The concept of “customer journey” has been around for over a century, however since the digital age began it has drastically evolved. Initially the customer journey was considered a straightforward linear process, with the current technological advances the customer journey has become much more complex with clients having more choices than ever. Now customers research and shop across several devices, touch points which are both online and offline. According to Google, “after monitoring thousands of users’ click stream data (across multiple industries) found that, no two customer journeys are exactly alike. In fact, even within the same category, journeys take multiple shapes - ranging from 20-500 touch points prior to purchase.” In addition to this customer are also expecting a personalized experience. This is great news for the consumer; however, this has created nightmares for Marketers, Sales Professionals, Field Service Professionals, and Customer Care teams. In such a complex digital era; how are organizations adapting to the evolving expectations of their customers? Organizations are focusing on creating omnichannel strategies to improve their customer satisfaction and retention – which in theory should increase your organizations revenue and decrease the operating margin (cost of acquiring and retaining your customer). One of the key factors in achieving an omnichannel strategy is accurate data about your customer – this is where customer relationship management tools come in place.
Customer Relationship Management has been around since the early 1980’s – mainly as a contact management tool. Since then it has evolved to provide insight on customers interactions across different channels (customer care, online interactions, physical store interactions, phone calls etc.). CRM systems gather data about your clients from every interaction with your customer which in turn provides a 360 view of your customer such as Customers’ Personal Information, Purchase History Purchase Patterns & Preferences, Visibility to Customers’ Requirements, along with Customers Priorities & Concerns. Building a 360-degree view of the customer provides benefits to businesses across various sectors and sizes, whether it is a retailer, a healthcare provider, or a bank.
In a nutshell, successfully providing a 360 view of your customer changes an organizations relationship with their customer from a transactional relationship to an experiential relationship. This view provides you with all past and present data on each of your customers – which provides the ability to analyze and predict your customers behavior in order to create a competitive advantage and quickly capitalize on it.
For example, after STS implemented the CRM, we were able to capture the touch points we have with our customer across all the different divisions. This revealed trends and patterns that we previously had no visibility on as all the data was scattered around different internal lines of business. This provided us with the strategic priorities for customer based on our interactions with them. This has changed the way we approach and communicate with our clients and tailor our offerings and portfolio according to their needs and objectives.
Based on CIO Magazine, solely looking at a CRM from a technological factor leads to an avg of 30% of CRM projects to fail, so it is very important for companies to consider identifying and aligning their CRM business goals with their business objectives. Thus, creating a strategy and a plan prior to implementing the tool/system as it is essential for a successful CRM implementation.
There are numerous benefits from CRM Systems such as:
Turning these benefits into the key business drivers for Companies of all sizes resulting in:
Typically, a CRM covers five areas of the Customer Journey:
Realizing that the core of any company’s success is their satisfied customers, we at STS have enabled our customers to better understand the changing demands of their clients and provide a proactive and personalized experience for every and each one of them.
Many examples for Successful CRM adoption and strategy creation has been proudly done by the STS team, creating value, and driving business success across multiple industries and companies of all sizes such as Pharma International, Nuqul Automotive, and Al Faisaliah Healthcare Systems among others.
STS, Sales Operations Manager