The CRM ( Customer Relationship Management) market will see significant and constant growth in the coming years, according to reports from the leading research companies in the ICT sector. If we refer to the Indian context, the demand in 2020 compared to 2019 will increase by +12.6%. This peculiarity is astounding in certain regards.
CRM is an innovation that had previously laid down a good foundation for itself toward the finish of the 80s, and today it isn’t challenging to track down an organization that doesn’t have CRM frameworks and advancements. I propose momentarily exploring how CRM has advanced. The starting points can be followed back to the mid-1980s when the “Promoting Data set” idea was presented, an assortment of convenient data on clients pointed toward focusing on showcasing exercises and critical examinations.
Slowly, CRM has extended towards Deals Power Robotization, promoting efforts on the board, and after-deals exercises, and that’s just the beginning. What is the justification for why there are, as yet, areas of strength in CRM today? The response is that CRM has advanced, and today it is appropriately considered by all as one of the empowering influences of computerized change.
CRM In The Era Of Digital Transformation
Advanced change, filled by new computerized innovations, actuates new plans of action. A developing number of organizations are changing their incentive by broadening the conventional item offer towards the arrangement of cutting-edge administrations in which dealing with the cooperation with the customer is fundamental.
Our clients should be able to look, buy, get, and share content and messages about items and administrations whenever and through any channel. We primarily examine touchpoints or resources and the connection between the organization and the client. They are physical or advanced. The previous gathering can be reached by a dealer, the retail location, phone, instant message, and fax; the next gathering incorporates informal organizations, messages, sites, and visits overseen by virtual specialists ( chatbots ).
Clients have become progressively requesting: they expect a client experience in their relationship with the organization that is steady with the brand, primary, customized, and homogeneous across all touchpoints. The client experience progressively becomes a separating component like the items and administrations presented by the organization.
According to the organization’s perspective, the test is to execute all actions to guarantee that touchpoints are valuable chances to develop client information further, lay out an enduring bond with them, and increment incomes.
The New Era Of CRM
In this context, we can say that we are in a “new era of CRM.” Here are some considerations in this regard:
- The customer remains the central point of the CRM. However, we are in the era of global connection, and the “touchpoints” have multiplied compared to the past. In each of them, a dialogue is established between customers and the company, in which information is exchanged. The CRM is the centralized repository with a 360-degree view of the customer, and the relevant data of each interaction is recorded. The amount of data that can be managed in a CRM today is more considerable than in the past.
- The “customer journey” is the path a potential customer follows from the awareness phase relating to a product/service to its purchase/repurchase, crossing one or more “touchpoints” provided by the company. If, in the past, the customer journey was short and linear, today (with the proliferation of digital touchpoints), it is more complex and articulated. Modern CRMs allow you to trace the customer journey through one-to-one contact paths with potential customers. Tracking the customer journey gives you an overview of customer interactions with our company and a better understanding of your different needs at various stages. In this way, the company’s efforts and investments can be concentrated on what is truly a priority for customer satisfaction.
- The most advanced CRM systems are equipped with services, APIs, and development tools that allow easy integration with external applications and flexible modeling of business processes through native workflows. It must be considered that the CRM is always included in an ecosystem within the company, with applications, data, and processes with which it must dialogue and exchange information. Modern CRMs are more and more platforms in which there is the possibility of configuring the native functions in sales, marketing, customer service, and developing custom functions.
- The new generation CRMs are primarily based on the “Software as a Service” (SAAS) model, where the application is provided via the Internet, therefore, as a service. Users usually access applications via subscription, and customers do not have to invest in expensive infrastructure and services to maintain them. Having the Internet as a fruition channel, access on the move is hugely facilitated. Think of salespeople, maintenance teams, and managers who want real-time updates while not in the office. With mobile CRM software, devices such as tablets and smartphones can offer all the classic functionality of a system hosted on a laptop or desktop computer.
- To be exploited, the amount of data produced by CRM applications require Business Analytics tools that can conduct analyses not only of a descriptive and diagnostic type (what happened and why) but also of a predictive type (what will happen). The combination of CRM and Business Analytics is increasingly strategic, and it is no coincidence that Salesforce, the No. 1 CRM player in the world, has recently acquired Tableau Software, the world leader in the field of Business Intelligence. In the current scenario, integration between CRM and Business Analytics platforms is frequent.
- It should be noted that the most advanced CRMs already use Artificial Intelligence to analyze the data generated by the various interactions and provide predictive functions and recommendations for sales, customer service, and marketing. For example, Artificial Intelligence can also help reduce the abandonment rate through churn predictions based on which retention initiatives and increasingly personalized offers can be activated.
Structured Change Management Is Needed
We have seen what benefits CRM can bring to a company. Unfortunately, in the face of essential investments, situations in which the system is under-used or unable to maintain the initial expectations are not uncommon. Most of these failures are not due to a technology glitch. The first consideration is that introducing a CRM system requires a change management approach or structured change management.
If we look at the question from a more general point of view, we can say that Digital Transformation and Change Management have a strong bond. Introducing new technologies, especially the more “disruptive” ones, necessarily requires a transformation of habits and processes. Some points must be taken into account:
- Introducing a CRM system requires analyzing and reviewing the organization and business processes. It is unlikely that the existing set-up before introducing such a pervasive technology could be maintained.
- Training on the system is essential and must be organized in time and structured. It is advisable to organize short follow-up sessions after the system starts. The suggestion is not to stop at traditional classroom training but to use the web, with complete courses or “pills” that focus on relevant aspects.
- Communication must be managed appropriately. Sharing the results already during the design phase up to the system’s release allows us to keep the people involved engaged and trusting.
- Monitoring the use of the system during the adoption phase is extremely important. We need to build reports and dashboards to check how users use the system: how often they access it in a certain period, which features they use, which groups access the most or the least, etc. In the analysis of this data, it is essential to carry out, if necessary, corrective initiatives, which may concern modifying some parts of the system, organizing additional training sessions, and reviewing some processes.
- Identify “evangelist” figures within the organization who have the mission of spreading the use of CRM. They are users who have leadership qualities and a deep understanding of the system. They must become the reference points for all users during the transition phase for doubts and problems and to collect suggestions for improvement.
Digital Transformation requires a “customer-centric” business philosophy focused on customer needs to improve their satisfaction and brand perception. Becoming “customer-centric” is an approach that involves the entire company organization and requires the introduction of new technologies, process reviews, and a new cultural background.