equipped. A properly implemented CRM solution allows your customer service team to quickly check history and inform your customer about the progress of a specific solution. When your customer feels like your employees understand them, and that is accomplished by having all information is centralized and made available – your CRM system will already be returning results for you.
CRM can also be used to help resolve problems or to repair a damaged relationship. This could be as simple as advising some alternate products or services that match the customers, or providing a special discount at the time of a call. If one is not happy with a particular purchase an up-sale or alternate-sale recommendation might be a perfect solution for that customer.
When a customer has a satisfying experience with your organization, their experience will make them loyal to you and eventually your CRM system impact in customer service will increase your revenues, organizational efficiency, reduce the staff needed for repetitive and unrewarding tasks. CRM benefits everyone.
Author: Aylin Barnes
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Maximizing your "CX" (customer experience) should be a cornerstone of your business strategy. Did you know that 94 percent of customers who have a "low effort" customer-service interaction with a brand will return to buy again? However, what exactly constitutes excellence in customer service is rapidly changing.
Gartner predicts by the year 2020, 85 percent of a customer's relationship with a brand won't include talking to a real human. CX will also overtake price points and product details as a key selling point for organizations. Today's tech-savvy buyers are more likely to use online portals, knowledge-management tools, social media and email to communicate with brands. They're moving away from telephones as a way to achieve support. The brands who invest in making automated-service interactions effortless are most likely to gain a competitive advantage in the years to come.
Research indicates that speed of resolution and accuracy are top priorities for modern consumers.
Some 69 percent of survey respondents recently stated that "quick resolution" to a problem or question constituted good service, while 72 percent were frustrated if they had to explain a question to multiple company representatives. Giving access to a centralized-knowledge repository to customer-service representatives, or "CSRs," and social-media staff on the front line are powerful ways to provide the right information the first time a customer reaches out.
Customer service representatives need thorough training.
In another survey, 40 percent of consumers complained that their customer service would be better if the staff was adequately trained. Frustrations arise if buyers must interact with front-line representatives on the phone, chat or social media who aren't able to understand problems or products adequately. Regardless of the channel in which you offer customer service, your tools and people need to be sharp enough to understand complex queries. Providing management with accurate oversight of a customer's reported issue is critical to avoiding further escalation of frustrations.
Changing consumer expectations have given rise to a new practice known as customer-experience management, or "CEM."
Gartner defines customer experience (CX) in part as the practice of exceeding customer expectations to increase satisfaction and loyalty. Customer Relationship Management expert Andrew Hull believes that technology should play a huge role in companies that choose to adopt CEM. He recently stated that "looking beyond CRM" to develop an external focus on customer experience isn't just important; it's critical to survival in the modern business climate. Social media can amplify the customer's voice, spreading frustrations over slow or inadequate resolution further than ever before.
Without smart CRM tools, your CX efforts won't get far.
Customers who attempt a multi-channel approach to expressing frustration, such as sending an email, Tweeting and posting on your Facebook page, may get angrier if they call and your customer-service representative isn't aware of their frustrations. Smart CRM tools eliminate the issue of data existing in silos and a resulting lack of centralization that can make a buyer feel as if they're calling into an abyss. CX expert Cheryl Fink writes that technology is necessary to "paint the total customer picture" and provide the immediate, comprehensive response that customers need.
CRM can help companies detect and resolve problems before they escalate.
CRM tools centralize data like the voice of the customer, or "VoC," surveys and behavioral insights. These facts aren't just important on an individual level; they're a critical means to identify trends. Rapid changes in customer satisfaction can allow companies to issue quicker response to mass frustration -- before their public image and competitive advantage take a devastating hit.
Customer-experience management isn't strictly a technology-driven discipline. However, CRM technologies are necessary to get real-time centralization of multi-channel data. Without up-to-date insights, your customer-facing staff won't get the whole picture.
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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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