What’s the difference between the businesses that cite CRM as the reason they’re leading and CRM that fails to deliver?

The answer could be superficial stakeholder engagement.

Most businesses understand the importance of getting buy-in to CRM and so most do some form of customer/stakeholder engagement, but in our experience, it barely scratches the surface and leaves some pretty fundamental opportunities undiscovered.

So, before you begin writing that CRM business case, here are six key stakeholder engagement points to explore.

 

  1. CRM OBJECTIVES

What do you want CRM to do for your business beyond the headlines of ‘increase sales’ or ‘improve productivity’? What does collaborative working actually look like for your organisation? Stakeholder engagement will help you to identify key issues and refine your objectives e.g. Issue: Cannot consume all data on a customer in the same place. Objective: To manage customer data in one place which, in the case of Microsoft Dynamics 365, is the Single Customer View.

 

  1. BUSINESS WIDE

The most successful CRM implementations begin with stakeholder engagement across the entire business. Customer experience is not just the remit of sales, marketing or customer service. It’s every single touchpoint. What works well in one department may cause a real problem in another. So, HR, IT, sales, marketing, customer service, operations, administration, finance, compliance, customer handling et al. Every department needs to be explored.

 

  1. CRM PLATFORM COMPETENCIES

Look at your teams in every department. Who will be using the platform? What is their current level of training? How easily do you expect they will adapt? Over what time period? What other programmes are they already used to using? The answers to these questions need to sit alongside the features that you will need to meet the objectives that you have identified during stakeholder engagement.

 

  1. FRONTLINE KNOWLEDGE

Only frontline staff can genuinely articulate the customer experience that their department creates. Therefore, only they can describe where their efforts work either in harmony or at odds with other departments. They will know why certain initiatives didn’t work. They will be able to see both the customer and business view. It’s a real hands-on experience compared to senior management or head office who will often rely on data. The insight of frontline staff is the difference between evolving a faulty process versus creating a far better one.  If it’s sensitive, use your CRM partner for scoping – any good CRM partner will have the skills and experience to have those conversations.

 

  1. EMPLOYEE BUY IN

If new software and processes are going to be created that will truly ‘up’ your customers’ experience of dealing with you, then every member of staff has to be behind it. It has to work in their favour. They have to feel consulted. Doing your homework early on, and thoroughly, will prevent resistance and increase ownership. Giving them an idea of how a new process might work before it comes into play allows them to highlight where it could cause problems that would not likely be identified by management. Many software changes bring a cost to staff in some form or another, even if that’s just pushing them out their comfort zone, so to guarantee user adoption, they must be consulted and given an opportunity to input.

 

  1. AVOID TOO MANY COOKS

Whilst you need to consult across the business, which should form part of your business case, a good CRM project manager will be able to distil and convey key points internally and externally so the project team isn’t pushed off the timeline. They will set up stakeholder working groups/sessions to ensure they are consulted throughout the process. Again, if you’re unsure about how to do this, a good partner can help with scoping.

 

In short, ask questions. Find out the why as well as the what. Explore what works and what doesn’t. Look at data, departments and frontline experience together.  Use stakeholder engagement to see how the customer experience jigsaw comes together. Don’t cut corners.

Learn more about choosing the CRM platform that’s right for your business and developing your CRM strategy in our webinar series Your 8 Steps to CRM Implementation Success.

How would your customers rate the customer experience you give them? Would they call you customer-centric?

The various departments of your organisation may all be delivering exceptional customer service but if it doesn’t all hang together into a solid journey from start to finish, then you are probably losing opportunities and loyalty.

Customer experience is a big topic.  Where customer service is about a one-time interaction, customer experience is about the coming together of all touchpoints with consistency across channels. The aim is that each customer feels like you know and understand them and that you know what you are doing, that all the moving parts of your business work together effortlessly to produce the products and services that you are guaranteeing. One weak link such as incorrect records, repeated conversations, chasing for information or poor delivery standards after a promising start casts doubt over the whole operation.

