Improving the customer experience is high on the priority list of many organisations. They spend a great deal of time and money searching for new ways to deliver a better experience than their rivals. But only 15% of companies have achieved the holy grail of full integration among customer-facing systems.
Where can CRM help?
CRM helps consolidate the number of databases your company runs – merging sales, marketing, accounts, customer service and any others – and brings them all together to provide a single view of the customer. This enables you to deliver a seamless service across every function.
The Aberdeen Group has found that businesses that integrate sales and marketing functions in this way achieve a 20% average growth in annual company revenue – this can be increased further by also integrating finance and customer service.
That’s not all. Integrating CRM across all functions of an organisation can produce important efficiencies. Running three or more databases alongside each other is a significant waste of resource – both the time spent inputting data and maintaining records, as well as the actual storage and processing capacity.
At a rough estimate, companies operating under this scenario may be spending up to 300% more than they need to. What would happen if you stopped wasting that resource and put it into improving your customer experience instead?
Finally, there is the enhanced insight into customer behaviour and needs that you gain from consolidating all of your information in one place. This allows you to give those customers what they want when, where and how they want it, not only improving the customer experience but also driving sales. Harvard Business Review has reported sales increases due to advanced CRM technology of between 10% and 30%.
For many organisations, CRM is merely a tool for the sales team. Yet, there is clearly much more it can do. It is the enlightened IT Directors and business leaders at those 15% of organisations that have recognised this, are leading the way, and are reaping the benefits.
In the months and years ahead many more will go down this route. It will soon shift from a way to deliver a better customer experience to the thing you need to do to ensure your customer service is good enough. After all, as Bill Gates once said: “How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.”