CRM: Your “Customer Reconnaissance Machine”

There is a misconception that your CRM system is all about Customer Relationship Management. It used to be about understanding how you are interacting with your customer and how your customers and prospects are interacting with you. The CRM system today is about leveraging technology to preform “reconnaissance” on your customer. Using ALL of the data about your customers’ interactions and transform your business around it. The four keys to the successful use of a CRM are Listening, Reacting, Responding, and Predicting Change.

Listening to Change

If you’re not listening to your customer then it’s likely they won’t be your customer for long. Modern CRM systems, such as Dynamics 365 for Sales and Marketing, listen at all levels. It’s much more than tracking emails – because who opens those anymore! The customer today is far more likely to respond to social forms of engagement than emails and phone calls. It is also inside the social space that they will air grievances they have with you. To get a complete understanding of your customer you need to be able to consume sources outside of the “traditional” CRM space. Social Engagement, an included component of Dynamics 365, provides customer analytics from external data sources that are critical listening sources for your organization. This even allows for understanding how weather patterns affect purchasing decisions, how a negative post on social media drives sentiment of your brand or product, and awareness of how your employees are engaging with your customers and potential customers.

Reacting to Change

In some circumstances, it is necessary to be reactive in business. Things can fall off the rails and require an immediate action. By listening to your customers across the entire ecosystem you can pivot quickly when needed. If an unhappy customer is posting negative statements online you can triage these as necessary. On the other hand, if your competitor stumbles, social engagement insights can give you a quick opportunity to react and go after the wounded competition.

Responding to Change

Apple didn’t invent the iPhone – as crazy as that sounds, it’s true. Society created it and Apple was just the first to bring it to the market. The consumer was growing more mobile and Steve Jobs took the demands of society and put it into a device that was easy to use. Other companies (remember BlackBerry) had tried to capitalize on the smart phone era but were not truly listening to the customer and as a result, failed to develop a product that truly resonated.

CRM systems also allow you to respond to changes in your customers. Powerful analytic engines, coupled with vast amounts of data being collected inside of CRM systems, can provide you with more meaningful insights. As your customer changes buying habits you are able to respond with changes in your products or services.

Predicting Change

The future of Customer Engagement is all about Predictive Analytics. Being able to predict what the customer will do before they do it. AI and Machine Learning algorithms can analyze datasets and provide insights about the future actions of your customer or competitors. Even a few years ago this ability was limited to extremely large companies with resources to invest in data scientists and programmers to build out these predictive models. Solutions, such as Cortana Intelligence, now makes it available to every organization. Harnessing the power of AI in CRM allows you to out maneuver your competition, predict your customers’ future needs, and even find new customers based on the predictive analytics of your existing ones.

To learn more about how your business can embrace the future of customer engagement, call, email, or chat with us here.