It’s predicted that 2020 will see customer experience overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. That’s a good thing for businesses striving to provide the best quality of product and service in their category but without the operational set up to make the customer journey work, it could be the end for many.

 

What does a good experience look like?

The goal is that intangible factor- likeability. If you imagine you were looking at two identical proposals from two different companies whom you believe to offer very similar products and who want your business. Which one do you give the business to? Yep, the one you just feel more drawn to, who seems more able, who is ‘on it’, who you don’t have to teach to suck eggs, who you feel can relate and understand you and your needs.

 

Here are just a few of the most important factors.

Consistent Customer Insight – With insight from across the business, you can personalise experiences, tailor communications, cross-sell, up-sell then use all that knowledge of what works to create other opportunities. Single Customer View and Voice of the Customer are just two of the tools that let you collate and access this level of knowledge in Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Omnichannel Engagement – It seems obvious but a customer should be able to interact with you over a multitude of channels and still get a consistent experience. So, if a customer has engaged with you on one channel, they then expect you to know that when they then contact you through another channel. Likewise, they expect you to know the detail of that interaction and to be able to pick up where they left off with no repetition. 52% of consumers say that they are less likely to engage with a company if the mobile experience is a let-down.

Responsive customer experience – Every interaction should help to inform the next and not only that, it should help to improve the customer journey for every customer that comes after.

 

So, what now?

Businesses are investing.  According to a Gartner survey, more than 50% will redirect investment into customer experience technologies next year with the first focus on the ways that they collect and analyse customer feedback.

Do you know how your organisation will respond to the new customer experience battlefield?  In our next blog, we’ll give you the lowdown on how Microsoft Dynamics 365 is making it easier for you to bring your organisation into alignment with your customer experience goals.

And if you’re currently looking at CRM, you might find our webinar ‘What CRM solutions are available?’ helpful where we’ll explore the many options open to you!

If you’re investigating CRM for your business right now, you may have read articles about what happens when it goes wrong.

In fact, if you were to ask leading businesses who are successfully using CRM what their journey to CRM success looked like, there may well be some tales along the way.

We solely concentrate on Microsoft Dynamics 365 but when we sit down with our clients at the beginning of our discovery process, we always explore whether it will do for these new businesses what it has done for our long-standing clients.

And here’s what our experience has taught us.  No one CRM is right for every business.

And yes, the negative stories cite some truths. Get your CRM partner or platform wrong and you’ll struggle with poor user adoption, forgotten (key) features, ongoing silo working, ignoring valuable features and a board that is less than impressed with the return on their investment.

But what can you do to get your CRM project right?

We go into more detail in our Step 2 webinar ‘What CRM solutions are available’ which is part of our 8 Steps to CRM Implementation Success series, but in the meantime, here are a few tips.

 

Define requirements & objectives

Define why you need a CRM. You can’t compare solutions unless you know what you need it to do. You could end up either over or under spec’d and create more problems than you started with.

 

Stakeholder engagement

Consult with and know the needs of every stakeholder in the business. What are the processes, data requirements and current systems of every department? What do they need now and what could they achieve in the future with upgraded functionality? What do they definitely not want? Getting this right will increase the likelihood of high user adoption.

 

Platform research

Look at the bigger picture of each CRM platform. The functionality, licensing approach, customisation possibilities, compatibility with existing systems, sector suitability and its scalability are all considerations.

 

Choose the right partner

Meet potential CRM partners. We often find that it’s the people in our business that make all the difference to our clients. They will be working alongside and within your business during implementation and staying on hand to support you. It’s worth having synergy.

When CRM is implemented well, it can catapult your business into a more forward thinking and profitable approach. Start with the basics and you can build CRM into your business to be the bedrock of more innovation.

Although we are a Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner, our webinar series, 8 Steps to CRM Implementation Success, is an objective look at the process that anyone charged with investigating CRM for their organisation should follow.

