Riding the Horns of a Major Dilemma
The arena of social media in the past few years has gathered much data. Companies understand the potential benefits of the data and the power it holds to unlock meaningful insights for their successful businesses. Yet, most of the organizations agree that they are in the dilemma of which path and solution to adopt that would help them make the best use of this data. The SuiteCRM steering groups and stakeholders need to think how to integrate Big Data into their respective CRMs, as the companies’ interactions with current and future customers are taken care of by the core CRM. CRM today is much beyond just a collation of contacts of all customers and their interactions with the company. It is the core system that guides all business operations to focus on providing better customer service. CRM has always involved data and mostly structured data like latest contacts, contact information, products purchased, and so on.
Big Data and CRM
With Big Data techniques and concepts, it is possible to store, process, and analyze the massive amount of unstructured data which is not directly supplied by the systems interacting in planned customer engagements. This includes the non-traditional processes and customer touch-points and using the same to gain additional insights. Customer Relationship Management can now become the true and sound revenue driver using Big Data technologies.
Since CRM was only managing customer relationships in the past, most of the CRM systems failed to meet the expectations or at most, met the huge expectations partially. Many Opensource CRM adoptions have shown results that are questionable, mainly, because of the following reasons:
- Cultural changes need to be brought in for using the CRM system by all concerned employees. This is due to a mindset that does not embrace change easily and is counter-productive. CRM systems often become glorified database systems when personnel are not ready to utilize their full potential.
- The SuiteCRM integration is manageable, knowing what to do and why to do is the bigger challenge for companies. Lack of clear technical objectives leads to the incorrect collection and storing of data.
- Buy-in of business is very crucial. The pinch of lack of support in executive sponsorship of CRM projects is often felt by organizations. Often a CRM project is led by the IT department. On the contrary, it should be the business driving it, with IT as an enabler and facilitator only.
Big Data CRM goes one step further in fulfilling the aims of better and synchronized continuation of similar (and improved) services to the customer. To ensure that the above failures are avoided, few steps are necessary to implement the Big Data CRM. Servicing the customer can give better results for a company, but it requires more than just managing the relationship.
Let us look at the steps necessary for this:
Managing the customer with the necessary structured data like address, contact information, and latest contact moments is primarily the inside-out approach where the company manages the customer by sending the necessary messages and storing basic information about the customer. This is done at the set business hours and is done by the designated departments. This is still the core backbone for companies and this is where CRM provides a seamless and intelligent technological framework.
Here is where Big Data starts to roll in for an added advantage. Interacting with the customers with unstructured data like emails, social media platforms like Facebook, tweets, comments, posts, and so on, which is customer driven and follows the outside-in approach in customer interaction. The customer decides when to have interaction with the company. If there can be ways for them to get their responses faster even outside the business hours, they can ass added value. In fact, a two-way communication process for the company is possible with these. It involves customer driven omni-channel interactions and everyone in the company is involved in this communication process.
Analyzing involves data such as online visits, customer bounce rates, and click-through. This is a company-driven process, primarily done by the data scientists and analysts who can identify patterns and anomalies in the data. They are generally required to identify action points and issue areas based on data insights, and to deliver standardized reports on regular basis to marketers and the top brass. With Big Data, the role of the analyst changes radically, as now the analyst will be required to deliver results more proactively on a regular real-time basis, covering both structured as well as unstructured data sources.
Knowing customers well is really an interesting task and the end goal. Big Data CRM uses unstructured and structured data to understand the customers by analyzing the individual customer behaviours and making measurable predictions on a real-time basis. The organizations can then focus to deliver products that are truly needed by the customer on these predictive recommendations.
By combining together these four elements, policy makers, business heads, and decision-makers can truly bring value to an organization and take customer relationship management to higher levels. Technologies such as Big Data along with Customer Relationship Management can process massive streams of data that will flow into the organization without getting bogged down by the same. It pays to take a step back and analyse one’s own specific business needs before adopting the available solutions for Big Data and CRM synergies.
Are you looking out options for empowering SuiteCRM with Big Data? Reach out to the CRM experts