The Covid-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of many businesses to the importance of maintaining and building customer relationships. And it’s not just retailers, other sectors have realised the need for their CRM systems in order to manage sales and serve customers. But, one of the key factors behind the growth of CRM software is accessibility, giving businesses access to customer data in real-time, away from office, with cloud solutions leading the way.
During the pandemic it has become crucial for businesses to talk to their customers more than ever before to continue to build on those relationships. Competition for customers is high no matter the size of the business or industry and if businesses don’t look after their customers and provide an excellent experience from onboarding right through to support, their competitors will.
As a result, in parallel with the rise in demand for CRM, digital transformation has accelerated during the pandemic. Digital transformation is all about putting your customers and data at the heart of your business and CRM is a key tenet of helping businesses achieve this. What is more, CRM helps builds better customer relationships that are personalised, giving businesses the ability to learn from their customers and use those valuable insights for continuous improvement.
Integrating CRM software with other business applications will also unify business data, which gives businesses the ability to get predictive insights, remove data silos, duplicate data, and save time.
The customer will ultimately be the clear winner, as the CRM adoption continues to increase, with service levels significantly improving.
As for the obstacles, many businesses still don’t see the value of CRM systems and if they do, they are not using them to maximise their relationships with their customers. This can range from businesses not adopting CRM systems and using spreadsheets through to not updating the data correctly in the system. The data contained in CRM is a critical component of success. The time has come where it is embrace CRM or die for many businesses.
Nonetheless, the younger generation coming into the workplace will drive CRM to new heights. Their ability to adopt technology at a faster pace will no doubt contribute to the exponential growth that we will see for CRM.
AI-centric CRM platforms will be the future to help provide real-time insights into customer behaviour, identifying buying patterns that turn them into opportunities. And, according to Gartner’s CIO Agenda survey, 14% of global CIOs have already deployed AI, and it’s estimated that AI associated with CRM activities will boost global business revenue by $1.1 trillion by the end of 2021.
What is more, AI will go hand in hand with voice recognition technology, from an accessibility point of view. According to Adobe’s research on voice technology, 94% of users consider voice technology easy to use and say it does more than save time – it improves their quality of life. Therefore, voice technology will help sales to track and update customer data. Marketing and service teams will be able to track conversations and analyse the meaning behind the words to understand customers even more.
CRM is the new automation tool. The leading CRM software tools such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 workflows reduce administration overhead to create efficient processes across the business for sales, service, marketing and other teams. For example, chatbots can be used to communicate with customers and solve simple customer queries or automated email workflows can be created to nurture sales prospects down the funnel.
CRM is more than just a sales management tool too. It can be used by every function across a business including sales, marketing, finance, HR, service, operations, commerce, and more. For example, a marketing team can use CRM software to understand the contacts in their pipeline and the conversion rates, while the key account managers can get a 360 view of the customer helping them cross-sell and upsell. Moreover, management teams can get a cockpit view of all the valuable data and performance across their business.
By viewing social media and CRM together, organisations can gain a more powerful overview of what people are posting about them on social media and by communicating with customers on their preferred channels.
Moreover, Forrester statistics have shown that 50% of teams improved their productivity by using a mobile CRM. Be it WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, brands can respond seamlessly in the way that suits their customers best.
To find out more about CRM and how it can change your business, talk to us here.