Throughout the series, our MD, Billy Lyle, guides businesses through each step of the CRM journey. Step 2 focusses on what CRM solutions are out there. Watch this short webinar learn about your CRM options and continue your own journey to getting CRM strategy, planning and stakeholder engagement right first time.

One of the biggest challenges for an Insurance business scoping CRM software is getting behind the headlines and working out how it will provide customer knowledge and marketing opportunities.

CRM is indeed the launch pad for digital transformation and yes, it does bring collaboration, communication and efficiency. Likewise, it does make light work of managing campaigns, sales opportunities and customer management. It also does indeed improve customer service, increase trust and can enable growth. And yes, all whilst providing the board and your teams with dashboard reporting that helps you identify yet more opportunity.

But, at a granular level, what does any of that mean? What are the departmental headlines for adding to the likes of OGI and marketing platforms?

Here’s just a small selection of some of the ways it has helped our insurance and broker clients:

  1. Eradicating data duplication – with departments often having their own silos of information, one customer’s data could be held in over three separate locations but without knowing what knowledge is sitting elsewhere. There are negative GDPR, cross-sell, upsell and compliance consequences. On the flip side, a single customer view allows you to use customer knowledge from across the business to grow without further recruitment, to meet GDPR requirements, to syphon out unwanted prospects and to make sure all marketing messages are entirely relevant to those receiving them.
  1. Improving channel relationship management – Insurance relationships can be multi-layered so it’s critical to be able to identify the complex ones and manage them appropriately, whether that’s through more careful messaging or a key customer programme.
  1. Improving customer conversations – When each department is looking at the same single customer view, they have a full picture of that business’ or individual’s relationship with the company. Every conversation is informed and followed up on which means no red faces, fewer errors and better opportunity creation and handling, meaning retention and growth.
  1. Making marketing more effective and helping sales to convert opportunities – Segmentation improves marketing results and a single customer view where knowledge of a customer is added to with every interaction is step one. Microsoft Dynamics 365 goes beyond that with MailChimp integration and an in-depth view of campaigns and activities for better understanding of success ratios as well as white space analysis. When sales know how a lead arrived, it’s much easier to understand their prospect’s requirements and mindset making the pipeline view so much more meaningful.
  1. More efficient and secure operations – No business can grow smoothly whilst information and administration is in disparate systems. Having a central platform for the business not only brings more customer knowledge and better upsell, it helps communication and action to flow much more easily. Documents are stored centrally and everyone has access to the task lists they need to progress their department.
  1. Reinforced compliance – With better business process flows and a clearer approach for GDPR and data, it is easier to meet compliance regulations. Claims benefit too with succinct audit trails as well as a 360-degree view of the client.
  1. Better reporting – Every organisation has a goldmine of insight amongst its systems but it’s not useful unless it can be surfaced meaningfully. What is true of one department as it stands alone, may alter when you consider the facts from another. With CRM (and particularly with Dynamics 365 because that’s where our expertise lies), management reports are vivid, clear and massively insightful.
  1. Talent retention – Good customer service representatives are like gold-dust and need to be kept. Working with a CRM system (if it’s the right one for your business) removes a lot of the daily task frustration that can mount up. It can also help each departmental team to see its role in the wider business ecosystem. User adoption is key but once you have it, your CRM can succeed. With Dynamics 365 Talent App, there are also fantastic ways to manage recruitment, onboarding and career progression.
  1. Better Business Insight – CRM allows you to see the patterns at play in your organisation and to identify areas of future growth. It allows you to see the opportunity that has perhaps hidden itself up until now because you didn’t have the data to show itself. By analysing customer history, profile and behaviours information, you can better understand future requirements and prepare accordingly.
  1. Automation of routine tasks – Back when CRM first started, this was at the crux of it. And it has evolved to a level of sophistication that reflects the digital age we’re now in. As with all digital technology, the basic rule remains. Get the basics working well then you have your pathway to the bigger transformations such as AI, Chatbots and self-service.

