CRM: The next evolution for your business

Improved relations can equal new business and profit.


Improving customer experience remains the holy grail for most organisations. Seen as the key to attracting and retaining new customers, reducing churn and increasing profit, how to do it well is an ongoing subject of research, analysis, investment and intense scrutiny.

There's no doubt that customer relationship management (CRM) has played a critical part in defining the customer relationship landscape in recent years. Yet, finding a way to measure and quantify the customer experience, including forecasting dollar spend, mapping unique spending patterns and accessing a transparent ROI for individual customers, has remained elusive.

Many CIO's are now faced with the dilemma of existing legacy CRM systems which track these segments as independent data, but can't connect them into the useful customer intelligence their sales and marketing colleagues are demanding.

If you think of customer experience as an equation: Data storage + business intelligence + marketing = customer experience, it is easy to see the process as a single entity. The hard part for enterprise has been combining those individual elements into a seamless cycle of transparent and useful information.

Data such as buying patterns, caller details, preferred bill paying cycles, demographics and market interests are currently locked up in individual silos. The difficulty lies in penetrating the barriers of the silos, so that the data merges into one useful stream.

Fortunately, accessing the silos is getting easier. New technology is becoming available that can work alongside CRM systems, transforming individual silos of information into a holistic, predictable and ultimately profitable analysis of customer intelligence.

Bridging the gap between where your customers are, and capitalising on their use of new technologies such as using iPhones and Google Android to interact and transact, and where your CRM /BI/ERP systems are, is now possible. By building in enterprise grade cloud computing platforms specifically designed to deliver web 2.0 data and transactional services, a transparent view of a customers' spending habits can be delivered.

By taking CRM capabilities to the next level in this way, organisations can begin to make their marketing dollars accountable. Campaigns can be tailored to individuals or groups, marketing spend tailored to the right audience and appropriate offers made to those who are most likely to buy them. The ROI can be tracked and wasted dollars minimised.

Increasing your revenues and profits while anchoring customer loyalty via a proven and quantified improved customer experience is surely the win:win we all seek.

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