How to use CRM Data to Improve Your Customer’s Experience
Today’s post comes courtesy of our friends at TechnologyAdvice, who are always eager to chime in on CRM and survey solution discussions. TechnologyAdvice is dedicated to educating, advising, and connecting buyers and sellers of business technology. The company is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., and was named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in 2014.
Thank you, Zach Watson, for your thoughtful article! As content manager at TechAdvice, Zach covers gamification, healthcare IT, CRM, and other emerging technology. Get to know him on LinkedIn.
Creating a holistic experience that’s relevant to the needs of your audience is no longer a hallmark of top performing organizations; it’s quickly becoming a standard based on the expectations of consumers. Product benefits are nice, but customers are really after a memorable experience. It’s up to your business to deliver.
Customer relationship management and customer experience management may differ in their approaches, but they both have the same end goal: to make every interaction with your organization as valuable and pleasant as possible.
CRM platforms primarily function as databases that sales representatives use to record and reference details about customer accounts. Using these systems helps ensure greater organization and continuity every time a salesperson interacts with a prospect or existing customer.
CRMs are often considered solely for the purpose of engendering greater sales team organization and building more productive habits, but because these databases hold such a wealth of customer information they can be goldmines for finding insight about your customers.
CRM data comes in qualitative and quantitative forms, both of which can help shape and improve your CEM initiatives.
Qualitative CRM Data
Many CEM programs rely on surveys to garner customer feedback, but if you examine your CRM closely, you’ll find that many sales reps record a great deal of qualitative information from their conversations with customers.
The resulting database of customer quotes can help inform your marketing strategy, the approach your sales people use to interact with prospects and customers, as well as the way you deliver your services and design your products.
For example, you may uncover that your marketing strategy is targeting the wrong pain points for customers. Because a sales rep’s job requires them to uncover the needs of the customer and match your product or service to those needs, the customer’s responses will indicate whether your value aligns with their needs.
Marketing is usually the first contact consumers have with your organization, so it effectively begins their experience with your brand. If the words or value proposition are off, your audience will be confused. By using the conversation notes your sales reps enter into a CRM, you can adjust your messaging and frame the entire customer journey in a more relevant way.
Quantitative CRM Data
Sales people also use CRMs for task documentation, which allows their managers to track their productivity and avoid redundant follow-ups. This activity data is usually complemented by financial and organization data, i.e., how much a closed deal with a client would be worth, how the client found your company, and what techniques have been used to follow up with them.
Again, this data can help improve your customer experience management programs by identifying differences in your audience and segmenting your activity appropriately. Is there a certain channel that works well for one segment of your audience, but is ignored by a different segment? Can you reference the qualitative data to improve the campaign on this channel?
This quantitative customer interaction data often works best as a measuring stick for the performance of your marketing campaigns (and therefore the health of your customer experience) as well as the human interactions customers have with your company.
CRM platforms have entered a phase of expanding functionality, with email marketing, social integration, and even project management features all common in the market. However, it’s the tried and true contact management and notes that remain a valuable source for creating a window into the customer experience.
Coupled with other CEM tools, the data inside a CRM can be a powerful resource for shaping a great customer experience.