 

Are you currently scoping your CRM project or looking for tips on how to kick start your CRM strategy? Watch our 8 step webinar series which will guide you through the entire journey of implementing a new CRM system. From covering the basics of what a CRM system does, all the way to choosing a partner and scoping your business case.

The businesses that are growing despite the stuttering economy and uncertainty all have one thing in common – customer insight. And they’re not afraid to use it.

It’s not surprising but many businesses looking at their competitors might think that they have a better management team, bigger budgets to spend or an easier product to sell.  Yet we know that the most exciting business growth comes from customer insight because without it, products would be misfired, resource wasted, leads burned and opportunities lost.

Don’t be mistaken – many of the businesses that you are perhaps comparing your own with are probably working hard at the foundations. The hidden hero of customer insight is the structure where it’s all pulled into so that patterns can be detected and opportunities spotted. Without that, none of the forward-thinking innovations would be possible.

Following the DMA Awards last December, we were reminded of why insight is so important.

Ikea’s strategy to boost family card swipes happened because they knew usage rates from their data. The insight led them to the opportunity and that led them to their campaign which then went on to revive a stagnant customer loyalty programme and increase revenue. We can guess that they are continually monitoring that data now and looking for more insights for future initiatives.

When Royal London wanted to increase over 50s life cover sales and market share through paid search, it targeted individuals, not keywords. To do that, they needed to know enough about their existing over 50s customers. Their outstanding campaign results meant they also needed to continue that level of individuality on the customer journey that followed.

Virgin Trains could never have run their public transport customer survey through multi-channel marketing automation without efficient and thorough insight analysis guiding them to their next move.

A CRM strategy  can help your business gather the insight and analysis you need to drive business change and growth. CRM is not the result, it’s the strategy to get it. It’s the structure that holds up the award-winning campaigns, initiatives and results so that they’re effectiveness can be forecast and their results analysed.

It’s the engine that keeps the business running as a unit, not as a collection of silos. It’s where staff can singlehandedly spot an opportunity to pass on to other departments. It’s where insights surface in the most unexpected places.

It’s not just where technology can increase the efficiency of every team member and every department. It’s not just a repository for segmentation and delivery. It’s not just a boon for compliance, GDPR and data security. It’s not just a place to organise and see the sales pipeline.

It’s where ideas can come from.

And like all good things, there is a way of doing things that will bring better results and that will challenge you to examine the reasons for wanting it.

So, in your rush to get to those business headlines, remember the role that CRM plays in getting you there and give it the time and focus it needs to bring it into play effectively.

Want to know more about building a CRM strategy and what CRM can do for your business? Watch our Webinar Series ‘Your 8 steps to CRM Implementation Success’ and start scoping your CRM business case now.

So, you have the remit to explore CRM for your organisation.

You might be the CEO, the CTO, the COO or the Project Manager. Or maybe you’re just expected to report into them with your findings.

Either way, the CRM scoping and selection process knows no job titles and whilst the journey can be shortened, be very wary of missing out each of the important steps.

 

Here are five important things to note:

  1. CRM is way beyond a sales management tool. It’s a business strategy that lets you identify the needs and behaviours of your customers to win their loyalty. This isn’t just about seeing what they’ve bought and knowing what to sell them next. It’s about their every single interaction with your organisation and CRM lies at the very core of every area.
  1. Finding the right CRM system isn’t about which one is the most popular, or which one is cheapest, or indeed which one your competitors use. It’s far more complex. Integration with existing systems and software, customisation options, the appropriate levels of functionality for what you need now and in the future as well as user adoption all matter. Indeed, even the way that a software vendor interacts with its partner network is important so that you know where responsibilities lie for proposals, implementation and ongoing support.
  1. Whether you are migrating from one CRM system to another, moving from Excel, working with sector-specific compliance software or upgrading existing CRM, the process is king. There are objectives for every stage of the CRM scoping process, all of which are designed to help your business meet its objectives for CRM. And in most cases, create new ones once you know what is possible.
  1. It’s not a solo effort. Creating a CRM strategy and finding the right solution takes not just process, but collaboration. Stakeholder engagement is important. Every department can benefit from CRM but only if the right questions are asked of the right people from the outset. Customer services, operations, compliance, data security, IT, sales, marketing, administration, product development, distribution. The list goes on.
  1. Preparing a business case is crucial. It provides your board with the rationale, recommendation and expected ROI of your CRM proposal. However, what starts out as a detailed document is often reduced to no more than a few pages for the C Suite to read over. Make sure you know what they are looking for and stay true to the original objectives, as well as identifying the new opportunities that CRM creates.

