When shopping, customers increasingly use mobile technologies and the Internet. In this way, they make transactions and obtain information about the products. To reach consumers, companies need to focus on new technologies. CRM systems – used to build relationships with the client – are of key importance here.
The digital revolution that has been going on for over a dozen years has a huge impact on companies, even if they are not fully aware of it. We are dealing with universal changes and trends. Their dynamics have never been so strong, which means that organizations that can adapt quickly will gain an advantage over those that will maintain the status quo developed over the years.
Many companies are beginning to understand that to meet customers’ changing expectations, and it is necessary to change the business model, which is associated with a revolution – a thorough change of processes, systems, and habits preserved over the years. They say that the change is beyond the financial and organizational reach, requiring specialist knowledge or beyond the capabilities of the management and employees. Such thinking leads to the accumulation of stereotypes and negative images.
It does not have to be this way because, along with the digital revolution, there is also a revolution in the area of solutions offered to clients by IT companies. Today, digital transformation can be done quickly and without significant investment costs because the tools supporting it are available in the cloud.
For several years, Salesforce has put great effort into conducting market research internationally. On their basis, reports are created that indicate global trends that have the greatest impact on enterprises. Research is conducted in areas of key importance to the company’s success, i.e., sales, customer service, and marketing. In addition, there is extensive research on the role that IT and mobile technologies play in the development of enterprises. There are also preference analyses in B2B and B2C purchasing models, showing the relationships between the three generations (baby boomers, X and Y), which constitute global purchasing power today. The reports provide valuable tips for companies not interested in maintaining the organizational status quo. It is known which strategies the fastest-growing companies implement, what they invest in, and what they place the greatest emphasis on.
The strategic role of CRM – the customer is in the center of attention.
The research provides a clear answer to the questions of why some companies have developed much faster than the rest of the market in recent years. It turns out that regardless of the latitude, industry, and scale of enterprises, companies with the highest development dynamics much more often focus on the client and his needs in their business strategy. The main slogans accompanying their activities are customer experience, customer journey, the need for personalization in service, and single customer view (or 360 ° customer view). In practice, companies model activities and processes in such a way as to provide customers with the best possible; but at the same time consistent and subject to control, impressions of contact with them and their products (customer experience). Nowadays, customer experience management has become the main indicator of sales success among sales leaders – bars and sales statistics are no longer so!
At the same time, companies want to implement tools and technologies – most often automating communication – that will allow the customer to lead the entire purchasing path (from the first contact with the company, through the purchase, to maintaining the relationship with the customer after the transaction). This is the sphere of the customer journey. Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics play a huge role in this area. In the era of mobility and universal access to the CRM network, we must realize that it is incomplete and imperfect without functions supporting the customer journey.
There is also a single customer view solution. Its users in one interface have all the necessary information needed to build a relationship with the client, regardless of the channel the interaction takes place. Combining these three elements into one ecosystem makes it possible to build personalized communication with customers.
What else does the research say about CRM
- Business is massively moving solutions to the cloud – it is looking for agile and lightweight applications, including mobile ones, that support new communication models with customers.
- Companies that are more than others open to innovative solutions supporting sales, marketing, and customer service are the most effective. They invest many times more in such solutions and often test them.
- There is a correlation between the high position of the CIO in the company’s hierarchy and its results.
- Companies achieving high performance have developed the ability to create and deploy applications several times faster than in the rest of the market.
- The same companies plan to allocate several times more funds to technologies in the category of artificial intelligence, predictive and behavioral analytics, and automation of processes in the area of customer service, including the development of functionality enabling customers to self-service in various areas.
- The best companies have already escaped the competition, and most of them will be fleeing even faster. This is because, despite the achieved advantage, they want to increase investments in innovative solutions almost twice as often as other rivals.
- In the era of digital channels, the expansion of companies is not possible without an appropriate background – automation in the flow of information, sales processes, marketing, and customer service. If the company has shortcomings in these areas, then it systematically records worse results and loses development potential. Technology is like oxygen to organizations – both for leaders who want to stay competitive and for those who grow and expand.
- Companies that are developing faster than others compete today mainly with the innovation of the technologies used in the broadly understood area of CRM, i.e., in sales and marketing and customer service.
Partner in implementing the vision
Business needs a vision to be able to undergo digital transformation successfully. It is good (and most often it is) that it results from “organizational pain” – limitations, ineffective activities, customer expectations. The vision should indicate where the company is to find itself in a few years, how it wants to build value in dialogue with customers as a result of the transformation. To implement it, you need a technological partner with extensive experience because the best thing happens at the stage of transferring the vision to the business model and platform. You should not be afraid of transformation because – as Salesforce users show – the implementation can take several weeks, and you do not need any financial outlays to start because the entire solution is in the cloud.
But what if, after the implementation of the new system, we will start selling the product quickly if the purchase does not follow the customer’s experience? In this case, the client will leave. In addition, he will probably never recommend the offer to anyone again. On the contrary, it will dissuade others from doing so. This is important because customer experience requires consistency in building relationships with the market at the level of communication and experience. This, however, requires CRM to maintain internal consistency. Therefore, the focus should be on what leads to sales and what creates the experience, ranging from marketing efforts to first contact with the customer to the quality of relationships and after-sales service.