Having entered the post-pandemic era it's even more important that brands need to adapt to continue meeting customer expectations. We are moving from a digital-first customer experience to a 1-1 mentality where customers seek instant gratification and responses their questions and needs. It's becoming more important that companies provide a seamless customer experience at every customer touchpoint in the business.
A company that wants to put its customer at the heart of its business needs to think about the customer first and present consistent messaging, and information at each customer-facing and internal touch point.
The challenge of the disconnected business
In many businesses, the desire to put the customer first is there but disconnected systems and data often mean that each department holds a different version and status of each customer. A disconnected business, for example, can lead to a customer having made a purchase yet the marketing team is still promoting the very product that the customer has already purchased.
CRM is used by businesses to help manage their relationships and interactions with their clients. By using the data you gather on your customers' interests, purchase history, preferences, and more, you can better tailor your products, marketing, and services to your client's needs
Unification of data at every touchpoint
It's so important that your clients enjoy the same customer experience at every touchpoint with your business. Your client's experience can be negatively impacted if the source of data at the customer service touchpoint does not match with the client's actual data. For example, a client might have a product issue yet the customer services team has to ask the customer much of the information that has already been taken at the point of sale such as product, name and address, and phone number. If this information is not available to the customer service team this can frustrate the customer and lacks consistent service.
As a customer I'm sure you have contacted a company only to be pushed around from department to department and have to provide the same information to each department. Frustrating for sure.
Consistent data by connecting your systems
Connecting systems and providing consistent data across your business can prevent this frustrating scenario from happening. Better still if there is a known issue with a product you should have enough data so you can proactively reach out to all clients who purchased that product. Sales, marketing, and customer service teams all working in harmony together.
Whilst it’s getting much easier to connect systems using APIs there are still legacy solutions (many on-premise as opposed to SaaS) that are very weak when it comes to being able to connect to them. There are ways around this but you need to do the analysis first, understand what is available, how frequently it is updated, and then work out how to integrate it. Knowing, of course, data integration cannot always be synchronous or real-time and you might have to consider an asynchronous integration even if not so elegant.
I would recommend a 5 step consulting process that leads to a roadmap for success on which you can take action.
Understanding your business needs. It's so important that before you start any project you flesh out what are your business outcomes.
Migration & data strategy - Your data is often the biggest issue within any business. Having stated your business needs it is then important to work out what data you need, how to collect it and then how to propagate it across your business departments and how. The frequency of data updates is important whilst not forgetting data policies and making sure you only keep data that is essential for running your business and providing excellent customer service
Systems and Customisation - In any connected systems strategy you are going to have to customise your business solutions to facilitate new data fields, remove unwanted ones and change workflows. With most online SaaS solutions you should be able to achieve this just by using configuration. The more legacy systems might be more difficult to change.
Actionable data - When undertaking any data change project it is important that you always consider if your data is actionable. The data you store needs to be usable for the benefit of your business and your customers.
Build a roadmap for success - Having completed the analysis and getting agreement across your business, you can build your roadmap to success. Consider frequent drops of working solutions and early delivery to your stakeholders.
Unify has a proven process for consulting on data, CRM, and AI.
From identifying your key stakeholders, gaining a detailed understanding of their needs, and prioritising the most impactful outcomes. The Unify consulting process will provide you with a detailed review of your systems, data sources, data flows, and business processes and an action plan for success.