 

Step-by-Step CRM Webinar Series

We’re often asked about every single one of the areas above. So, we’re running a free (and objective) Step-by-Step CRM Preparation Series that will make sure you have thought of everything.  It’s one thing to know what should be done, but sometimes insight from people who have done it before makes all the difference.

 

STEP 1: Your CRM Strategy in 2017

In the first of our webinars, we look at what a CRM strategy is, as well as why and how businesses across every sector are using CRM to meet their business objectives and challenges.

Watch our webinar and find out more about the whole series, here. And if you’d rather bypass the webinar series but still want the knowledge, why not give one of our consultants a call on 0845 226 8170 or have a look at our discovery day options.

Have you discovered Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 for Talent app yet?

We’ve been having a look around it, ready to discuss with a keen client and we’re already quite impressed by its first release. It has more features than we expected at this stage with more being released weekly. It was immediately clear how different job roles could use the app to improve so many processes, recruitment and HR processes to everyone’s benefit. The digital transformation benefits are instant.

The big themes are talent recruitment, onboarding and development.

 

Talent Recruitment

  • Integrates with LinkedIn to find and source top candidates
  • See who has already interacted with you on LinkedIn
  • Automatic interview scheduling (coordinate calendars, automate scheduling process, communicate to candidates on expectations)
  • Allow interviewers to easily provide feedback from mobile or desktop
  • Keeping hiring managers in the loop at every stage

As it currently stands, lots of us (businesses and recruitment agencies alike) are using LinkedIn to find candidates and to encourage them to apply for a position. It takes a lot of to and fro and if you are a business using a recruitment consultant, it’s easy to fall out the loop of what stage things are at.

Add to that the other sources of applicants and the ongoing admin that comes with selection, interviewing, feedback and offers; it can all get very confusing.

 

Interview Scheduling

With Dynamics 365 for Talent, everything happens in the app where you can directly find out about applicants, click into their LinkedIn profile to see more about them, find out more about their application, look at their cv, their connections and identify the strongest candidates. From there, you can invite for interview. On invitation, the candidate can log into Dynamics 365 and select the best date. The interview team can then be invited and because of the integration with Office 365, you can check the team’s availability really easily without switching between lots of screens. Once you find a suitable date for everyone you go ahead and push the invitation in the same way and receive responses back into Dynamics. Then you can provide the candidate with more information about the interview.

 

Assessing Candidates

It’s tricky getting everyone into a room to discuss a candidate’s suitability following an interview. If you don’t gather there and then, it can be difficult to remember the specifics of the interview and insight can be lost between decision makers with disparate emails, texts and phone calls. So Dynamics 365 allows your interviewers to add their thoughts into the same location on the app, making for a fuller discussion with context for quick reference. Once you know you have the right candidate, you can offer them the job from the app allowing you to keep track of what stage the offer is at. And if this candidate isn’t the right one? Keep them on file. There may be another role for them and you’ll already have intelligence without that awkward ‘do you remember that person we saw back in March last year?’

