Today’s digitally connected world has made customers more aware, socially engaged, informed and demanding. Price or product is no longer the reason a customer chooses your business over your competitors’ – or, for that matter, remains loyal to you. Nowadays, it’s all about customer experience (CX). And if your business is unable to improve your customers’ experience, you’ve handed over the advantage to your competitors.
So, how can you make sure you deliver an outstanding customer experience? A customer relationship management (CRM) system is an essential tool for staying connected to customers, streamlining processes and improving profitability.
The customer has changed
The purchasing process is now online, from start to finish. Customers research products and services online, communicate with businesses (and each other) online and make their purchases online. According to Pinpoint Market Research and Anderson Jones PR, 93% of buyers start the buying process with an online search. And, believe it or not, most of these customers want a better experience. In fact, 86% of buyers are ready to pay extra for it.
It is a well-acknowledged fact today that customer experience is the top priority for businesses throughout the world. According to Gartner, 89% of companies are set to fight it out on the customer experience front. Consumer product companies that have relied on developing new features, improved customer service and product innovation to drive growth now see a future where competitive advantage will be based on the customer experience.
Customer experience versus customer service
To use a quaint real-world example, a bakery specializing in cupcakes delivers good customer service by having orders ready on time, and the staff greets customers with a smile and quickly resolves complaints.
The same bakery delivers a remarkable customer experience by keeping a database of customers and remembering them on their birthday and other special occasions with a free assortment of mini-cupcakes in a special decorative package, makes deliveries to parties with the flourish of a Broadway production, etc. We could go on, but the fundamental difference between the two is that customer experience involves traveling the extra mile. Call center trade group ICMI provided seven great examples about corporations that have gone all-in with their commitment to customers.
As you’ll learn in the ICMI article by Elias Parker, Managing Partner at OneReach, technology has given organizations new and interesting ways of connecting with their customers. Parker must know something, as his Denver-based self-serve chatbot development company was named 2017 Cool Vendor by Gartner.
How a CRM system helps deliver the customer experience
Customers can interact with many members of your staff using many different channels. A CRM system can help your company provide an engaging, seamless experience that results in positive customer relationships in the following ways.
Strengthen relationships with customers by capturing valuable information from product preferences to buying behaviors across each marketing or social interaction. Your sales team can capture customer-centric information, maintaining a single source for information about product specifications, current and historical orders, and communications. Customer service teams can access this information quickly to respond to customer questions on the spot.
Streamline marketing efforts and social media interactions. Since CRM collects data from diverse sources; customer calls, chats, social media to name a few, it gives you a clearer picture of their view of your products or services. The CRM helps you act on this feedback efficiently, in order to increase the number of satisfied customers.
Identify the customers most likely to be interested in a certain product or platform preference, and tailor messages that capture their attention. You can then monitor the resulting customer reaction to determine whether your message resonated with them. With each campaign, you can fine-tune messages and strategize marketing platforms to strengthen your message and customer engagement.
Highlight metrics that your sales, marketing and customer service teams need to be successful. A CRM system allows you to better know your customers and improve the customer experience at every touch point by using an innovative solution.
If you’re considering a CRM for your business, we invite you to learn what eZnet CRM has to offer. Our solution allows easy, seamless management of every aspect of the customer experience. Make sure you don’t fall behind as your competitors build customer loyalty in this increasingly competitive business environment. Contact us today.