The concept of customer service is actually a broad set of skills, and is varied based on the industries or businesses concerned. Ultimately, customer services should gear towards customer satisfaction that drives a sale or a deal, customer loyalty, and which most likely to result in positive feedback and recommendations to colleagues, or within the customer’s social circle.
There are many aspects that comprise an excellent customer service. On a basic level, these include skills on effective verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction, customer engagement, listening, and industry specific knowledge. An excellent customer service also invokes memories, and most likely, a customer will repeat a transaction with, or purchase from businesses that made them feel important and comfortable. Customer service can be an aspect of customer loyalty.
Customer service is also an agent to marketing processes and campaigns. Any interaction that a business makes with a potential customer is an opportunity to gain prospects, and eventually, a client. How you treat your customers at this level can already make a big impact on their first impression with what you can deliver. And it isn’t focused on the product or service, but on how you engage them in getting to know more about what you can offer. There are times that no matter how innovative your product is, it still boils down to how you approach and treat a customer that will initiate them to continue to communicate with you.
Importance of Customer Data
In most processes involved in a business, it is usual that the customer data, or business data, is realized after every transaction. But did you know, that you can actually gather it even from the very start? Through technology based softwares, this is now possible. But how important is it, doing all the works and efforts in collating and analyzing customer data, in the first place?
Customer data has been a valuable source of touch points, that exposes a whole new gamut of opportunities, potential, innovation, and even areas of improvement. It is also the basis in making critical business decisions, price points, financial projections and strategies to leverage. It can also be an important aspect in realizing the concept of ROI, or Return of Investment.
Customer data also drives the marketing in making effective, engaging and targeted campaigns. It entails a personalized customer experience, because the business is informed about what works and what compels one to purchase. According to a study, about 59% of consumers will be positively influenced to purchase, when they experience personalization in dealing with a business.
The potentials in customer data will not be maximized, if it won’t be made actionable and proactive. This will be possible by integrating it into a powerful, technology based system, which can monitor, gather, process, and analyze customer data, and turn the output into strategies in making your business an improved version of what you use to have, like in customer service management.
What is, CRM?
CRM, is the acronym for Customer Relationship Management. CRM softwares are automated CRM solutions, which purports to empower the front end and back end areas of the business in establishing long term business-client relationship. CRM softwares being deployed in the front end, meant to enhance and maximize all customer interactions and engagements that happen within the business. On the other hand, the back end utilizes CRM softwares in order to create dynamic pricing schemes, cost reduction, and profitable campaigns and solutions. It also points out to predictive analysis and innovations, which benefits the future aspect of a business.
CRM softwares also solidify a holistic and streamlined business management and workflow, by consolidating all data from different information channels, communication gateways, and data sources, and share reports and insights that arise from it,with all members of the business organization. CRM tools also operate in a collaborative working environment, and make informed decisions and hold a sense of accountability, in order to establish a unified vision about mutual or shared goals.
Features of CRM
An effective CRM implementation will result in a stronger business system, that can withstand changes and variations in both consumer and market behavior. Customer relationship management tools have different features, which makes it a viable investment, and worth deploying in a business. It includes the following:
1. Marketing automation
Marketing automation enables the processes and functions that exist in a marketing operation to be automated in order to make certain repetitive tasks easier to execute. Automation in marketing is honest for being complicated in a way, because it utilizes multiple communication channels, varied data sources, and many customer targets and categories. But through the application of more sophisticated technologies, and the continuous advancements in the field of marketing technologies, it will be possible to overcome these hurdles more efficiently in the future.
Marketing automation focuses on nurturing client relationships, by following through all the steps in his journey in the business; from being a lead, progressing into a prospect, and eventually being a client. The aspect of nurturing actually implies a long term relationship, that extends to customer service and support, in order to achieve loyalty and trust, that is able to be passed on to other consumers.
2. Data Management
Customer relationship management softwares offer an efficient way of gathering, monitoring, sharing, and storing of customer data. It is a process itself that makes accessing, retrieval and analysis faster and more effective.