 

Onboarding

Once your candidate has accepted the position, you can help them become a happy and effective member of the team quickly with colleague introductions and personalised pre-boarding/on-boarding plans that allow you to share critical resources and information with task lists. Not only does it save the to and fro of email between individuals, it’s a fantastic way to monitor the success of onboarding and to link the new individual into other members of the team. You can stage the onboarding with what can be accessed pre-contract v contract sign off.

 

Staff and Team Development

One of the biggest benefits at an individual level is the employee self service for professional development. Rather than waiting for those one-to-one’s or annual appraisals, employees can have a daily conversation with HR or their line managers over the areas that they would like further training or support on. With every employee on Dynamics 365 for Talent, they can see a personalised career trajectory (improving employee engagement and satisfaction) and you can see where you are building competencies to meet future demand. It’s also a great spot to allocate talent to suitable projects.

At a day-to-day operational level, this app makes managing leave, absence, health and safety, staff benefits, compensation and employee analytics really straightforward.

This is about individual profiles built from Dynamics 365, LinkedIn and Office 365 that helps you find, retain, manage and develop talent from the beginning. It’s easily understandable and by bringing so many HR functions into one simple solution, businesses can actually spend more time making decisions and less time chasing the admin.

So far it’s a thumbs up.

Would you like to know more about how Redspire deliver Dynamics 365?

Find out more about us and our services here.

Let’s start this blog by clarifying that Microsoft Dynamics 365 v9.0 is a major release. There are lots of changes so although it has been described as a July release, it’s going to take longer than that with some changes coming through Private Preview/Preview programmes first. It will also roll out to Dynamics 365 Cloud solutions first with Dynamics 365 On-Premise getting relevant updates afterwards. This isn’t about Microsoft taking their time. The changes all take Dynamics 365 forward with its modular, app-centric approach meaning that your updates can be phased instead of one big hit.

 

  1. The Dynamics 365 Business Edition is coming! SMB’s can now get the Finance and Operations App for Business Edition. Next up will be a connected Sales App for Business Edition followed by Marketing. Combined, they’ll make up the Dynamics 365 Business Edition providing one complete loop from lead to invoice on one interface.
  1. Dynamics 365 Marketing users on Enterprise edition will need to continue with Click Dimensions but for SMB’s, the Business Edition will have 60+ marketing email templates.
  1. There are two bits of interface news. Business edition users are first to experience Microsoft’s new Unified Client Interface. Mobile and web experiences will become more consistent and use a responsive user interface that will adapt to browsers and devices. So, it’s goodbye ‘synchronizing changes’ and hello consistency. It also means optimized navigation, mobile responsive dashboards, full form capabilities, mobile custom controls to name a few.
  1. Dynamics 365 Enterprise users will get a refreshed web client interface in response to user feedback (everyone can have a say https://ideas.dynamics.com/ideas/). The update means word wrap fields, better form tab formatting and the ability to extend theme capabilities and standardize fonts.
  1. One of our version 9.0 favourites, the New Activity Timeline, tracks a record’s complete history in one timeline and removes the need to click between tabs and a brilliant ‘What I Missed’ filter. You will still be able to configure what appears in the feed.
  1. The mobile experience goes beyond the addition of the unified client interface, and the activity timeline. Dynamics 365 Mobile users now have pinch and zoom charts in mobile dashboards, lots of new chart types to visualize data, chart and list views on one screen, form switching, better form navigation, customer controls for all form factors and, finally; relevance search and advanced filtering.
  1. Mobile can be offline or online by app and user – ideal for different levels of permissions amongst users.
  1. External data can now be read and displayed in runtime with new Virtual Entities that are stored like any other entity within Dynamics 365 so your data can be used in business process automation etc.
  1. Interactions in Customer Engagement Portals will now be visible in Dynamics Customer Insights including forum, knowledge base and search click actions. Not only that, a portal admin wizard will make it easy to add Dynamics365 content into portals.
  1. The Business Process Flow has had some TLC too with the stages able to be displayed in either floating or docked mode and vertical alignment so it’s easier to see what’s next.
  1. The Customer Service Hub (formerly known as the Interactive Service Hub) is built on the new Unified Client Interface so it’s accessible from mobile and doesn’t require a metadata download. It also allows you to ‘Bring Your Own Bot’ to extend the chat/co-browse capabilities in Live Assist.
  1. Security has been improved too with a configurable maximum session length and timeout if it’s left unattended. Warnings can also be configured allowing users to save their work.
  1. Microsoft Social engagement will support LinkedIn and Youtube as sources soon. LinkedIn Sales Navigator widgets allow you to sync with Dynamics 365 and identify the best contacts to connect with, account news, mutual connections and potential leads.
  1. Microsoft Social Engagement is bringing in a Social Selling Assistant that lets Sales teamwork from a digest of promoted posts to expand their network.
  1. Power BI brings more detail to social insights from all social activity and with the capability to listen in on LinkedIn soon, it will be a great way to review.
  1. Customer Insights makes the most of Intelligent Analytics with visualizations of every customer’s journey in one dashboard.
  1. Organisation Insights lets you monitor how Dynamics365 is being used within your business.
  1. There will be Native support for HTML email production and source code editing.
  1. There will be some Connected Field Service Enhancements for Spring 2018. Lots of details are still to be confirmed but universal scheduling will be great for field service solutions that fit industry demands.
  1. Customer Insights will be GDPR compliant by the end of 2017. And version 9.0’s general availability.

