Role of CRM in Achieving an Unparalleled Customer Experience

Customers are unquestionably the lifeblood of an organization irrespective of size and scale of business. The growth of business organizations is aided by providing a powerful Customer Experience (CE).

Rapid growth of social media and communication channels empowering customers with information - all this coupled with an unpredictably changing, post-recession economy - leaves companies with limited choice in searching for new growth avenues. Customer is the center around which companies are revolving and trying to find unique ways of differentiating themselves.

A positive Customer Experience is a long term objective with spiraling benefits.The million dollar question - How does a company accomplish this complex goal? Managing customer relationships adeptly, via a comprehensive CRM solution system is the most logical answer.

A company that cracks the code of thoroughly understanding & pleasing the customer, realizes that customer satisfaction is not just through distinctive products having value for money, but most significant is the emotional bond a company manages to create with their clients, by living up to the promises they make through deliverables. Customers therefore get emotionally connected and committed to the specific company and will not consider competitors.

Understanding customer experience and the role of CRM solutions
A prodigious Customer Experience is structured around positive feelings, impressions, interactions, and several other factors involving customer-company communication. Based on their interactions with an organizations’ people, services & products, sites, and any other touch point, customers form opinions which leave a lasting impact on their minds.

Providing an exclusive and memorable customer experience should be the ultimate goal of any CRM system. CRM solutions assist in identifying, understanding, classifying, assimilating and ultimately serving customers in an efficient manner. Consumer-focused organizations very well understand the solid connection between good CRM and a superior customer experience.

A pivotal business advantage that organizations gain from an efficient CRM system is the ability to provide a unique customer experience at all touch points, which works wonders in making an organization stand apart.
Customer Experience (CE) encompasses everything right from first impression to the last, and it is essential to focus on each point in progression.
Intellligent customer data management using CRM solutions
In the CRM world, it is said that a great CRM software is as good as its data. Managing voluminous data in a qualitative manner is what makes a particular CRM software stand a notch above the others. Having the right information at the right time in the hands of the right users creates quality data. This becomes the foundation for positive customer experience and customer retention. The ramifications are experienced throughout the organization directly and indirectly.
  • Data Collection: CRM systems begin with collecting & extracting customer data from various sources. Obtaining complete information is the first step towards a good Customer Experience. 
  • Data inclusions: Every relevant detail about customers is recorded, starting from core profile data such as contact details, information like credit profile, service history and such other details are also included in the system. Minor points like particular personal preferences that customers have towards products & services, should be included in the system too, so that clients are served in the exact manner as they desire. 
  • Clarity: A dependable CRM system helps to maintain clear & updated customer information. Clarity of data brings ease in access, use and application for the necessary departments/ individuals when needed. It also eliminates duplication and redundancy of information. 
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Systems: Voluminous data is crunched by the in-built BI system that modern day CRM systems come with - this can be coupled with accurate profiling. Thus, data discrepancies can be identified early & holistic plans to improvise can be formulated. Thanks to these system combinations, even the most miniscule information can be recorded and used to decode complex customer patterns, helping create an extensive knowledge base. 
  • Heterogeneity converted to Homogeneity: A massive & imperative task that CRM systems assist in, is the segmentation of a large heterogeneous consumer group into homogeneous clusters. This kind of relevant segregation enables companies to plan, budget and design their sales & marketing strategies towards each group. The result of such focused marketing efforts is a completely satisfied customer from every single group. 
  • Consolidation & Personalization: All customer information is sorted and placed in the CRM system, making it easy to gain insights into Customer Profiles. This makes it simple for the sales force to pick & choose the right offer for the right client at the right time. Clients will naturally be attracted to the personalized feel they get out of this. Giving them valuable updated product information & promotions will reap benefits immediately as well as in future.
Deliver an unmatched customer experience with a high impact CRM solution
  • Have a clear vision & communicate it throughout the organization. Vision should hold identical meaning & equal importance to all. Leaders should display firm belief in the concept, only then will the lower rung of people envision it with similar intensity. 
  • Do extensive research - it will build the backbone of the system and allow creating a strong framework for the execution of vision & plan. 
  • Redesign & reorient the entire organization to have the customer centric philosophy imbibed in people and processes. 
  • Recruit, train and empower people to deliver a customer rich experience. 
  • Identify & break silos. All plans, ideas, tools & technologies should be logically connected without any missing links or loopholes. 
  • For a beneficial CE, it is vital that the technological foundation and implications of the CRM system are understood and applied correctly. 
  • Internet, computers, mobile devices, and the permutations & combinations thereof, expose consumers to all kind of information. Today’s customers are not just well informed, but also technologically savvy. Companies must plan how to manage well informed customer. 
  • Identify apertures between present performance of the company and customer expectations. Make every effort to fill the gaps. 
  • Find out ways & means to retain customers psychologically rather than financially trap them. Focus on powerful customer loyalty. 
  • Share relevant and interesting information with each group, instead of sending generic information to everyone. 
  • Make note of customers’ personal details, send greetings on special occasions. Don't treat them like a mere business interest - it’s imperative for customers to feel unique and gauge that the company really values them.  
  • Always maintain an all round view of the customer-company relationship and closely monitor progress of the same. This will provide clarity about acquisition and retention of customers & help in clearly comprehending what customers need, value and desire from the company. 
Regularly calculate ROI to ensure that funds are being invested with adequate returns. A truly profitable company is one that strikes a perfect balance between earning revenues and accumulating goodwill.
CE professionals need to advocate the implementation of CRM solutions that bring an outside-in perspective to CRM efforts, instead of one that takes an inside-out approach. To achieve this, it is mandatory to build a CRM framework that focuses on putting the customers first and lays emphasis on their needs right from the roots.

The next step is to plan how to have that "value" delivered. Instead of the traditional business strategy of first chalking out what is profitable to the company and marketing that to the customer, it is a better bet to gain absolute clarity on every single customer expectation, meticulously lay out the framework of ALL their requirements, then align the company's business strategies & systems to meet those expectations - if possible, exceed them.

Outstanding Customer Experience Management increases sales volume, loyalty and retention of customers. Naturally this brings efficiencies of scale leading to cost reductions, multiplication of revenues and overall growth and development of the company. A satisfied client will recommend the organization, which is one of the key metrics in measuring positive client experience. Every firm should realize the clear link between their business objectives, markets, & their CE strategy. This is important to have balanced results in the CE area.

Finally, to really seep into the minds of customers, organizations should place themselves in the customers’ shoes. This will create competitive differentiation, amplify customers’ trust and confidence in the organization, and ultimately render an unforgettable Customer Experience.