We function in a global economy that buys, sells, and communicates in multiple ways. The competition among businesses across industries is rife, and consumers are more vocal than ever about their buying experience.
A dissatisfied customer typically tells 9-to-15 people about their poor shopping experience. Moreover, it just takes one bad instance for 32% of customers to stop purchasing from a company they love!
In a nutshell, no one wants to do business with a company that treats its customers poorly. That is where deploying a CRM system makes sense.
Now and Then: Adopting CRM Technologies
Traditionally speaking, a CRM system helps keep track of all prospect and customer interactions and centralizes and streamlines that data to scale engagement with them.
Today, CRM has evolved into a cloud-based solution that enables real-time access to customer data and keeps up with what competitors are up to while on the go!
No wonder the overall CRM usage has grown to 74% from 56% in the past year. An increasing number of businesses want to join the bandwagon!
CRMs and Customer Experience: Five Notable Trends
From lead nurturing and email marketing to customer service, one can offer a more personalized experience to their target audience with CRM’s help. With 90% of businesses competing today on customer experience, offering bespoke services is non-negotiable.
In this article, let us analyze five CRM trends that can make a massive difference to how businesses treat their customers:
1. Mobile and Cloud CRMs Are Still Favorites
In 2008, 88% of CRM systems operated on company premises. They were installed and managed internally to avoid a third-party vendor handling their data. Over time, businesses started forgoing installing software on local and preferring using tools on the cloud.
Ten years later, 87% of CRM systems were hosted on the cloud, and 90% of businesses reported that moving to the cloud is a priority due to the pandemic. From heightened security to anytime, anywhere data access, the cloud is the present and future data management.
There is still time before seeing some other technology displacing the cloud as the most preferred host for a CRM system.
The same is true for mobile CRMs. With the increasing use and dependence on mobile technology, companies deploying mobile CRM software are witnessing much higher productivity levels amongst their employees.
Moreover, 65% of such companies can achieve their sales quotas compared to 22% of sales reps that use a non-mobile CRM to reach the same KPIs. With 5.2 billion unique smartphone users worldwide, more businesses will adopt the technology in the coming years.
2. CRM Continues to Thrive as a Social Platform
As the importance of delivering impeccable customer service on social media raises new heights, social CRM has set itself up as a linchpin of CRM activities.
For starters, it offers immense social listening opportunities. It enables companies to collate customer queries from all channels, sort them into complaints and queries, and design experiences that provide customers value in advocacy, engagement, and attention.
If not, social media can act as a customer service tool, addressing those cranky or agitated customers who hop on their preferred social media channels and connect with the business via DMs or tagging a handle.
Alternatively, if resources are limited, and businesses have a list of questions repeatedly asked by customers, social CRM can even help set up auto-responses for specific common queries (such as product prices).
Indeed, email and phone are not dead, but 47% of consumers favor brands that respond to customer service queries on social media. Therefore, it is essential to give customers options to connect with a business, and that flexibility is a fundamental aspect of winning.
3. CRM Has Become More User-Friendly
CRM software is perhaps the most prominent software market globally. Some of the popular CRM providers include Adobe, Hubspot, and Microsoft. Such tools’ success rate is due to the adoption rate – they are so easy to use!
As per IBM’s research, CRM users rank the ease of use as the most crucial factor, along with features such as email, data snapshots, scheduling, and instant messaging. Therefore, CRM companies need to offer that value to “their customers.”
CRM systems have evolved rapidly in the past decade – with many functionalities attached to them. However, for sales reps that are on the road and want to focus on selling, they should be able to maximize the system’s potential and save time, rather than spending hours on the system.
On any given day, for instance, the amount of customer data that comes in should be processed and presented by the CRM in the form of reports. Be it the number of clicks on an email campaign or the number of complaints raised, everything should be accessible at a glance in the form of pie charts, bar charts, and other relevant diagrams.
Alternatively, in the B2C world, business success largely depends on how speedily one can resolve customer demands. A CRM helps keep track of the various interactions a customer is making with a company, from the pages they visit on the website to the number of conversations they have had with the team.
Quite often, customer leads end up getting lost because the company was not keeping track of all the lead data – CRM can help you avoid such situations, and to enable that, it must be simple to use.
4. CRM Reduces Response Times and Shortens Buying Cycles
Today’s consumers are spoiled for choice. If they have a terrible experience with one brand, they have the option to choose from five different alternatives. Competition between businesses is fierce – with every one of them fighting for the consumers’ attention, not just in terms of their offerings but also customer service.
Did you know 75% of customers rate “fast response times” as a critical element of sublime customer service? Plus, 37% of them expect a response to their social media queries within 24 hours, and 28% want to be contacted back in an hour!
Thankfully, CRM has enabled businesses to prioritize queries that should be handled first. That is hugely beneficial in those situations where customer service teams use a shared mailbox and are bombarded with complaints and suggestions from every corner of the digital world.
Having a CRM system in place enables businesses to deploy automatic email response functionality. It allows the customer service team to identify problems and suggest appropriate solutions in the shortest time possible.
Moreover, the right CRM allows sales reps to access all the leads at a glance and the stage of the customer journey they are at.
Any prospective customer will move through various stages, including cold lead, warm lead, opportunity, and others depending on how much interaction they have had with a business – a CRM helps track each movement and tailor your customer conversations accordingly.
5. CRM Data Integrates With IoT
In this day and age, automobiles, garage door openers, medical devices, footwear, and refrigerators attach themselves to the internet. It is not surprising to learn that there will be nearly 27.1 billion connected networks and devices globally by 2021.
These IoT devices can send data about maintenance needs, product issues, improper use, and others to the company’s CRM system, which compels the appropriate team to take action swiftly. For example, there are fridges in a hospital that store key medications.
If the electronic item detects the coolant is low, which maintains the temperature, the fridge can notify the manufacturer using an IoT platform. In turn, the manufacturer will relay the message to the hospital’s CRM system, after which the assigned staff will either move the medications to another fridge or refill the coolant in the same electronic item.
There is a new wave of CRM functionalities coming, and it is all because of IoT.
Wrapping It Up
As per research, companies in the US lost more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. Most of the time, it is due to preconceived notions that their customer base is manageable, and the current team can handle all queries that come in.
They don’t realize that a CRM system does not just track the number of leads but also the quality of information available on each of those leads. It thus makes sense for every business to invest in a quality CRM that helps solidify and expand the customer base with ease.
Automation is of paramount importance in getting content out promptly and in relieving the team of routine tasks. Therefore, it is vital to look for a CRM that allows scheduling social media posts, sending promotional and follow-up emails, responding to social media queries, and fulfilling any other routine or low-risk function that does not require human intervention.
There are a plethora of CRM offerings out there to suit every budget and industry. Some features, however, are common to all. It is necessary to look for critical elements before investing in a CRM, as these will help manage the customer base and scale up quickly over time.