Data management is one important feature of CRM softwares that ensures the integrity and timelessness of customer data while in the business organization.
3. Data Analytics
As discussed above, customer data is that one aspect of a business that is valuable in discovering opportunities for the company’s improvement, or for increased profit. For it to be active rather than being a static aspect, it must undergo processes and analysis, in order to be more contributing and functional in the business.
Data analytics is a set of techniques and methodologies that is applied in the business architecture, to make an intelligent analysis by discovering patterns and correlations from a sea of raw business data. It actually deals with big data, for more credible and adequate set, of patterns, from which useful insights can be derived from.
Statistics from Forbes.com in 2015 about data and its use are mind boggling. One of which, said that our world has created more data within a 2 year period, which is worth more than elements of the entire human race history. Interestingly, though, it was reported that only 0.5% all these data are analyzed and utilized fully. So how’s that for a great potential?
4. Customer Support and Service
Customer support and customer service are practically different the area of function, yet both orient themselves in making customer experience a satisfying one.
Customer service is the core aspect of customer relationship management. As mentioned, it is a multi-faceted part of a business, that focus on the client base as not just as the source of profit, but also of qualifying and valuable information and insights for business opportunities, rooms for improvement, and potentials for innovation.
The customer support feature of CRM operates at the end of a transaction. CRM softwares aids in making sure that an existing client will continue to be well taken care of by the business through open communication about after sales inquiries and concerns. This is the aspect of customer service management that aims at increased customer loyalty for the business.
5. Sales Automation
Sales automation is one feature that makes CRM operate within the principles of software technology. It is a system that makes sales processes automated, including purchase order creation and issuing, inventory control, customer contact management, order tracking, customer coordination and management, and even sales predictions and performance evaluations.
6. Collaborative Working Environment
Softwares aim in creating centralized platforms for interconnecting processes to work on, and streamline their workflows. It is no different in integrating CRM softwares in the business organization, wherein all processes and databases concerning customer relations management will be optimized in order to be aligned and perform its tasks with accountability with each other.
Cloud and Web Based CRM
In general, cloud based softwares and services are gaining popularity among businesses, mainly because of its scalability, less overall cost of implementation, and easier access compared with on-premise solutions. There was even a radical shift in preference between the two, within the course of a 6-year interval since the statistics was conducted. In 2008, 88% of the surveyed businesses expressed their preference in using on-premise solutions, with the remaining 12% opted for cloud based ones. But later in 2014, the opposite happened, wherein it was now about 87% preferred using cloud based services, and the remaining 13% still chose on-premise solutions. The shift may imply that clearly, more businesses see the benefits and impact of cloud based solutions in making their systems function more efficiently.
Cloud CRM is a modern approach in deploying CRM solutions that increase the efficiency of the methods included in the traditional CRM, by making all applications be functional, and accessible, from the web. The scalability feature of a cloud based CRM encourages even small business in adopting the system, and gain its benefits that the enterprise scaled businesses used to enjoy. Being web based, it also spares businesses from shelling out additional capital expense for added hardware infrastructures. The system management is also shouldered by the software vendor, thus lifting the burden from the business.
The rise of social media popularity and its impact to lead generation and customer acquisition, made business rethink the strategies they implement within the scope of customer service management. This enabled the birth of social CRM.
Social CRM, is a boost in the native methodologies used in implementing traditional CRM in the business. It is essentially the same idea, but using a different approach. In traditional CRM, there is direct interaction between the customer and the business, wherein in social CRM, it is made within the social media, where everyone sees and impacts them as well.
Due to the accessibility of social media sites on the web, the pressure in getting a response from businesses has increased alongside. But on a positive note, this entails that the business could actually maximize this by doing real time data analysis and action from the situation, for their own benefit. Real time analytics and customer interaction and response are actually possible through social CRMs and technology.
Do not waste the opportunities that await from that sea of customer data that your business already has. The top customer relationship management tools are specially created, in order to improve how your business renders excellent customer service. Don’t also forget to check out CrowdReviews.com’s customer relationship management tool reviews for client feedbacks for this valuable business tool for your business.
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