CRM Does Not Have to Be an Expensive Proposition
While digital transformation may be a buzzword, it is an important buzzword. Consumer behaviour is changing rapidly, and companies are losing control over the sales process. It used to be that a customer came to a store, was greeted with a salesperson with a smile on their face to be convinced into the product they need.
These days, 57% of consumers make up their minds about a product before they ever contact a salesperson. This means less opportunity to influence a decision or add value. And this is not the only change that is happening all around us.
Look for cloud-based, mobile-ready modular solutions
Digital transformation is a way to respond to trends and changes in consumer attitudes. In its essence, digital transformation is about business strategies that involve the use of technology to become more agile, improve efficiency and optimize processes; however, becoming customer-centric is also a significant part of digital transformation.
Don’t forget the first rule of business: “The customer is always right.”
Companies are increasingly aware that consumers are better informed than ever, they talk about products and companies online and expect to be able to contact you through a channel of their choosing. This could mean e-mail, your website, social media or phone.
To respond to these requirements, you will need a technology solution.
A CRM system is the ideal solution to these needs and I recommend that customers look at solutions that are:
- Cloud-based: Choosing a solution that’s based in the cloud has several benefits. You pay for what you use only and do not have to deal with the challenges and costs of support and maintenance.
- Mobile-ready: The world has gone mobile. More than half of the world’s internet traffic now happens on mobile and your customers expect the same level of service on their smartphone as they receive on your regular website. On the other hand, mobile-ready solutions ensure your employees can remain responsive and in control even on the go.
- Modular: CRM systems used to be infamous for the enormous up-front costs of implementation, making them the domain of large enterprises. No more. Solutions are becoming very modular and companies can pick and choose the features they want as they grow.
- Customizable: Look for solutions that are easy to customize. Your processes will change. You will optimize them and you need a solution that follows your business needs. An important part of this is a partner who will be agile and able to respond quickly.
Focus on a specific scenario
Let’s look how some of these features play out in practice.
Social is a big part of modern customer relationships. Our customers are now looking for solutions that are more than just simple monitoring tools for social media. Companies need to know more than just what is being said about them. There are tools in our solutions that enable social listening and automated sentiment analysis. This way you not only know you are being talked about but can also automatically see the attitudes of your customers.
Social media is also a great competitive opportunity. Your competitors’ customers may express dissatisfaction on Twitter and you can be there with a personalized offer in minutes.
In terms of modularity, we have worked with a client who rolled out CRM for just a single business process – insurance policies. They wanted to ensure customers are informed about when their policy is expiring and receive notifications about late payments. The solution had a limited budget and was rolled out in a couple of months. It is a success and the client is looking at new processes to address.
"Another example laser focus on a specific customer scenario supported by a CRM solution is Metro Bank. Over the past five years, they grew their customer base by several hundred thousand new clients. The reason? Optimization of the account opening process so it takes just 5 minutes, lowering the barrier to entry."
Look for reliable partners who can deliver custom solutions
Of course, projects like these require customizations that far exceed the out-of-the-box functionalities. Adacta offers a range of industry-specific solutions. These are the result of decades of experience in individual industries and we help customers further customize them to their needs. I believe that it is very important that your partner understands the industry in which you work. There’s legislative requirements, specific relationships with customers, unique processes etc.
However, there’s more to a successful CRM project.
"I recommend companies they start by analysing their business process and looking at where they want to be after the project is complete. This provides them with an idea of the gap that needs to be bridged and the blueprints for the future design. However, the analysis truly is the foundation of any project and there can be no success without a solid foundation."
Another tip for companies choosing a partner: In addition to looking at their competences and references, look for solutions that are supported by various partners in your territory. You will avoid lock-in and have options if you ever decide to switch.