Maintaining an exemplary level of customer satisfaction is critical to acquiring new business and retaining existing customers.
Technology has raised the performance bar for every brand in terms of creating expectations of immediacy, personalization, and superior digital experiences.
In order to analyze and improve customer experience, you can use different methods and tools, for example, customer relationship management systems. You may ask: how do CRM systems improve customer experience? In this article, you will find the answer.
According to New York Times best-selling author and CX expert Shep Hyken, the biggest challenges for organizations today is putting themselves in the shoes of their customers so they’re aware of the experience they’re evoking.
“Smarter and informed customers no longer compare you to your direct competitors, they compare you to the best service they’ve ever received.
That experiences could be from a Ritz-Carlton they’ve visited or the neighborhood store who special orders their favorite chips and soda. That’s where the benchmark is set.”
CRM and Customer Experience: What’s the Connection?
Nowadays service of many companies is compared based on the level of customer experience. But what does this term means?
Customer experience is forming during the interaction with your brand. It represents how clients percept your company during all stages of communication. People can be satisfied with the quality of your products but a complicated sales process or poor service will worsen overall impression.
This is the reason why your brand should find a way to effectively monitor and improve customer relations experience.
A CRM (customer relation management) system can help you with it. In short, CRM is a strategy focused on managing relations with customers. This concept was applied to practice in CRM systems, software solutions which are used to manage contacts, sales, and complete histories of interacting with specific buyers and suppliers.
“Delivering a white glove customer experience can make the difference between your sales teams missing or exceeding their sales goals. It helps to determine whether a one-time customer becomes a repeat customer that actively promotes your company to their friends,” says Hyken.
How a CRM System Can Benefit You
Some people make a mistake thinking CRM is just a sales tool. In fact, CRM systems have numerous applications such as controlling marketing activities and managing teams. Thus, a company can benefit from CRM in different and numerous ways.
Customers and prospects expect everyone they interact with at your company to be in the loop, to know who they last spoke with, what their questions or concerns were, and what needs to be done next.
This means your portfolio of sales tools needs to access and integrate with all your customer data, product information, any prior transactions or questions the customer has had in the past and provide recommended next steps to the salesperson – all from a single pane of glass.
“Customers are looking for deeper connections with providers to learn, grow and solve real business issues in a very competitive market place,” says Brad Banyas, CEO at OMI:
“CRM, if applied correctly, open’s the ability for companies take a more holistic approach to driving better customer experience outcomes through advanced machine learning, sentiment analysis and the most important aspect of any relationship “the ability to harness the emotional affinity between customers and your brand.”
The Main Advantages of CRM systems
- Sales and marketing opportunities – CRM system can be used as an effective sales and marketing tool. It helps to manage current customers, review their purchase history and determine buying habits. Later this information can be used to create effective sales and marketing campaigns;
- Reduced costs – Saving the time and resources required for completing tasks will result in reduced expenses. Moreover, CRM can gather data available for analysis so you can predict market situation and improve sales strategies;
- Quick access to customer data – CRM is organized as a centralized database with customer profiles filled with relevant information. The software can quickly process requests and provide users with all the data they need;
- Improved efficiency – The software provides faster service eliminating intermediate processes. CRM agents have higher productivity because they don’t spend time looking through profiles, forms, and documents;
- Enhanced communication inside the company – Creation of a centralized database makes it easier to share information between departments. The access to required real-time data will bring more clarity to the communication and improve workflow;
- Customer feedback – CRM system provides access to all the collected feedback – reviews, surveys, etc. You should always analyze it to improve customer relationships with your brand;
- Better customer experience – A personalized service is key to a long-term relationship with your customer. CRM will give you a better understanding of your clients so you’ll be able to better meet their demands and requirements.
Why You Should Care about Customer Experience
If you have doubts about the importance of customer experience improvement, here are some facts. According to research by PWC, one-third of all surveyed customers abandon the company after a single bad experience. If there are more accidents, half of the customers will stop interacting with even their favorite brands.
Daniel Lemin, author of Talk Triggers and a top-rated speaker on marketing strategy, says a good customer experience can lead to greater trust and increase the likelihood the customer will recommend you to a friend or family member.
“Customers are not just looking for good products and top-notch customer service. Those just meet expectations and are table stakes for any business,” says Lemin. “Customers don’t talk about average. They talk about DIFFERENT. Companies that can deliver at least one element of their customer experience in a different, unexpected way stand a better chance at success.”
Nowadays people are not shopping just to get a product. They are looking for a great service which will grant them an excellent experience, and a story that they can tell. You may be surprised but 86 percent of people are even ready to pay more for it.
“Consistency in delivering unique experiences leads to persistent brand storytelling,” says Lemin.
