Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
Won’t a, ‘Hi Mr./Mrs._______ . How may I help you?’ be a better way of connecting with your customer instead of a ‘May I have your account number please?‘
It makes a huge difference to your customers when they are treated as an expected guest. And your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software could come to your rescue when it comes to delighting your customers every time you interact with them, Here are nine and a three-quarter ways to how a CRM can enhance your customer experience:
The idea of having a functioning CRM is to have information about the customers ready and not gather it from them every time they interact with you! When your customers reach out to you with a problem regarding your product or the service, they expect to be enquired about the problem and not about their identity or whereabouts. Use the information gathered in your CRM to effectively communicate with your customers.
When every customer influences a company differently, it is essential that they are attended to, accordingly. A customer brings with him, his own character and approach. These are documented in the historical records of each customer in your CRM, which acts as a reference point for that customer and hence helps personalise the interaction. Profiling customers according to their location, past transaction and purchase help the company establish a long-term relationship with each of its customers. It can also be used to train your workforce to handle each of them in a unique way.
Many companies lose out on consistently good customer experience and wonder why. One of the reasons is that most sectors have no knowledge of its customers. Though a company functions are divided into departments to give due importance to every aspect of the business, it fails to stand as one organisation in knowing a customer. Integrate CRM with other parts of your organisation, such as support and customer service. Don’t let marketing or sales block others out of this goldmine. The customers don’t care which department you work for. They see you as one brand. CRM provides a single window mechanism so that customers need not run from pillar to post.
Use analytics and insights to make sense of the customers’ data. Several organisations have been surprised to find the truths of their customer engagement buried in the CRM! Look for patterns and correlations that could not just give you a holistic view of your customer base but also unearth insights about customers of similar demography. It could save a lot of airtime of your customer service people when they have access to such insights, which could enable them to resolve a customer issue faster. In the process of handling the problem, the customer understands that you have already understood him. This improves the quality of communication tremendously. By the end of it, even if the problem is not resolved, the customer might still end up having a great experience just by feeling understood.
A lot of businesses have moved their CRM to the cloud. This has helped such companies in offering better customer experience because of information availability anytime anywhere!
Case in point: Vitrolife, a global life sciences company maintained different CRMs which came in the way of its own progress. In the nick of time, Accenture came to its rescue with cloud-based CRM. In Accenture’s own words, “The new cloud-based solution has enabled significant enhancements to be made to all of Vitrolife’s customer relationship and marketing initiatives. The company now has the ability to reuse sales information for improved targeting of leads and prospective clients, and has transformed its campaign follow-up activities by being able to gauge and measure the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns and initiatives.”
Right from the customer service executive who picks up the phone, to the high flying consultant who closes deals, everyone needs to be empowered with up to date information about the customer. And with the advent of smartphones, this requirement can be achieved with the help of a simple app that connects the employees to the CRM’s data. As a large number of customers interact with their companies through their mobile phones, a company can make a mark in the field of customer experience with such apps.
Remember the amazingly shocking story of how Morton’s The Steakhouse surprised one of its loyal customers by fulfilling his wish from a tweet! There could be nothing more fascinating for a customer than feeling that they are being picked up from the same point that they left interacting with your business, no matter which channel it was. Use the power of a social media integrated CRM to help you pick up the conversation with your customers from wherever they left. In today’s world, this is becoming a norm and customers will always appreciate if their likes and dislikes are being taken care of, no matter where that knowledge was acquired from.
Segmenting your customers based on their value or frequency of purchase, or even the NPS score helps an organisation optimise their marketing and service mix. Instead of broadcasting the same marketing message to all customers and, similarly, offering the same service level to everyone results in lower return per dollar spent on marketing and customer service. Instead, focus on marketing to people who are delighted about your brand and they will buy more, on the other hand, ensure that high value disgruntled customers are poured with great service so they don’t leave your business. By categorising customers into different buckets, a company can better utilise its resources and delight each segment of the customer in ways they would appreciate the most.
Of all the points, this is the most important because none of the above is otherwise possible. Coach your frontline employees to feed as much data in CRM as possible Every interaction must be recorded, every communication marked. Many employees view CRM data entry as an overhead task and they will always resort to maintaining excel sheet or google sheets to keep track of customer interactions. For the long-term benefit of the organisation, this shouldn’t be encouraged at all. Drive enthusiasm around CRM data by consistently referring to the benefits of CRM at every level of the organisation. One of the best ways to drive CRM usage is by introducing the policy that Aaron Ross swears by “If it’s not in the CRM, it has not been done.”
One interaction with the customer missed being recorded means risking losing more than just that one customer!
What are some of the ways your organisation uses CRM to improve customer experience? We would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.
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