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Gaining a 360-degree view of your customers

29 Nov 2018
Alwyn Joy

Customer relationship management (CRM), and in particular, Cloud-based CRM is experiencing a stratospheric rise in popularity. Back in 2008, only 12% of businesses employing CRM used a cloud-based tool while 88% preferred on-site software. Fast-forward ten years to 2018 and an estimated 87% are using cloud-based CRM software. In 2017 Gartner predicted that CRM would overtake ERP to reach a worldwide value of $36.5 billion. This was not an overconfident estimate. In fact CRM is now the biggest software market in the world with growth expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenue by 2025.

What is ERP?
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is the software that integrates all of the critical backend processes within a business. An ERP management information system assimilates areas such as planning, purchasing/purchase history, sales, inventory, financial data, accounting information, supply chain management details, billing and shipping details, marketing and human resources. Statistics indicate that ERP systems improve order-to-dispatch times by 23% and provide an inventory accuracy of around 97%.

What is CRM?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is the software that builds a loyal customer base, encourages sales and pushes the retail business forward. It deals with front-end information such as creating and evaluating marketing campaigns, recording customer interactions, sales tracking, prospecting and sales funnel management. It enables retailers to understand prospects and clients, manage relationships and up-sell and cross-sell products.

Integrating CRM and ERP
By integrating ERP and CRM software with a single unified platform, it is possible to optimise productivity, streamline business processes and keep customer data safe in line with the GDPR. A user-friendly solution like Rezcomm Engage, which offers full business intelligence capabilities alongside automated marketing and customer intelligence, saves on resources when it comes to training staff to use the software. It also eliminates pain points around efficiency when it comes to forecasting, decision-making, and the sales and purchase process that make up the customer experience. The huge amount of consumer data generated every day makes for a complex business environment yet customer expectation demands that retailers must be more customer-centred than ever before. So the big question is: What’s the best way to achieve customer satisfaction and build profitable customer relationships?

Why is an integrated solution better?
Traditionally, businesses would invest in two separate software packages with two separate databases. An integrated CRM and business intelligence solution negates the problem of keeping databases synchronised.

With separate ERP and CRM, every change in one system must be transferred manually to the other. This leaves too much room for error, but the bigger problem is that the constantly out-of-date database makes it impossible to gain a real-time view of customer behaviour, inventory, revenue, trending products and other crucial actionable insights.

Conversely, when data is combined from multiple sources into a single system it becomes possible to build an incredibly detailed user profile for each of your customers and prospects. Your database will be absolutely up to date, and simple tasks such as product returns and customer re-engagement can be automated.

This puts you in a very strong position.

Gain a 360-degree view of your customers
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that… when it comes to retail, personalisation is very important. There are plenty of statistics to prove it, suffice to say, research from Econsultancy found that when businesses offered personalised content, 93% saw an increase in conversion rates.

When it comes to serving the customer, retailers must focus on creating personal, positive and genuine connections by treating each engagement as a unique conversation. Communications, whether marketing emails or customer service messages, should be designed with attention to the specific circumstance and customer needs. If you can make the customer feel cared about on a personal level and they are more likely to come back to your retail outlet again and again.

But it’s impossible to successfully personalise unless you know your customers.

This is where an integrated CRM and business intelligence like Rezcomm Engage really gives a competitive advantage: It provides a holistic view of each customer and complete transparency when it comes to customer buying habits, order history, needs and preferences.

Knowledge is power, right? With this information you can gain real insight into your customer base, build lasting relationships and identify areas where there is potential for growth. Consistent, accurate data makes it possible to track changes in customer behaviour with detailed, up-to-date analytics and reporting.

Nurture your customer through the purchase funnel
Real-time information about customer purchase history and behaviour will help close deals more effectively, but only when that data is available during the interaction. It’s not so useful after the event.

Data such as customer demographics, engagement and lifetime value all give insights into the individual. If a customer regularly clicks through from your emails, reward their loyalty with exclusive special offers for use online or at your retail outlet. If an item is lying abandoned in an online shopping cart, re-engage the customer with an abandoned cart email. Use information about your customers’ favourite stores to offer personalised VIP interactions in store.

The customer and business intelligence tools within a system like Rezcomm Engage make it easy for staff across departments to collaborate, optimising efficiency throughout the business, and managers can keep track of business operations in real time, meaning they can make informed business decisions.

A 360-degree customer view has many benefits when it comes to cross-departmental information sharing too. For example, the sales department might better defer a promotion to a new customer when that customer is waiting for an important customer service response. Equally, customer service could refer a customer to sales when an additional product or service would solve their problem.

CRM also offers the tools to create a seamless experience for the customer as they move from dealing with one department to the next. This is very important in building trust and loyalty and in achieving consistent data across channels.

Access information fast
When separate systems are used to manage backend and customer interface, the result is lack of efficiency, and this always reflects on the customer experience.

If a customer contacts your ecommerce team asking if you have a certain product in stock or requesting an update on their order status, the customer service representative should have this information at their fingertips.

This quick-access data opens the way for new technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) too. According to Accenture, 80% of customer engagements can be handled by chatbots, artificial intelligence programmes that can answer common questions and suggest products and services. This can significantly speed up interactions for both the customer and the customer service agent, giving the customer the best of both worlds: Automation and speed from the bot and an authentic, empathic tone from the customer service rep.

When employees or AI programmes have access to a complete view of the customer in real time, they can manage customer queries with a clear idea of what is important to that person.

Why is a 360-degree customer view important?
The 360-degree customer view is a holistic customer profile record. It captures customer data from across channels, aggregates that data to understand what is important to each customer, and applies those insights to deliver personalised, engaging customer experiences that in turn help to achieve company performance objectives. It drives customer intelligence displaying insights that allow the basic building blocks of customer relations.

It also facilitates predictive analytics. By capturing each customer’s interaction history it becomes possible to calculate the outcome for each new event and make informed decisions about your next best action or next best offer for that customer.

Every customer interaction should be driven by a business performance goal such as increase in customer share, loyalty or retention. Interactions must be designed, measured and reported by customer segment in order to give accurate results. For example, by analysing the outcomes of marketing campaigns, cross-sell offers or loyalty programmes for each customer segment it becomes possible for your business to adjust and target messages and actions more specifically for better outcomes.

Equally, when the CRM system detects an initial pattern, such as a trend showing a certain customer segment responding positively to a particular product or offer, that offer can quickly be scaled among like-type customers.

This ability to learn and predict customer responses to company actions and to react in a timely manner will increase new customer acquisitions, customer share and customer retention.

Rezcomm is the partner of choice for parking, e-commerce, travel and CRM solutions for Malls & Retail. If you would like to speak with the team about our combined data warehousing, business intelligence and customer relationship management system, get in touch today!