Start of a New Era in Customer Relationship Management
A business is all about developing symbiotic or mutually benefiting relationship between its stakeholders – and there is no qualm, the customer segment holds an important position here, without which even perception of a business is out of scope for an entrepreneur. Customers’ acquisition, growth, retention, satisfaction and loyalty are significant factors in ensuring business continuity and growth. Keeping this in mind, customer relationship management (CRM) vendors keep on experimenting with IT technologies and tools to come with responsive, intelligent and friendly CRM solution. Emergence of Cloud technology has opened opportunities for them to further improvise the CRM tool, and consequently, it has got a new tag as S-a-a-S (Software-as-a-Service) CRM.
S-a-a-S CRMs have helped with automation and synchronization of different business processes, viz., sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support, thereby helping businesses to better respond to customers’ requests, concerns or complaints with minimum complexity and turn-around time, which is instrumental in driving business ROI (Return-on-Investment). As per Gartner, of the total CRM solutions sold today, about 40 per cent are SaaS-based, and in the enterprise software categories, it witnessed a 12 per cent growth, which is triple of the entire software categories.
Which business processes fostered the cloud CRM adoption rate? Louis Columbus, a contributor to Forbes, notes that Customer Service and Support occupied the major share with 37 percentage points, followed by Sales (26%), marketing (20%) and e-Commerce with 17 points. Who spent the most? Communications, media and IT services emerged as the biggest adopters. Manufacturing including Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) was second, and banking & securities were third. Apart from automation and synchronization, Today’s CRM solutions, as put forth by Forrester, are focused on personalizing the customer experience to improve customers’ lifetime value and advocacy. For achieving this, CRM vendors are collaborating with big data analytics firms, and consumer app developers to make their solution effective in delivering personalized experience to customers.
How personalization activities will benefit firms in achieving their strategic goals? Forrester’s survey and research that included senior marketing leaders in large enterprises, provides insights as:
1) More than 70% were of the opinion that personalization will also help with increasing customer retention rates, customer lifetime value, customer advocacy rates, and promotion conversion rates.
2) Only 14% of marketing leaders deliver personalization across channels. They admitted their failure in terms of monetizing on the personalization front, and hence in understanding customers’ sentiment.
3) Marketers quoted offering real-time and contextually aware personalized experience as the major challenge.
4) 86% marketers say that they do so rarely or cannot do it at all owing to above challenges.
Thus, the verdict goes in favor of making CRM solutions personalized. How does it actually transform business processes? Below is an insight of:
Sales & Marketing
By easily managing customers’ information through cloud CRM, sales representatives can spend more time with customers and less time handling data. Based on customers’ profile and past history, representative can do upsell as well to significantly boost the business revenue. On the other hand, sales managers can monitor their team’s activities and locate details related to efficiency of different marketing channels like Web site, email, Google AdWords, etc. and can strategies their work and investment accordingly.
Businesses should have a thorough understanding of what people think about their brands, products or services to make their customer service operations effective, and customers’ experience personalized. Integration of CLOUD CRM with social media like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, etc. makes it possible. That way, customer service representative can give tangible solutions to customers.