 

Register for our upcoming webinar on Thursday 14th September, 11am, to gain an overview of Dynamics 365 and how it provides role-based solutions for every part of your business.

Redspire have worked with Nine Twenty recruitment over the last few years as our headcount has grown and the business expanded. With solid growth plans, we are once again looking for excellent, talented IT Graduates who are looking to start their career within a dynamic and innovative Technology company and Microsoft Gold Partner.

To highlight the unique benefits of working with Redspire, Nine Twenty interviewed our star Graduate Jamie Logue to talk about his career path, how he ended up with Redspire and the projects that he’s been immersed in since joining our Microsoft Gold Partner consultancy.

Introducing Jamie to the Redspire Graduate opportunity

Nine Twenty approached Jamie last year after he had graduated from University of West of Scotland, achieving a BSc in Business Technology. Following screening with Nine Twenty, it was obvious that Jamie was the type of candidate that would flourish in the learning environment that Redspire were providing.

The Redspire Graduate Q&A

Jamie, what did you want to do when you graduated?

“I wanted to be a Business Analyst! Database development really interested me at university and it seemed highly relevant to the opening at Redspire. Even though I didn’t know too much about CRM systems, the role seemed like a great opportunity to learn more.”

Tell us about your role as a Graduate Analyst at Redspire.

“As Graduate Analyst, you get a great grounding in multiple business areas, which is just what you want as you get your teeth into the sector. It’s learning from the ground up. My initial role combined responsibilities from areas like business analysis, solutions architect, design and pre- sales, as well as elements of coding.”

“The management team are really supportive at Redspire and work closely with all staff to help to focus on people’s strengths and how they develop their long term careers. There are so many options for specialising once you have an understanding of the various departments.”

 What does the career path look like on the Redspire Graduate programme?

“I started out as an Analyst, and straight away its training heavy to gain your Microsoft certifications. Once you’re certified, the day to day is so much more hands on and involved client facing Consultancy and project design. After that you can be promoted based on performance into Senior/ Lead Consultants and from there you have options to move around within the company, for example focusing on the Business side or the Tech side of the company or maybe looking more at Project Management.”

What is the working environment like at Redspire?

“They’re a friendly chatty bunch at Redspire HQ. There’s a good team vibe between departments and we have pretty regular social events to make sure it stays that way.”

Who wouldn’t suit a Redspire Graduate role?

“Someone without a clear vision of where they want to go”

Any Advice for Graduates interested in a role with Redspire?

