Why CRM Doesn’t Instantly Create Customer Experience

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Every year, at around this time, we like to reflect on the year that’s passed and what the key learnings have been for us as a business and for the wider CRM landscape.

This year, unsurprisingly, one of the main themes is the blurred line of customer experience and customer service.

With much of our new work this year coming from the insurance and financial services sector, we’ve been at the coal face of one of the most commoditised markets, and each and every one of those projects has been a salient reminder of the enormity of customer experience.

Regardless of the sector that your business is operating in, customer service and customer experience are two different things.

Customer service is about those individual moments when employees are providing direct interaction to customers, what happens prior and what happens next.

Customer experience is so much wider than that. It encompasses every single aspect of how a customer perceives your organisation. Website, packaging, events, marketing campaigns, sponsorships, blogs, product delivery, going beyond the necessary, knowing customers so well you can predict what they might be interested in next, knowing when to back off, knowing their price.

So, even with the best efforts of every single department to provide excellent customer service every time, if they are not joined up, your customer is left with just a snapshot, and that’s not enough to evoke the positive feeling you need to create customer loyalty. It’s enough to satisfy their need in that particular transaction but nothing more.

That comes down to emotions. Yes, even in B2B.

Emotions shape the attitudes that drive decisions. More than 50% in fact according to the Journal of Consumer Research.

Customers will be loyal because they remember how they feel dealing with you. If you get it right once, well done. If you get it right twice, not bad at all. If you get it right across the whole journey, you’ll win their loyalty. I know if I think about the businesses that we deal with, and those I interact with personally, I know I could go anywhere at any time. I have to like them. I have to think they make my life easier or better in some way. And for our insurance clients where prices can always be matched, it’s been even more critical that they don’t slip up, ever.

In one department such as claims handling, everything could go beautifully. But if I’m the customer and I’m contacted at the same time about a fantastic new product and it doesn’t recognise I’m currently dealing with another claim, I’m going to wonder why departments aren’t talking to each other! Separate decisions in separate departments all impact on customer experience so it MUST be joined up.

Businesses starting their journey with CRM generally always want to know how it will help create customer experience.

It won’t. It will, however, facilitate it.

It will bring together all of those excellent customer service efforts into one place meaning that the overall effort can be overseen and future needs can be predicted before the customer even knows they have the need. You can be attentive and proactive without wasting their time.

With 60% of customers willing to pay more for a better experience (according to American Express) and the increase in customer loyalty that comes with it, look beyond the functionality of the CRM systems you are looking at, and really get to grips with the very first stage of how it will inform your overall experience.

 

Want to follow up on this?

We’ve broken the CRM journey into key chapters. Find the full series overview here.

In the spirit of customer experience, we also like to talk. Every conversation leads to more knowledge so feel free to get in touch!

5 Reasons to Celebrate GDPR

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25th May 2018 is etched onto the minds of businesses as the date where all data has to be in order. GDPR is approaching fast.

 

Is it a big task? Yes, of course.

Should you be worried? Only if you’re doing nothing.

Is it an opportunity? Absolutely!

 

It’s an Opportunity to Contact

Yes, it’s ironic. The very fact that some people may not want to be contacted anymore gives you a reason to contact them.  That’s a fantastic opportunity. You are delivering good news – that you take their privacy seriously and that you only ever want them to send information that will add value to their day. That’s better than many other messages they will have had from you in the past. As long as you are/have been clear and transparent with opt-ins and you can track this, you can keep them on file. Win-Win.

 

Better data means truer results.

So, yes, your data count may come down by quite a lot. But how engaged is your database? You’d expect your active customer database to be vibrant and active but what about your prospects? The chances are you have mailed them more than they’d like and if they haven’t replied by now, well, I think you know the answer. So, how does that look when you’re reporting campaign results? If you can weed out the prospects that don’t want to be contacted, your response rate will actually improve. Don’t worry about those you’ve lost. They’ll be grateful to you and chances are they’ll find you again if they have a need.

 

Get the edge over your Competitors

Who would you rather do business with? The company who respected your right to privacy? Or the one who didn’t get around to it? The one who saw it as an opportunity to check in with you and see if there is still an opportunity there? Or the one who just did nothing and hoped for the best?  GDPR is not just a new legal requirement. It’s a customer experience opportunity and something that should become regular practice. This could be one of the best incentives you’ll ever have to sharpen up your data strategy.

 

Underhand Tactics Cost

There’s something reassuring about knowing that the businesses who disregard data privacy will have bigger penalties. Although getting it right for your business will initially take effort, the overall benefit for us all as businesses and consumers makes it worthwhile. GDPR is a customer experience improvement that we all benefit from and whilst it’s a high cost for unintentional slip-ups, it’s a fair one for blatant disregard.

 

Inform your Strategy

Use the opportunity well and you could find out more about what makes them tick and where exactly they are in the buying journey. You can discover content needs, preferred communication, other interests just for starters. Basically, segmentation and targeting insight that will help you to freshen up your conversation with them and move them along the pipeline.

From our point of view, a Dynamics 365 CRM system with true, segmented and up to date data will always provide sharper insights for operational efficiency and opportunity spotting. With a platform so good at bringing information from around the organisation into single customer views, it means precision and process that will convert.

Want to know more about GDPR? Watch our GDPR Q&A webinar or drop us an email at info@redspire.co.uk for more information on how Dynamics 365 can help.