Ensuring Higher Profitability with CRM Analytics

Tracking sales performance for a specific period
The secret of success for any business remains a secret. There is no thumb rule or a one-size-fits-all formula for companies today. Many a times, startups that are the brainchild of a bunch of innovative thinkers who aren’t scared to experiment and take calculated risks, often start making profits earlier than most, while companies that have been running successfully for years may see that they are losing business. One factor that every successful business has in common is that it understands its customers better and to achieve this, what many will find in these well oiled businesses is an up and running CRM software. An impactful and efficient CRM software acts as the interface between customers and companies. However, a new dimension is recently being given more attention in the world of customer relationship management - data analysis. Companies are realizing the huge potential of advanced analytics holding the key to better understanding customer needs and mindsets leading to a clearer understanding of retention, loyalty and advocacy strategies.

Monitoring campaign results in real-time
Why incorporate analytics into CRM?
Under normal circumstances, data is analyzed after a time gap to scrutinize the pre-existing problems that are already  in the setup. This is like performing a post mortem; it is too late to make amends and the disease has already caused the loss of a customer. Analytics done after the problem has set in leads to poor resolution rates and longer average handling time. And, in the case of customer relationships, time really is money. An increased response time is perceived by the customer as an irresponsible and lackadaisical attitude on part of the company. This leads to a high defection rate that can cost the company dearly in terms of revenue and overall reputation.

So, how does including analytics into a standard business model increase the chances of beneficial result oriented actions? CRM solutions can effectively incorporate and focus on data analytics. Initially, CRM software used to help in generating insights after studying the data that was stored as history. The insight was derived after rummaging through the inferences regarding customer reaction, procedure followed, opinions given, etc. However, now, insight can be generated at the point of contact, allowing for better understanding and immediate action. Embedded analytics allows one to combine and analyze insights availed through different sources, all at the same time. This facilitates not only identifying the problem immediately, but, also ensuring the right course of action can be implemented. Thus, this can help to generate real time, immediate result oriented action that can help solve many puzzling challenges, leading to huge financial benefits and happier customers. So, advanced CRM analytics is no longer perceived as an unnecessary and futile investment, but, instead, it is the key to cost reduction and increasing the quality of service by ensuring organizations are continually in-the-loop regarding new trends, forecasted demand and recent changes in buying habits along with pinpointing critical loopholes in customer engagement.

Three steps to implement analytics into CRM
Even when starting out with the analysis of data, there are several factors that could be seen as hurdles like going through the large volumes of data, drawing out a strategy, mapping out investments in assets, changing and reinventing organizational behavior, etc. However, these hurdles can be overcome, if instead data analytics is incorporated systematically, using three easy steps:

Step 1: Deciding what data to use
Nowadays, companies process and add a thousand times more information to their databases every year as compared to ten years ago. This means a huge pile of possibly useful information lurking in an unorganized mess! This data is of use only if it can be effectively accessed and analyzed. Plus, there is always more data to be added and not to forget, data sources that are outside the organization and online search related data, which is dynamic and changing every second. So, analyzing data is like a treasure hunt or cleaning one’s closet, there are gems to be discovered, but, one needs to know where to look. Hence, the first step is to identify and decide on what data is to be used. For this purpose, data needs to be segregated and categorized so that when need be, the relevant data can be sifted through for better accuracy and more efficient analysis.

