Why Historical Data is Important to Your Forecasting and CX Strategy

“Whereof what’s past is prologue; what to come, in yours and my discharge.”

— William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Looking Back to Move Forward

There’s a piece of wisdom common to many times and many civilizations: In order to determine your fate and understand the future, it’s necessary to learn from the past. That wisdom applies just as much to the fast-paced contemporary digital marketplace as it has to other epochs in history. But the one major difference is this—the pace of change in today’s world makes keeping and leveraging historical perspective more difficult for businesses than ever before.

SugarCRM devised a solution to this dilemma: the time-aware CX platform, which now has become the fully-fledged High Definition Customer Experience (HD-CX) standard. Time-aware tools make it possible to understand the historical context of your company’s interactions with a particular customer or a cohort of contacts and to base your strategies and forecasting on that data. Here’s how it works.

Time Awareness: Using the Past to Understand the Future

Time-aware CX, a signal innovation from SugarCRM, represented a major shift in how we understand customer experience tools and the whole approach to customer relationships. Before the time-aware paradigm, CRM data provided snapshots of the customer. Sugar’s time-aware tools provide a high-definition picture of the customer, their journey, and each interaction and outcome that led to the current moment and to the present day’s challenge or opportunity.

There were several things that this leveraging of historical data made possible:

  • Accessible comparisons and trend visualizations

Current and past performance could be compared with minute accuracy across large numbers of customer records. Trends in the data could be turned into easy-to-understand visualizations—companies using a time-aware CX platform could see the histories of the trends shaping their successes and challenges unfold in a very immediate and relevant way.

Analyzing patterns in customer behavior and detecting emerging trends in groups of customers or prospects involves incorporating time as a dimension of the analysis: What happened, and when? What stimuli, what events, and what needs were met (or were not met) that produced current trends? The more accurately a platform could render a customer’s historical data, the more useful this kind of analysis could be. This is a key part of what has made Sugar Discover a powerful asset that compliments SugarPredict.

  • Effective AI-enabled analytics and forecasting 

Understanding the background of customer interactions made it easier to interpret real-time analytics of events in the present. As such, Sugar is able to appreciate the historical dynamics and predict which deals are most likely to close, customers that are in danger of churning, and helping direct the next steps that make a difference in creating successful interactions and a great customer experience. 

  • Better tracking, conversions, and sales 

With effective analysis and forecasting, Sugar solutions have become especially adept at delivering concrete results for a company’s bottom line. With the right tools, having historical context translates into useful knowledge about what is currently occurring and why. That, in turn, yields insights about what to expect from one’s customer base—what kinds of obstacles to plan for, what kinds of crises one might need to respond to, and what kinds of objections might need to be overcome. And that means better tracking of customer needs, higher conversion rates, and higher sales.

In this way, time awareness and historical data are the keys to effective forecasting and to planning out a customer experience strategy that delivers. Now, the implementation of HD-CX has taken this advantage even further.

HD-CX: The Culmination of the Time-Aware Paradigm

The biggest change brought about by the arrival of the High Definition Customer Experience (HD-CX) is that while it still manifests the ability to leverage historical data in the quest for an accurate understanding of both the present and the future, the sheer forecasting power of HD-CX has gone to another level entirely.

Sugar’s HD-CX enables artificial intelligence deep learning technologies that deliver accurate predictions via SugarPredict from your customer data and these technologies become a remarkable force multiplier when they are enhanced by comprehensive historical data that only a time-aware platform makes possible. Designed by industry luminaries including the creator of the Alta Vista search engine and a number of ex-Google personnel, SugarPredict delivers forecasting reliability in excess of 90% (based on a prediction of sales win data generated from data in a test run).

High rates of predictability correlate with high rates of success. A company that can successfully forecast outcomes is able to plan effectively for the future by setting goals and strategies confidently. With that kind of confidence, you can be sure you’re investing money and resources wisely and reshape your bottom line for long-term agility, competitiveness, and financial health. Pairing SugarCRM’s HD-CX visibility with your internal customer knowledge yields greater predictability and ensures success and growth, all the while increasing the customer experience.

With these insights increasing the customer experience, organizations can enhance existing or build an effective customer experience strategy. Predictability enables not only general planning but provides an organization with the ability to focus on specific manifestations of CX. Companies can then dive deeper to understand their customer and align internally and externally for a unified approach including::

  • Formulate a clear mission and vision
  • Identify a target audience and the best ways to reach it
  • Determine customer needs and put together a recruitment, hiring, and training plan that will meet them
  • Decide how to track goal attainment and overall team performance 

HD-CX and Sugar’s platform is designed to make it easier to address your needs effectively and consistently with ease and less time-consuming labor. It has always been a struggle for businesses to have the time to deal with . . . well, time. SugarCRM continually makes strides toward closing that gap. 

Learn More about What HD-CX Can Deliver

The possibilities the time-aware platform offers are tantalizing. By integrating this technology within your organization and ensuring that your company culture is invested in making the most of it, you can understand the full breadth of HD-CX visibility. With the right tools for your industry and business model, you can remain competitive in the sink-or-swim 21st-century environment of agile business and digital transformation.

Contact SugarCRM today to find out more about how we can help you to leverage the HD-CX standard and unleash a customer experience like you’ve never seen.

  • Sugar Discover
  • SugarPredict
  • Time Aware
About the Contributor
Christian Wettre
Christian Wettre Committed to helping customers grow revenue and improve processes related to sales and marketing, Christian Wettre is the General Manager for Sugar Sell and Sugar Market at SugarCRM. A dedicated professional with a team mentality, he strives every day to make a difference for customers.

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