10 Things to Know About Your CRM Partner

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Why does CRM sometimes fail to deliver? Why does any relationship?

Here are ten ways to make sure you have the right CRM software partner.

  1. Know their strengths. Are they dedicated to the CRM platform you have chosen? Are they working with it day in/day out?  Have they worked within a business like yours before and if not, how well do they know (or get to know during pitch) your sector’s challenges?
  2. Know their structure. It’s all too easy to give the contract to a CRM partner on the basis of price, proposal and the people you met at the pitch. But those are all fleeting moments and what you need to know is the day-to-day reality of working with them. Who are the team working that will work day in and out on your project and what are their roles? How do they communicate with clients, and with each other? What processes do they follow to make sure nothing slips through the net or is misunderstood? What are their individual competencies and experience? What additional value will they bring to the project?
  3. Know what you’re getting. What level of system detail can you expect to see before being expected to sign on the dotted line? Make sure it’s what you’ll need bearing in mind the different stakeholders who will have to sign off on your final decision.
  4. Know their wider business knowledge. This might seem obvious. It’s all very well having a partner who knows the CRM platform inside out but they have to also have business sense. You want them to understand the current customer experience challenges that technology, legislation and your sector are throwing up, as well as then quickly understanding the process challenges from within your business. Do they understand how to be GDPR compliant? Can they help you get there?
  5. Know their capacity. What else they are working on during the timescales you are planning around. Do they have capacity? Should you wait until they do? Will you be a priority?
  6. Know their skills. Don’t just ask how many clients they have, who they’ve helped or the results. Know what kind of modifications they’ve made to make the CRM platform work with client’s existing infrastructure.
  7. Know their aftercare approach. Once you’re up and running, how do they stay in touch with you and your team? What does support look like? Is it as and when? Proactive? Reactive? Are they providing value all the way through?
  8. Know their honesty. Just how clear are they about what can and can’t be done? Do you sense there are things being said to secure the deal? Trust your instinct and push for commitment if you’re not sure.
  9. Know your own project team. Are they and the potential partner team compatible? They are going to be working closely together and it would be far more beneficial to have a mutually respectful relationship rather than supplier/client.
  10. Know their current client list. Don’t be put off by where they don’t already have a business in your sector. It means there will be no conflict of interest and with any good partner, they will be party of their platform network and as such, have access to shared knowledge and practice that will only add even more to the balance of skills, technical know-how, business aptitude and team relationship.

Our CRM discovery webinar series was set up to help you own each stage of the CRM journey so that you can arrive at the right software and partner for your organisation.

Catch up on our free webinar series ‘Your 8 Steps to CRM Implementation Success’


Want to know more about Redspire? Here’s our MD Billy to give you a quick summary:

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.

6 CRM Rules to Make Sure It Delivers

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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.

Customer Experience: May the battle commence

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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!

What if you get CRM wrong…but what if you get it right?

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.

CRM – the bedrock of bigger thinking

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.

5 Must Knows for your CRM Research

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.

20 Facts about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Version 9.0

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.

Unlocking the Insight of your Customer Data


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.