CRM is a business question more than technical question. While choosing any IT product and trying to revolutionize existing CRM is a drawn-out exercise, it is rather important to do it in the right way since CRM is the system that is most visible to the outside world.
When trying to do something new in CRM, ask yourself these 4 questions –
1. Is my customer experience strategy ready?
How do you deal with larger questions like handling sales, service processes, making sense out of Analytics, or minor questions like how you want yourself/your customers to locate your assets in transit. You want your customers to have minimum hassle, maximum value for any transaction.
Uber is a good example of how effortless and painless taxi services can be. You precisely know which cab to get into, where the cab is at the given point in time, the payment is all cash less, and service is quick.
CRM should support the end-to-end customer journey with all customer touch points carefully evaluated. Choose different products for different departments by all means, but evaluate how easy it is to integrate everything. Not having a complete view of what is going on is the surest path to CRM failure.
Service should “see” what your customer bought, and offer relevant suggestions and provide appropriate service suggestions – may it be self-service, routing to correct contact center personnel, or upsells.
2. Have I considered business outcome to be as important as operational efficiency (if not more)?
It is easy to focus on nitty-gritties that will evaluate a customer service person there, or a customer touch point, but what is the impression that you want to make on your customers?
5 options, each cascading into 4 other options in the call tree are much better to route the relevant personnel and “free others up”, but do you want to get your customers through the hoops so that they can reach a physical person at the end of 5 different options?
3. Have I personalized enough?
Regardless of whether you are a B2B or B2C company, people like it when the systems and personnel identify them and provide them right information at the right time.
Spend time to check which touch points are the most joyful to the customer, and why. Have your Analytics ready to outline lessons learnt from the past, and improve incrementally.
At the same time don’t be afraid to improve in big jumps by teaching your customers and market something new. Providing self-service through a portal may be an incremental improvement to quickly get help about your product, but having a product itself report errors and giving proactive help to customers will put you ahead in the game.
4. Do all my systems run as one unit?
Trying to revamp CRM when integration with essential back-end systems are broken will not deliver any value. You need your entire enterprise supporting not only the back end business process, but geared towards supporting your people talking to customers, and customers themselves.
Tata Sky is a good example. At any touch point, Tata Sky knows who the customer is, which set top box they have, the packages they opt for, what/what-not to upsell and what service/sales are on-going for the customer.