5 Ways CRM Can Improve Your Enterprise Customer Experience

Customer experience is critical to ongoing success in any modern market, and agile enterprises that are able to shift to provide customers with the experience they need at the moment are the ones that will weather economic downturns and other storms.

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated this truth — businesses with customer experience solutions already in place were able to quickly find out what their target audience needed and work to provide it. Many without robust customer experience platforms had to scramble to catch up.

But customer experience isn’t important only during times of trouble. People always want to enjoy their shopping and service experiences as much as they can — so much so that they’re willing to pay extra for it. A whopping 86% of consumers say they’ll pay more for a better experience, and more than 30% say they’ll leave a company they otherwise like and have historically supported if they have even one negative experience.

The kinds of consumer experiences that raise expectations, such as engaging with recommendation engines from companies like Amazon or Netflix, are becoming increasingly common. People expect an easy, smooth, and intelligent interaction with products and services. The right customer experience management solutions, including CRM, can help you offer those benefits to lock in loyal customers, enhance word of mouth, increase the lifetime value of each consumer and improve overall business performance.

How CRM Can Improve Your Enterprise Customer Experience

The right customer experience software can make or break your ability to give people what they want while attending to your own business goals and needs. Customer relationship management solutions are one of the tools that can help. Here are five ways you can use them to create positive enterprise customer experiences.

1. Support responsive processes

Our world is more connected today than ever before. The ubiquity of smartphones has brought the entirety of the internet to most people’s fingertips. According to Pew Research, more than 5 billion people across the globe have mobile devices, and that includes more than 40% of the population in areas with emerging economies.

Consumers everywhere are used to the benefits these devices have to offer — and immediacy is perhaps most prominent among them. Want to talk to your mom or check in with a friend? A couple of taps or slides of your finger, and you’re in contact with a person or possession of the data. Consumers also expect this type of responsiveness from enterprises. CRM solutions with automation and other features help you keep up with those demands.

And with many ways to communicate, consumers might prefer to engage by phone call, SMS, chat, or a self-service portal. Your employees must be equipped to be responsive to your customers’ needs and able to meet consumers on their terms.

2. Ensure relevance to customer needs and wants

It’s a “me” culture, and most consumers want to know what you can do for them. Your marketing, products and service must be relevant to your target audience. Software that provides a 360-degree view of customers and their buying journeys helps your representatives understand what’s relevant, allowing them to sell more, provide better service or market to target audiences in a more productive way.

Plus, having a record of a customer’s interaction history with your company lets you forecast and project the sales pipeline accurately, provide excellent and timely service and deliver information that provides value to the customer.

3. Enable a proactive approach

Reactive approaches solve the consumer’s problems after they come up. Proactive approaches solve issues before the consumer is ever aware of them.

Guess which results in a better customer experience?

Proactive customer experiences can be challenging to implement, especially without the right tools. But it can be worth the investment: When you solve problems before they arise, you increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and the total value of each client.

That doesn’t mean you need to keep your work secret from consumers, though. Reaching out to consumers before they have to reach out to you is a form of proactive experience, and 87% of U.S. consumers actually want this type of contact from companies they deal with.

The right customer experience management software helps you find potential issues, provide information in the right format so consumers don’t have to search or contact you for it and connect with customers proactively in ways that work for them.

4. Help you be more reliable

A broken promise can quickly erode trust between two parties. By using your CRM to set tasks and reminders, you can be sure that agents will follow through on promises to customers even during busy seasons or times of change.

For example, when many businesses made the switch to teams working from home during COVID-19, it was easy for customer needs to get dropped. But the right customer experience tools help remote teams manage processes and communication without anything falling through the cracks.

5. Support accuracy of offerings

Today’s consumers are used to extreme levels of personalization. Consider some examples from everyday consumer lives:

  • Log into Netflix and you can start watching any show from the point where you stopped. In fact, Netflix will ask if you want to. On top of that, the streaming service offers a carousel of content to choose from tailored to your individual watching behavior.
  • Make your way to Amazon and you’ll be presented with buying options curated according to your past purchases and web browsing behavior. Somehow, the online retailer knows you’re in the market for a red dress or that you might need a new part for the kitchen appliance you bought last week.
  • Ask Siri where to get a pizza or type a pizza query into Google and the search engines automatically know where you are so they can recommend pizza joints near you. With just the click of a button, you can view the menu or get directions from your current location.

If you’re not providing some level of accurate personalization in your products or services, you’re not in line with basic consumer experiences. Data and automation in a CRM can help you create accurate customization options.

If using CRM to improve your customer experience is something that interests you, please read our Essential Guide to CRM. You’ll find 37 pages, including the questions to ask when evaluating solutions and some tips for getting started on the path to modern, game-changing CRM.

  • CRM
  • customer experience
About the Contributor
Clint Oram
Clint Oram Clint helped found SugarCRM in 2004 with the goal of enabling companies around the world to turn their customers into loyal fans. Today, he leads strategy and acquisitions for the company. Clint was one of the original architects and developers of the Sugar application and has focused on building out the product, company, partners and community in a variety of executive roles. Prior to co-founding SugarCRM, Clint held senior roles in the development, professional services and product management organizations at Epiphany, Octane Software and Hewlett Packard. He has 20 years of experience in the enterprise software industry and over 15 years designing and building award-winning CRM software solutions. Clint holds a BS in computer science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is the co-author of multiple CRM software patents. Clint enjoys traveling and speaking at conferences on a variety of customer experience and entrepreneurship topics, and has visited SugarCRM customers and partners in over 25 countries.

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