Step 2: Getting the right kind of resources to insightfully manage the analytics
Considering the infinite amount of data that is stored and processed in every company, traditional analytics is inadequate to deal with these huge volumes of growing data. This doesn’t mean we trash the traditional analytical systems; instead what are needed are major upgrades and enhancements that can help make the CRM more effective with a quicker than before response rate. There are three main areas in the field of analytics which are as follows:
  • Voice analytics: Every time one dials a customer care number, a recorded voice informs us that our call may be recorded for quality or training purposes. In the olden days, telephonic conversations used to be lost and all that one had to rely on were notes scribbled by salespersons and customer care officials. This made it difficult to analyze data and come up with solutions to problems. Now, phone data is stored as either voice data, or the keywords used in the conversation are noted and converted to text, so that voice analytics can also be incorporated into the total analyzed data. This helps to not only identify key problem areas as most people resort to calling customer care to register complaints, but, it also allows businesses to identify newer trends by identifying and storing keywords used during customer queries. This way, the data allows not only addressing key issues but also discovering newer opportunities and trends. 
  • Text analysis: Analysis of text works in the same way as that of voice. Textual data can be obtained from email, comments on the website, blogs and discussion forums, customer connecting platforms such as social media sites, user review and rating sites, news and media reports, web form submissions, etc. This is an important source of data as customers freely discuss and dissect products and services on the web and this allows for candid reviews and feedbacks from real time users of products. Text analysis is often the key tool for uncovering the root causes of customer dissatisfaction.
  • Process analytics: Understanding every event and step that is a part of the customer care process enables further optimization of CRM. The next step after voice and text analysis is process analytics, which aids in understanding any other factors, like structural or procedural ones that could be causing problems. This includes identifying technical difficulties and addressing them. 
It is the proper combination of all these three steps that goes into effective data analytics which reaps vast benefits.

Step 3: Using the analysis results to bring about profitable changes
The whole point of data analysis is to infer what can help guide the company to the right direction and keep it on course to reach the top. The above three mentioned analytics help in finding issues that need to be addressed. The next step is to implement rectification measures, including if necessary, complete organization and operation revamps to increase opportunities while decreasing costs. The analytics also helps to identify keywords that enable businesses to predict their future course of action for achieving better results. This is where the fortune of companies really starts looking up, as what follows is improved sales, increased customer loyalty and more importantly, higher revenue per user.

Most effective CRM software has built-in reports, graphs and dashboards for analyzing data with options to create customized reports with filters to display very specific records or overviews. Advanced analytics not only helps overcome  hurdles, but, also helps devise next best action strategies and lets managers assign specific goals which are achievable and generate better ROI (return on investment).

Data analytics: Statistics speak
Real-time analysis of social networks
Statistics speak for themselves. According to a study conducted at Yale University, the average lifespan of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company is down to sixteen years, as against sixty years in 1959. This shows that there are simply more and more companies mushrooming without a properly thought out plan, leading to a downward spiral after just a decade of operating. So at a time like this, when the risk of failure looms large over the heads of companies, many are opting to use real-time analytics and get to the root of the problem before it leads to diminishing profits and large scale churn.

Several business models, irrespective of how diverse their fields of operation may be are adopting advanced analytics to help generate insights from unstructured data. In a study done in 2010, nearly every two out of three companies surveyed stated that they achieved a competitive edge with the help of advanced analytics. This figure showed a 70% increase compared to the previous two years and the demand is only increasing. It is seen that the demand for data analysis specialists is on the rise - some experts expect the total worldwide business analytics market to reach USD 50.7 billion by 2016. The fact that big names such as Amazon are also contemplating offering analytics as a service shows that this is a field that could be the key to big gains in the future.

Conclusively, it can be said that advanced analytics can help change the face of customer experience optimization. Analytics helps in making CRM softwares more dynamic, adaptable and action oriented through transparency in the outcomes of past and present strategies and clarity in the achievable results from future strategies aimed at enhancing customer experience to grow sales. It’s time for innovation and change with the help of data analysis! Identifying downward trends as they happen or spotting client-salesperson communication glitches at the right time allows one to address the problem before it snowballs into loss of customers and business. Real-time potent CRM analytics provides an organization with actionable information that can be immediately incorporated into the customer strategy for frontend employees. Thus, advanced analytics from Financial CRM software enables realistic insights, allowing for companies to spot negative and positive trends with minimal turnaround time for addressing the related issues or fall-out. In short, advanced CRM analytics will ensure that your customer strategy is future proof and flexible to meet the demands from dynamic changes in worlwide trends.

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