profound (adj.): 1a. Having intellectual depth and insight. 2a. Extending far below the surface. 3a. Characterized by the intensity of feeling or quality.
Time-Aware CX: What Profound Change Looks Like
In the fast-paced, ever-changing digital marketplace, businesses are always on the lookout for that key insight that will give them an edge, help them stay agile, and compete effectively. Modern business advice is full of concepts meant to help company leaders think through the challenges of the 21st-century landscape. The quest continues for any idea that will make a profound difference in customer experiences and organizational alignment.
This quest makes it necessary to work out, as noted software designer Robin Stewart once put it when an insight is profound versus when it’s just obvious. It’s an important distinction to make. After all, the business world is also infamous for jargon that doesn’t say anything meaningful or tries to repackage common-sense wisdom as something new and exciting (like “growth hacking,” which is essentially just marketing). Separating the insights from the noise is often as simple as identifying the ideas that seem “obvious” in hindsight, but that took extraordinary work and creativity to realize.
Littered throughout the history of science and technology are these kinds of turning points: For example, Newton’s discovery of gravity or the Copernican Principle: Both introduced views of the world that seemed “obvious” after they occurred but were unimaginable beforehand.
The world of market research has seen these kinds of shifts from the previously unimagined to the now-obvious, too, though admittedly on a smaller scale. The notion that business should be driven by delivering great all-around interactions with customers from one end of their journey to the other—also known as Customer Experience or CX—seems obvious but took decades to emerge in its current form.
Now, another profound change has come to transform how we look at CX. It’s the concept of time-awareness.
What Is Time-Aware CX?
Traditionally, customer data has been the purview of customer relationship management (CRM) software. The goal of CRM is to act as a system of record, providing a 360° customer view to sales, marketing, and customer service. But it has fallen well short of that lofty ambition. Traditional CRMs are great at tracking current state—sales opportunities in the pipeline, customer contacts, open support cases, etc. The problem is that the current state is a single point in time. And it is lost the moment something changes. Consequently, CRMs have not been able to provide much insight into how customers actually got to their current state and likely future outcomes. This much-needed historical and future perspective is what we at SugarCRM call “time-aware customer experience” and it is what sets the Sugar CX platform apart.
Time-aware CX frames and tracks customer data in both historical and forward-looking senses.
- It displays any single customer’s full history as a journey, with every interaction, change and outcome recorded.
- It’s built to “hand-off” this data seamlessly between marketing, sales, and customer service departments, ensuring that everyone has access to the data they need.
- It detects patterns in the data to identify trends, problems, and opportunities, and to recommend next best actions to improve CX.
- It leverages knowledge about the past to make predictions about the future to empower better business decisions.
What Makes Time-Aware CX Different?
What truly sets the idea of time-aware CX apart is the way it allows deep dives into customer data, as opposed to traditional CRM systems which are only able to provide snapshots of this kind of data isolated from the historical context. The concept of time-aware gives companies situational and directional awareness that simply wasn’t possible with traditional CRMs.
With time-aware CX, companies can easily:
- Determine the average time leads spend in each stage of the pipeline and how those times are trending
- Compare current performance to past time periods
- Know when current performance is outside historical norms
- Project past performance to predict future performance
The historical and future-looking view of leads, prospects, and customers that time-aware CX makes possible saves tremendous amounts of energy and time—the most precious commodity of all—for a company. It takes much of the guesswork out of customer relationships, providing the clearest possible picture of where a prospect is, how they got there, and what steps are necessary to move forward.
This different way of building a CX platform comes with measurable benefits.
How Can Time-Aware CX Impact Your Bottom Line?
Seamlessly built into the Sugar CX platform, the time aware concept, an event store database captures every change event over the entire customer journey, providing the historical record. Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence analyze the data to identify patterns, surface problems, and opportunities, and make predictions about the future.
For sales teams, time-aware capability enables out-of-the-box built-in analytics, metrics, and KPIs that are continuously monitored to enable proactive alerting when performance is outside of historical norms with automated root cause analysis to guide sales reps and managers to resolution.
For marketing teams, it provides the data necessary to determine detailed ideal customer profiles and to calculate the relative contribution of specific marketing tactics to revenue (appropriately designating marketing as the lead source).
For customer service teams, it enables early predictions on which customer accounts are at-risk to churn, allowing remedial action to be taken before a customer is actively considering alternatives.
This time-aware approach to CX yields concrete dividends for SugarCRM users in the form of improved user adoption, significantly boosted customer retention rates, greater sales revenue, reduced time for data entry, case processing, pipeline analysis, and significant overall improvements in ROI.
Find Out More About What SugarCRM’s Time-Aware CX Platform Can Do for Your Business
Sugar’s time-aware CX platform provides a foundation for an entire suite of applications that manage and automate marketing, sales, and customer service. It also provides a gateway for integration with over 200 other business systems and productivity applications.