Over the past year, adapting to the challenges of the pandemic on business has made the customer relationship management system an essential tool for maintaining and developing a customer base. As a result, CRM platforms have evolved into something more than a digital Rolodex for managing customer contact.
A key aspect of being successful in customer management tasks is addressing the customer experience. Brands and retailers must become customer-obsessed in 2021 in order to improve the customer experience, suggested Jennifer Conklin, unified commerce sector manager at Capgemini North America.
As most workers continue to work remotely, CRM has become an important tool for managing relationship risks. Financial firms need to deal with market and operational risk, consumer retailers need to focus on supply chain risk, and all businesses need to watch for economic risk.
Relationship risk is no different, and the role of CRM is central. Various execution methods are critical to the success of Customer Experience (CX) for merchants this year.
Marketing must now focus on four key trends – the contactless customer experience, omnichannel shopping, personalization and evolution of customer journeys, and voice commerce, according to Conklin. This litany is what marketers can expect to be the new normal in 2021 for CX and business trends.
“With safety always at the top of mind, a contactless shopping experience will be very relevant in 2021. Because health and safety concerns are a priority for most consumers, the technology voiceless offers a secure and contactless alternative, ”she told CRM Buyer.
Fixing a broken CX
Improving functionality is at the heart of improving the customer experience. It all depends on the support for functionality issues. This approach involves curbside pickup, contactless in-store pickup, online in-store pickup purchase (BOPIS) and its sister strategy: book online in-store pickup (ROPIS).
These are all shopping options that meet customers where they want to shop. Traders who make it easier to buy and trade will win in 2021, Mr. Conklin noted.
“It also depends on the level of technical maturity of an organization. Where are they in their digital transformation?
Some traders were quick to pivot in 2020. Others were in the middle of the pivot when the pandemic began. In this way, their efforts could be accelerated and prioritized in order to meet the new expectations, explained Mr. Conklin.
“The retarders will be far behind, however, and have yet to tackle core optimizations like mobile purchases and fast page load times,” she speculated.
How do they do this? It all starts with data to help achieve a holistic view of the customer which in turn provides a seamless experience across any point of contact throughout the customer’s journey.
The renewed importance of CRM
CRM is more and more important than ever, according to Manish Patel, Tier1 Financial Solution chief operating officer of its CRM business. Much of this is a result of the move to the online business world.
“As industries become increasingly virtual and rely more on cloud-based technology, it is imperative that commodities like CRMs provide the flexibility and accessibility that allow professionals to work from anywhere. any place at any time, ”he told CRM Buyer.
The appetite for more agility in a CRM was already growing as 2020 approached. But the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these capabilities, making robust platforms no longer a “nice to have” item. “, But a” need to have “the need, he added.
“Today’s CRM not only makes jobs more organized and efficient, but it mitigates a lot of operational and relationship risks, especially in what has become a fully distributed workforce for many companies. Mr. Patel said.
Essential in capital and investment markets
Capital markets and investment banking are areas where CRM is more important than ever. It’s more than a contacts app for sales teams.
“A CRM should be more of a Swiss army knife of functionality when it comes to managing relationships. Sales and negotiation teams must have real-time access to what has happened, what is happening and what they should be doing next, as well as the ability to handle events, in order to generate income, ”Patel said.
Investment banking professionals need the ability to quickly identify the right buyers based on historical transaction types, interest, and current holdings. A premium CRM filters their preferences, which can lead to a higher success rate when targeting buyers for a deal, he explained.
Evolving nature of CRM
Historically, a CRM system, at its inception, has been a resource for storing and organizing customer contact information. However, as the industry landscape has become more digital and data-dependent, CRMs have become an enterprise-wide data repository.
“Today’s CRM connects data and helps put context around information, giving users a 360-degree view of the customer,” Patel noted.
CRM technology is increasingly sophisticated because it is what customers need in an increasingly crowded, more complex and more competitive ecosystem. Businesses need to manage more and more customers than in the past.
This means there are oceans of data that need to be organized. The expanded functionality has particularly helped banking and financial market professionals discover new opportunities and provides more substantive information for engaging with clients, according to Patel.
“I think where we see RCMs evolving, especially in the financial sector, is where there is greater interoperability. Major data providers are integrating with CRMs to make data management more efficient and accessible and this will continue to be the case over the next five years, ”he added.
More than a sales team tool
CRM systems play an increasing role within organizations. The platform is no longer just for sales teams.
“Suppliers are also realizing the need to collaborate, partner and integrate with other specialists to empower the increasingly virtual ecosystem,” Patel offered.
A CRM platform in many ways is the foundation of any business’s technology stack, especially among a distributed workforce. It provides so much functionality and workflow efficiency in today’s landscape that it’s nearly impossible to think of how a business, even small and medium-sized businesses, could function without one.
CRM platforms serve as an intuitive digital dashboard that provides a complete and unique view of a customer. They not only manage all the contact and transaction information that sales teams have ever needed. They also mitigate risk and allow clients to operate from anywhere, acting as a single, undisputed source of truth.
“Businesses should no longer have to sift through endless amounts of spreadsheets and an array of different platforms to harmonize customer information and make informed decisions,” Patel said.
What traders should do
According to Durk Stelter, chief revenue officer of Linc Global, technology researcher Forrester predicts that 25% of companies will realize significant customer experience gains over the next year following the organizational shock of the pandemic. Teams that assess their response to crises and implement digital and omnichannel strategies to fill the gaps will quickly regain their progress.
“They are likely to find that consolidating and unifying around the right technologies will result in lower costs and increased customer satisfaction,” he said CRM buyer.
Improving the customer experience is a partnership with CRM technology. These changes are the foundation of AI-powered automation.
It helps retailers process the vast amounts of data needed to feed the scale, rich online experiences that customers now expect. These range from ecommerce site analysis to GPS location information to real-time updates of the inventory status of local stores.
Interactions should be fast and consistent wherever buyers choose to engage with the brand and provide full resolution. Automated online solutions should solve problems, not just provide basic information. If not, they can be seen as time-eaters that simply lock up customers until a human customer service agent can take over, Mr. Stelter explained.