“Do the research on the role, the business and the benefits of the Microsoft tools and relationship. In this role, you will be thrown in at the deep end…but you definitely have a safety net in terms of the support around you!”

The travel sector is awash with data. Mobile technology is fostering new data generating consumer behaviours and is dominating the travel industry.

Google seems to have hit the nail on the head when it described the modern customer journey as a series of micro-moments. Think back to the last time a friend recommended a hotel, holiday or journey to you. Did you patiently wait till you got home to look it up? No, nor us!  60% of travel searches start on mobile and 94% continue to jump between devices as they piece together options*, likes, dislikes, reviews and final plans. And it doesn’t end there, with 85% of leisure travellers deciding on activities after they have arrived at their destination. Swathes of time is spent experiencing, then reporting on those experiences on social media– good or bad.

None of this is surprising and more than ever, we are seeing the travel businesses that embrace data driven marketing and product development lead the way. And why not? According to a study by American Express, 83% of millennials said they would let travel brands track their digital patterns if it would provide them with a more personalised experience. In fact, 85% of all ages thought that customised itineraries were far more desirable than general offerings.

Customers are generating valuable, insightful data faster that it can be analysed.

 

Where does your travel business sit?

Every business on the planet (that wants to survive) is on a digital transformation journey.

Some are at the early stages; realising that having all customer data on separate platforms is not only ineffective, but is holding them back.

Some have their data in order on one central system but now need to identify how to analyse it for actionable insights that will feed product development and better ROI.

Some are already producing those insights and making the most of the increasing spontaneity and experience-led decision making of travellers with well-timed promotions and products.

Some travel firms have been on the journey since the beginning and are advancing quickly. New analysis of 321 million social engagements by Adobe Digital Insights has found at least 8 of the largest hotels have tested virtual reality experiences during the past six months and most of these were programmes that paired with a traveller’s mobile device.

 

Five Steps for Better Data Analysis and Use

 

  1. Data Management

Data is only as useful as its storage and use.  Bearing in mind that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) are on the horizon and come with large penalties, the right data infrastructures and processes are critical.  Your data environment needs to be GDPR compliant and allow you to capture individual interactions as they happen against one record.

 

  1. Connection

A Single Customer View will allow you to join the dots between online and offline customer journeys. Your customers will have a better experience and you will be able to use the data to spot opportunities and patterns within a client group. You’ll also see what is and isn’t working. As a result, ROI can’t help but improve.

 

  1. Deeper Knowledge

Customers expect you to know them. To know what the booked or did last, what they might want to do next and on what terms. You can’t do any of that without better use and understanding of your data.

 

  1. More Creativity

When you know who you’re marketing to and what makes them tick, you can be more creative and innovative in your messaging, reflecting them in your materials and interacting with them more meaningfully on social platforms too. With the right system, you can then watch those interactions, learn about behaviour trends and manage them.

  1. Understanding your ROI

When you are operating a CRM system that has been carefully tuned to your business’ needs, people and processes, you will be in a better position to plot your customer journeys and attribute online and offline channel success.

 

Want more?

Feel to join us for our next webinar, Digital Transformation in Travel & Leisure.

Date: Thursday 17th August

Time: 11am BST

Attendees: Best suited to marketing, sales, IT and data officers working in the travel and leisure industry and who use (or are considering) CRM for data management, inbound marketing and email marketing.

During the webinar, we will discuss:

  • The main themes of digital transformation in the travel and leisure industry.
  • What a 360-degree view of your customers looks like.
  • GDPR, a catalyst for positive change?
  • Creating a better customer experience and journey.
  • How Microsoft’s platforms and tools are helping us to improve our travel clients’ processes, productivity and insights.

It takes seconds to register. If you can’t join, you can still register for us to email you the recording. The industry is changing so quickly, it’s worth being informed.

 

 

Sources

https://econsultancy.com/blog/68183-10-spectacular-digital-marketing-stats-from-this-week/

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-influence-travel-decision-making-explore-moments.html