In this blog, you will understand about the various instruments of Digital CRM in the Digital Era.The age of digitalization is here, surely. When customers want and demand that services stay uninterrupted at all times, from anywhere and everywhere, businesses need to gear up or be ready to get fizzled out over time.
In a bid to take the customer relationship to a new plane, all the departments need to work cohesively in almost real-time, each integrating with internal systems, CRM, back-end solutions like ERP, and analytical solutions, etc. Riding on such a strong network of seamless systems, companies can increase their customer touch points multi-fold, both as sources of valuable information for deeper insights on the customer behavior, and also as points of better service delivery.
RM evolution was perhaps one of the earliest forms of digitization of a company’s customer data, as it brought together structure, synchronization, and synergy across various functions. Marketing, Sales, Service, Customer Support, etc. got channelized via a central master data store.
Digital CRM Era
The age of Digital CRM is here and various technologies are coming together to rewrite the history of customer engagement journeys for a business:
IoT(Internet of Things)
From wearable to sensors, IoT allows a company to get as close as it can be possible to its customers. Smart devices and interconnected ‘things’ use powerful communication that can ensure smooth data flow in and out of central CRM to the actual ground. This can be used to collect information in real-time and offer services proactively and in a customized fashion to the consumers. This can help a company to target and deliver higher SLA’s and thereby, improve the customer experience.
For businesses that operate in a larger field, drones are the new agents. Equipped to act as both service delivery end-points as well as valuable systems for capturing data, they make it possible for technology to touch customers without human’s physical field agents. These are big boosters for, say , ticket-generators and auto-detection of issues in remote areas, that can help log issues into the central systems of a CRM-led business. Equipment-intensive industries such as oil and gas, automotive, distribution, manufacturing companies, water purification systems, etc. can leverage Digital CRM in a cost-effective manner to cover large areas with a limited set of drones.
The backbone of all things digital today is turning out to be the ‘cloud’. The pay-as-you-use and SaaS service models are possible due to this technology. Every industry can now use the power of CRM with engaging solutions available via the cloud. Whether it is high computing power, decentralized ‘always up, always available’ data storage, or analytical solutions, all is now there for a business to choose from a host of options on the cloud.
There is nothing more rewarding than a machine takes on some of the human ‘burden’. When the burden is the mundane tasks and even largely time-consuming or compute-intensive tasks in nature, it motivates and engages employees, and thus results in higher productivity and efficiency.
This is the latest one and yet very promising. Digital CRM should look upwards to a growing trend of using blockchain to create immutable customer transaction records and hence, a chain of customer interaction journey points. This could give a powerful 360-degree view of the customer that would capture transactions across all channels and across all departments.
“Mobile-first” should be the motto of companies needing to include inherent and immediate customer access points. The smartphone is the digital gateway for many and is thus a powerful weapon for being an intimate touch point. Web content and offerings can be tailored to suit mobile ecosystems. Smartphone displays, for instance, need to be the primary consideration for all software app UI/UX design. Customer interaction will increase and enable CRM systems to use mobile devices as important instruments for maximizing customer engagement.
The formal and informal social media platforms are active 24/7 in the digital virtual world. Businesses can gather customer sentiment for a newly launched service or product and even overall brand image. This can help them take quick actions to adapt to the sentiment such as change marketing campaigns, change business goals or align their products as per the competitors.
Gathering all the CRM data that can be stored on the cloud is good. Yet, so much of structured data that was traditionally available is limited in its power to deliver insights, if not supported by unstructured data. The latter is being made useful in the form of Big Data. In fact, it helps extend CRM into the powerful distributed computing systems such as Hadoop. Big Data also helps to increase transparency and personalization in customer relationship journeys.
More open interfaces via open API structures allow companies to experiment across CRM integrable systems. Value-added services can be provided and augmented quickly for better customers due to the open API’s. Third-party services can be used to deliver customer services, gather customer information, transfer knowledge about customers and get analysed insights across seamless interfaces.
Digital CRM has the ability to record, track, report customer data and deliver it back as impeccable customer service. The acceleration of the instruments described above is only possible via innovation, experimentation, and automation.
Such new business models will bring new rules into the game of running the show that pivots on ‘wowing’ the customer each time and every time.
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