With so much choice out there, the need to personalise your CX (or Customer Experience) has become crucial, with brands often chosen based simply on the positive experiences encountered. There are several challenges to maintaining a positive customer experience, but the first step is recognising as an organisation that you need to ensure that CX is at the heart of your business. In this blog we draw on simple but effective ways your business can boost the CX you provide, and how your CRM system is at the heart of driving this change.
Why is CX so important?
When you find yourself in the position of ‘customer’ – whether in a personal or business capacity – chances are that you start your journey by reading reviews and looking at an organisation’s social media channels and website. If all is well at this point, then you may even go so far as to reach out to a salesperson. If your experience at each step of this journey is positive and pain-free, then you’re more likely to want to revisit the same experience again and again.
This is the same for your customers, and whether your conscious of it or not, you are already providing them with an experience. Therefore, the best place for you to start is to take the time to reflect and assess exactly what kind of experience you are currently providing and identify the areas where you could improve.
“Let’s face it, when we have a good experience, we automatically start telling people about it! But we also do this when it’s bad!”
Where does a CRM system come into it?
Your customer experience with a business starts the minute you start working with a new contact or brand. Recognising that your CRM is an essential tool for unifying your customer data is paramount because the data and insights held within it will help your organisation personalise the CX it offers ten-fold.
And this piece from Gartner below only serves to highlight further the importance that CRM can play in helping you to adapt your organisation’s approach to CX as your customers and the environment evolves.
Six key tips to help you use CRM to personalise your CX
1) Keep the customer at the heart
To keep the customer at the heart of your efforts you must ensure that your whole business is working together to provide positive customer experiences at all times.
To do this here at Gold-Vision we made a few fundamental changes, starting with the evolution of my own role into Head of Customer Experience. In this position I was better placed to help develop our efforts across different departments and processes, ensuring that the customer was kept at the heart at all times. In addition to my role, we also established a Customer Experience team made up of Customer Success Managers.
Our Customer Success managers are particularly important when it comes to managing the experiences of existing customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and retention.
2) Make communication easy and provide a choice
Whatever industry you’re in, it’s vital that your customers can contact you, and be contacted by you, using their preferred methods, such as email, telephone, or live chat. However, with so many different options out there, it can be tricky to keep track of everyone’s preference – unless you have a CRM in which you can log their preferences that is.
Another way to improve communication with your customers is to track everything that comes in from them. Your CRM system should be able to collate all of this correspondence into one, central view within that customer’s record which is then visible to the whole team. Having this information tracked and visible in a CRM can provide key relationship information when you need it most. As a result, no matter who on your team last spoke with the customer, the next person they speak to can quickly catch up on those previous conversations – saving your customer the hassle of having to repeat themselves.
In addition to the points mentioned above, having a presence on the social media platforms most popular with your customer base is an absolute must! For instance, because I have a number of customer contacts who prefer to get in touch with me via LinkedIn, I make sure that I am active and present on the platform. If you’re not making the most of social media as a communication channel, I can guarantee that some, if not all of your competitors will be, so don’t let them reap the benefits unchallenged. To help, I’ve written an eBook dedicated to the idea of Social Selling, how to get started, and how you can use it to your advantage.
3) Know your customer
A CRM system can ensure that not only are all the communications in a single location visible by all but all the key information to manage your relationship is also easy to access. For instance, we work with our customers to configure and customise the key data that is important to them. This ensures that the data they’re tracking in their CRM going forward can be easily used for segmentation, personalisation and reporting to inform KPIs and SLAs.
Another area where a CRM can help you to personalise your CX is when it comes to customer success calls. We find these calls are a fantastic opportunity to inform, advise and provide guidance to our customers that is unique to their business and experiences. It also helps to establish our Customer Success Managers as a reliable point of contact for those customers.
At Gold-Vision, we have implemented a simple process using our CRM for these calls to provide guidance on areas to discuss and key tips for information to review, including:
- Key contacts – with social media profiles and Contact Role details
- Buying process
- Current products or services plus interest areas and opportunities
- Marketing preferences
Ahead of your call, it is also worth using an integrated marketing solution to check if they have opened your most recent marketing communications and clicked on specific product pages or shown an interest in a particular service. Also, keep an eye on their LinkedIn and Twitter communications and posts as these can provide key insights into their business and key projects.
Ultimately, all of this will provide you with not only key areas for discussion but also enable you to understand any challenges or interests your customer may have. These insights can then all be stored within your CRM!
4) Service consistency
Your CRM solution is also the perfect tool to help you track the journey your customer goes on (from lead to customer onboarding and ultimately customer success and support) and provides you with intelligent automation and workflow tools to help your teams work smarter, not harder.
For instance, you can use your CRM to capture all of your support or service-related customer communications and touch points, enabling you to track the journey of the enquiry or issue. As a result, you’ll be able to clearly understand where the issue came from, how it was resolved and how long it took to resolve. These valuable insights will assist efforts to better serve future customers who may face the same or very similar issues, ensuring that the experience you provide is always improving.
I would also highly recommend using templates and workflow automation to provide an additional level of seamless customer experience, particularly in onboarding or support scenarios. For example, at Gold-Vision we have set up workflows within our CRM that trigger specific emails to send when the status changes against a support ticket. As a result, our customer support team have peace of mind knowing that the system is keeping the customer up to date with the progress of the ticket, allowing them to focus on resolving the matter at hand.
5) Communication that matters
As I’ve already touched on, capturing key data in your CRM solution gives you the ability to segment your data and makes personalisation simple. When you combine this with marketing automation functionality you can say goodbye to the days of marketing the same message to everyone on your database. Instead, you have the power to enhance your customers’ experience by tailoring your messages so that they reach the right people at the right time.
For example, you may want your initial communication to go out to a wide audience to capture interest, such as a promotion of a particular feature or service. With a marketing automation tool that is fully integrated with your CRM, you could then create a rule that captures every contact who clicked a particular link in your mailshot or viewed a specific product on your website. You then have the ability to send a more detailed follow-up email to just those contacts. At the same time, an activity is set up for the account manager to do a follow-up call the next day to check-in.
As I mentioned at the very beginning of this piece, before a customer ever reaches out to your sales team, they are checking you out on various channels, including reading the reviews and comments of others. Therefore, if you can nurture positive experiences (by following the other steps in this blog) then you will yield positive feedback which can then be used to attract and convince new customers – and so the cycle continues.
This brings us once again to the role of Customer Success Managers (by now I hope you can see just how vital this role is). They are fundamental to ensuring your customers are having positive experiences at every step, regularly monitoring touch points, interactions and other activities and ensuring the feedback loop is consistent and current. As a result, they are often the best placed to ask your customers for feedback without fear.
We find that the simplest ways to gather this feedback are via review sites such as Capterra and social media, but you may have other options more relevant to your industry that are worth exploring. However, when it comes to sharing that feedback social media is undeniably the place to go. A well-crafted social post will help to promote both yours and your customer’s service while providing insight for other customers or prospects (aka a win-win for everyone involved).
It’s also a great idea to keep a record of this feedback within your CRM as this will provide content for the marketing team that they can use for collateral like the website, brochures and events.
As well all of the above, within Gold-Vision we find customer feedback particularly helpful as it informs potential product changes and enhancements.
Taking the right steps to put customers at the heart of your business so that you can provide personalised, positive customer experiences is essential if you want your business to succeed. And by utilising the power of your CRM solution you can truly deliver on your intentions of providing a CX approach that will set you apart from your competitors. I hope that the steps I’ve shared in this blog will help you feel confident in achieving this, but if we can help to guide you in any way please don’t hesitate to get in touch.