Following on from my previous article discussing how tech alone will not solve your CX, I thought it would be useful to outline some further thoughts about CRM solutions, system implementation and how it can improve your customer experience.
Data is an asset
It’s a startling fact that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years, so it’s no wonder more and more responsibility is being given to organisations’ CDOs. Even so, I don’t think I have ever been on a project where the organisation is happy with the quality of its data. They want to deliver personalised, relevant and targeted experiences but struggle to get the basics right. One of the huge battles that organisations have is in collecting data, maintaining it and then using it properly.
Customers are the ones who suffer. At one end of the scale is the annoyance of having to enter data over and over again. At the other end it’s receiving incorrect marketing material or the wrong support because organisations don’t know who I am or what I need.
To get the most out of your data you need a coherent data management strategy. Think about all the different touchpoints where you collect your customers’ data, how it’s processed to keep the quality high and then eventually flow through to master data tables. Make your customers data available across your stack so it can enhance the journey from personalised marketing through to targeted support. Configure rules to prevent duplicate or conflicting data. Have defined owners, rules and processes for your data. Without quality data, enhancing the customer experience is simply not possible.
Data is a risk
Of course we can’t talk about data without recent regulatory controls such as GDPR in Europe. The risk of a 4% of turnover fine should be enough to keep organisations interested, but just as important is the potential risk to reputation. Without proper controls, a CRM solution is a great way to breach GDPR. You only need to look to Facebook and the impact that privacy scandals are having on its reputation to understand how data responsibility can affect customer experience.
Many solutions are now providing out-of-the-box ways to manage customer data and preferences. It’s possible to manage customer preferences in a central location. You can provide audit trails when needed and completely delete specific personal and related data when required. Here are a couple of ideas to help you keep on top of this:
Your CRM must be built with agility in mind. It should be able to react quickly both internally and externally. Externally, today’s customers expect organisations to interact with and experience the world with them. Marketing automation tools can be configured to interact with the customer based on events, location and other data points. These may change week on week so require empowered teams and a flexible solution.
Organisations that fail to do this can appear to be out of the loop, tone deaf or even offensive. A great example is Shutterfly who ran an automated campaign to congratulate new parents. Unfortunately these were also sent to people who had lost a child or could not become a parent. Adidas was criticised for sending out an automated “Congratulations, you survived the Boston marathon!” email right after the 2013 attacks.
Internally, it is slightly different but just as important. When building your solution, consider future implications and the ability to adjust when needed. New technologies come along every year that your customers will expect you to use. Easy to change configurable workflows rather than complex code should be used where possible. For example, you wouldn’t want to miss out on revenue because you’ve built your payment solution but it can’t take on apple or google pay.
It’s important not to forget the experience of internal users. They will be using the CRM solutions so the same principles of ease of use, timeliness, quality etc should be applied. Think about their experience and how it can make them better at their job.
Efficiencies often get passed down to your end customers, so consider these points:
The faster and easier a support member gets notified and can respond, the faster a customer’s problem is solved.
- The easier it is to create marketing campaigns, the faster they can get to market.
- The better reporting sales people have on how they have done, the more targeted they can be when talking to potential customers.
Create processes, automated where possible, that are efficient and give your team more time to do more valuable things. Give them reporting capabilities to understand how they are doing and where they can improve.
So will CRM fix your CX? In isolation it won’t, but when it’s done correctly it can be hugely impactful. The right technology will inform how you interact with current and potential customers and deliver a fast, more personalised experience.