Therefore, the importance of great customer experience should never be underestimated. Building an excellent experience will help you to attract new buyers and increase the loyalty of existing. Remember that in a broader sense businesses are built to meet customer demands. If on some point of interaction you fail to satisfy customers, they will leave you decreasing your income and lowering your reputation.
7 Ways CRM Can Improve Your Customer Experience
CRM is a powerful software solution which can give you various options to manage the customer experience. Let’s discuss how CRM can be applied to improve your customer relationship.
“CRM allows companies to have intimate, personalized relationships with every customer and prospect, and do that at scale,” says Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing Inc.
“Successfully executing on this promise requires great discipline and process, but the result is a more intimate, stronger bond between your brand and your customers.”
Keep in Touch With Customers
Usually, good CRM systems are equipped with various marketing automation tools. They will help you to inform the customers regularly about news and viable offers. Try to fill these messages with engaging content to persuade people to use your services again.
What is more, you can use an even more personal approach by sending your customers felicitations on holidays. birthdays and other festive occasions, which can contain promo codes or discounts. The possibilities are endless and all such incentives will form positive customer experience.
Personalize Your Communications
CRM software can help you to effortlessly personalize emails you are sending. Simply adding the first name in the email will show that your company cares about this person. Your customers will definitely appreciate such a personal approach. Furthermore, it will improve your communication efficiency because almost two-thirds of people take time to read letters which are addressed directly.
Create a Consistent Experience
Consistency plays a high role in building customer experience. You should make people sure that any time they interact with your company they will be treated on the highest level. Automate responses to customers request, create personal letters, and provide all necessary support. Build the CRM experience of your customers to be as consistent as possible.
Learn More about Your Customer
CRM system will give you access to valuable information about your customer habits and preferences. You can determine what type of emails people usually respond to, which links they follow and what product they are interested in. A social CRM can also give you insights into the topics and conversations that appeal to them most. This data will help you to understand your customers better, build targeting marketing strategies and create a customer experience for every client.
Provide Relevant Information
Advanced CRM systems allow grouping customers by a variety of characteristics and automate sending completely customized messages to these groups upon different triggers. Depending on a case you can form mailing lists basing on age, interests, location, etc. Sending your customers informative emails will help in keeping them involved and increase the efficiency of marketing strategies.
Provide Attentive Customer Support
It is undeniable your company must provide 24/7 support to customers. They can have some urgent issues; therefore you should try to help them as fast as possible.
CRM as an automated software can process many typical cases and assign a support executive to more complicated ones. CRM system can send emails informing that the request was received and offer the survey to clarify details of the issue. It will help you to quickly fulfill clients’ requests at the same time improving customer experience.
Quickly Respond to Requests
One of the main benefits of a CRM system is automation routines. You can use them to generate automated responses to customer appeals. All you need is to create email templates and software will fill it with personal information. Such a quick personal response will be appreciated by the customer and improve his impression.
How to Use CRM to Improve Customer Experience
You cannot expect that it would be enough to just install CRM and customer experience will increase instantly. You need to build a strategy to satisfy customers’ demands.
First of all, try to be proactive. It is not enough to satisfy the current needs of your customer. Predict future demands. Analyze sales history, buying habits, and interests. It will help you to build productive communication.
“CRM is not just for sales it is the Story Board of Business! No business can survive without the visibility of how they attract, acquire, retain and grow customer relationships,” says Banyas.
Also, remember to gather all the important communication details. Analysis of this data will create a complex overview of your audience which will help you to better understand your clients. You should also try to learn about the common problems your customers have. Try to determine them so in the future you will be able to fix issues quicker.
However, even the best strategy can fail to succeed due to bad execution. Manage your team and be sure that every person has access to the required data. Furthermore, assign customer requests to responsible specialists. Nobody will like to wait while their issue is bounced from one employee to another. Therefore, use CRM to instantly find the person with the necessary skills.
Notice that there are mobile versions of CRM which can help you to keep in touch with your clients no matter where you are. Such mobile apps can also increase the productivity inside the team because it makes easier to access the required person or information.
What’s Next for You?
Managing customer experience can be challenging at the beginning. Therefore, we have prepared some final tips on how to improve the customer experience with CRM.
First of all, try to explore all the capabilities of your CRM system. It can have some features and tools which can enhance your company’s workflow. Automate manual processes, gather analytics, and combine CRM with other software to make the maximum of it.
Make sure that your CRM system uses relevant data. Remember that outdated information always loses its value. If the customer had changed any personal information such as email, it should be updated immediately.
Finally, focus on attracting new customers but do not forget about existing ones. Try to increase their loyalty by sending targeted messages with offers and discounts. Remember, that it is always easier to sell the product to an existing customer than try to impress a new one.
Now you know that CRM systems can be a powerful tool which can improve customer experience. CRM helps to optimize your company’s workflow and provide customers with great service. We hope this overview provided some strategies to help employ it in your business.