A recent report from Forrester Research has suggested that CRM is experiencing something of a resurrection among big brands:
“CRM is a foundational technology that enables customer obsession — a significant spend of $500,000 to $5 million a year for most companies,”
“Enterprises originally deployed CRM to provide operational efficiencies for sales, marketing, and customer service organisations. Today, CRM is experiencing a second wave of adoption aimed at transforming experiences, where it’s used more broadly to support customers throughout their end-to-end journeys.” (Forrester analyst Kate Leggett, in the report The Future of CRM)
The CRM Evolution:
So what does this “second wave of adoption” look like and why now?
As industry experts, the team at HOED believe that we’re less in the midst of a second wave of adoption but rather, companies are continuing to evolve to meet the new strategic shift led by brands focusing on customer experience management. CX and CRM work together hand in hand, and without one the other cannot succeed.
We typically see companies implementing CRM systems for salesforce automation, then customer service and then, often independently, marketing technology. There are too many siloed departmental solutions which lead to a lot of data noise and poor insight.
According to Forrester’s Future of CRM report, ‘technology modernisation’ is one of the top five initiatives for enterprise decision-makers in the next 12 months and that companies are increasingly demanding simpler, more unified tools that are quicker and easier to procure and deploy. This has in turn driven much of the recent CRM evolution.
For the customer, the channel is secondary to their experience. Today’s customers simply want their interaction to be personalised and free from complication.
While omnichannel connects multiple channels in the customers journey, ‘channel-less engagement’ is more about the experience. Therefore, channel-less takes omnichannel to the next level as it is primarily forecasted on a holistic outside-in perspective.
As business owners/people we must understand that customers don’t think in terms of channels, touchpoints or silos. They simply think about what they need to get done. The essence of the channel-less approach is to understand and serve the needs of your customers from their perspective.
Ultimately, channel-less is the next step in the sophistication of managing customer engagement over different channels. In a “channel-less” strategy, coordinating customer engagement across different channels has simplified to the point that businesses are able to focus on building an exceptional customer experience and brand experience without needing to worry about which channels are in play with a customer.
Its about “meeting customers where they are” and satisfying customer expectations in a manner that they need, with the channels that they want.
However, these systems need to be structured more around both customers and employees, to ensure their success “effectively, efficiently and with a touch of emotion”
At the end of the day, organisations should be choosing modern CRM technology to enable every front-office employee to understand the customer, their immediate context, what stage they’re at in their customer journey, and their next best course of action.
The secret sauce is found in Competitively exhausting the data from every customer interaction captured in a Customer Experience (CX) Survey to better understand customer behaviour, sentiment, actions, and intentions. Utilising these insights to hyper-personalise CRM content, offers, journeys, and connections is essential, even in the most unstable conditions (e.g. post pandemic, an inflationary environment etc) these systems should be a non-negotiable for CX success.
How can we help you?
Great CX begins and ends with listening to the customer. If your organisation needs assistance with CX Surveys or listening and defining customer expectations for customer-facing processes the HOED Research Team is experienced and readily available to help. With over 28 year’s experience enhancing business CX capabilities to increase overall revenues, we can confidently say that we have the right expertise to help you win!