For brands to deliver the best customer experience, they need to seamlessly combine their marketing, sales and service capabilities, writes Jason du Preez, senior vice president Asia Pacific at SugarCRM.
You’d be hard pressed to find more commonly used jargon than Customer Experience (CX). To paraphrase a line from a famous song “CX is all around me”. Yet when we think about three of CX’s key pillars – marketing, sales, and service – we find that instead of working together as a well-tuned trio, each often plays their own song, often without listening to the other players around. them.
For more than three decades, marketing, sales, and service have operated in silos and failed to share customer data and information with each other, ultimately failing the customer themselves and compromising customer service. profitability.
Recent research from SugarCRM has confirmed this. Half of Australian sales managers admit they cannot access customer data through marketing, sales and service systems. This means that team members in direct contact with customers do not have a clear picture of their customers. As a result, 50% of sales reps are frustrated with the administrative burden they bear, which has a massive ripple effect on customer churn rate.
More than half of companies SugarCRM spoke with said customer churn rate had increased over the past year and almost half of sales managers were unsure why customers were leaving with their existing CRM. described as inadequate, poorly supported by the supplier and costing them income.
These results are a wake-up call for companies that rely on market leaders in CRM with software tailored to stable and known customer behaviors. These high-maintenance platforms constantly require manual feeding, which only adds to the problem. Which is why almost all organizations are now using AI, but expect the use of AI to grow over the next two years.
Perhaps the best way to encourage teams to make full use of their CRM would be to ban spreadsheets. But rather than banning spreadsheets, the secret is to free up data and make spreadsheets redundant. It’s time for customer data to come out underground to be shared for the good of the customer and the organization.
Instead of being reactive and wondering why customers gave up, companies can share the data they have and create a CX that anticipates and meets needs before customers realize they have them. Instead of worrying about the churn rate, focus on proactive retention. We need to be more preventive and less reactive.
But, how can your CRM systems predict the future if they can’t tell you what your customer did last year, or even yesterday? AI can help, but it’s not a miracle worker. AI depends on high-quality, up-to-date information in order to make accurate predictions. AI is the ultimate garbage entry and exit system. The best algorithms in the world will perform poorly if you feed them with poor quality data.
For sales, marketing, and service teams, the magic happens when they pull together all of their customer data, identify and fill in the gaps, then match it with the right technology. Then, businesses can maximize the opportunity to improve retention, increase revenue, and achieve more predictable business results.
Work in harmony
With 52% of Australian salespeople believing their CRM systems to be inadequate, this is easier said than done. But it is not impossible. There are three key elements to ensuring that all three members of your CX group are playing in harmony.
1. No blind spot
Customers hate having to start over every time they contact your organization. Instead of limiting yourself to fragmented views of the customer, often siled across the organization, you need to be able to instantly see all relevant information about the customer, including the past, present and even the future (with predictive insights) , to create that long-term relationship. So many CRM systems are incapable of going back over a customer’s history – it’s crazy.
It’s time to slash the walls that divide and hold data. Remove those blind spots.
2. No busy work
You need to be able to automatically capture customer data and present it safely and securely in context to anyone who needs it. Sales, marketing, and customer service staff don’t want to spend their time manually entering endless details about customers, preventing them from doing their jobs and adding the human error factor to your data. It’s time to let technology do the heavy lifting, not the other way around.
3. No roadblocks
Every business is unique and so are your customers’ needs, so why let a generic solution come between them? Instead of settling for an out-of-the-box solution with all the standard limitations of not knowing how a sole proprietorship or even an industry works, you need to shape a solution based on your needs and workflows. It used to be prohibitively expensive, but not anymore.
When you have the right technology in place, marketing, sales, and service can cooperate and collaborate. The technology gets the job done rather than the time-constrained and frustrated staff so they can deliver the High Definition (HD-CX) experiences customers need. The rewards are great, and the risk of not doing so is even greater.
It’s time to bring together your talented solo sales, marketing, and service artists and create a supergroup that plays out all the customer experience successes that you know are capable of increasing profitability and building loyalty.