With a black swan event changing the face of business, and indeed our daily lives, almost overnight, there’s a lot that’s been out of business leaders’ hands over the last years. During uncertainty, it’s important to double down on the areas you can control and ensure your customer service and experience are as refined as possible. Many industries have seen their growth curtailed, and with that, customer retention becomes critical to survival. Companies with a leaky bucket and no pipeline will quickly fold.
Experience sits at the heart of loyalty, underpinned by technology and the proper use of customer data. Customers need to be met with empathy, where they are, and with the exact services and products they want. The pandemic has accelerated many technologies and CX trends, including the continued rise of self-service and increasing digital transformation, as more of our economy has been forced online.
However, many businesses weren’t ready for this shift and didn’t have the systems or technology to deal with the increased importance of the customer journey. In fact, in SugarCRM’s recent 2022 CRM Impact Report, more than half (55%) of marketing and sales professionals stated the CRM technology they have in place cannot be customized properly to meet their specific needs. This inevitably leads to crucial customer data loss, a distorted customer journey, and, critically, lost revenue—with 58% of the respondents believing their current system is wasting money.
The effect technology has on customer experience is hard to ignore—in a world driven by convenience and speed, technology plays a pivotal role in ensuring consumers can access products or services quickly and easily. However, consumers will go elsewhere if these systems aren’t fit for their purpose.
Businesses face the Great Customer Resignation held back and let down by sub-standard systems. CX and CRM technology are fundamental to business success, providing the foundations for companies not just to survive but thrive. When used effectively can ultimately drive engagement and deliver a customer journey that nurtures brand loyalty. Yet, many businesses are selling themselves short by either not equipping themselves with sufficient data about their customers or their journey or not utilizing this data properly.
Businesses must provide a service that drives confidence and inspires customers to return, and reliable systems are central to that. To flourish, salespeople need to be equipped with the tools to work effectively. Yet, 61% of sales leaders are fatigued and frustrated with the CRM admin burden placed on their teams, taking them away from valuable customer-facing activities. Notably, this number is up from 53% in last year’s survey.
Bridging the Data Gap
We live in a world where data is king. Everything we do is driven and affected by it, yet businesses are still allowing key gaps in their data to impact their processes and delivery of a great customer experience. This issue is with both the CRM system itself and the quality of data contained within, considered incomplete, incorrect, or inaccurate.
To stay competitive and drive improvement and change, businesses must consolidate their processes across all sales touch-points and offer a holistic view of customer data across the entire organization. However, there is still progress to be made, as nearly half (45%) of those surveyed state they are unable to access the same view of customer data across marketing, sales, and service, leaving front-line staff with an inaccurate view of customers. 63% of the respondents say misalignment between sales and marketing teams negatively impacts growth. This lack of consolidation and a holistic approach allows customers to fall through the cracks.
By ensuring systems are married up and incorporating a complete historical record of every change event in the customer journey, organizations can create a high-definition customer experience (HD-CX) that not only allows them to track but crucially provide their customer with a seamless journey. By unlocking this potential, businesses can directly impact their customer lifeline value, allow them to identify and eliminate churn, and positively impact their sales and all-important bottom line.
Everything is different now, and the increased pressure placed on the customer experience is just one-way businesses learn to adapt to our changing world. The pandemic has brought about many societal shifts, and customer expectations are just one area that has been significantly affected. Now, more than ever, businesses cannot afford to stand still. As history has proven time again, those who adapt will survive. Those that fail to connect with their customers will not.
You find more insights into what is causing the current “customer resignation” and the path forward to ensure your business success by downloading our 2022 CRM Impact Report.