How CRM technology has impacted the enterprise world
In today’s competitive marketplace the companies that manage their customer relationships best are those that are most likely to succeed in the long run. This simple truth is behind the growth in customer management technology over recent years, and as businesses have pursued this goal, the take-up of modern CRM systems has multiplied exponentially. One of the key drivers for this is the ever-evolving way in which our customers expect us to do business.
A well-designed customer relationship management (CRM) system can cut down manual processes and increase efficiency right across an organisation, with the most modern applications giving opportunities for cross platform integration, allowing companies to meet this evolving demand and interact with their customers in new and exciting ways.
Mobile technology has really taken off in the last few years. Since the smartphone became readily affordable in the mid 2000s we’ve seen an ever-growing market for such devices, followed by iPads and tablets through to fast developing wearable technology, which promises even greater change in the future.
This is an unstoppable force; the mass migration of internet users from desktop to mobile devices is global and universal. The proportion of internet traffic created by mobile devices grew from 1% in 2009 to 13% in 2013, and there’s every indication that it’s grown much further and faster since then.
This has changed everything about the way we do business. Telling a customer that you’ll give them the information when you’re back in the office is no longer an option. Everything now needs to be done in real time with your product details available at touch. This means teams need instant access to the latest business information wherever they are, and the CRM has evolved to meet these requirements.
Using cloud storage means your mobile devices are no longer dependent on periodic synchronisation of data each time you return to the office; instead they can now use live data held centrally and updated in real time from anywhere in the world. It can sound too good to be true and you’d be forgiven for assuming that such technology comes at an obscene price, but the nature of this concept means it can be very cost-effective indeed.
The great thing about cloud technology is that it’s scalable; in many cases it can be a subscription-based service provided by a dedicated vendor. The vendor will also provide the updates, backups and maintenance, meaning a cloud subscription can simply be treated as an operational expense. This gives greater flexibility and avoids the wastage of depreciation on fixed assets such as servers and hardware.
Accessing the data
Cloud-based data resources can be accessed by the full range of mobile devices. Apps can feed information directly into your CRM as it’s created, giving all your teams the full set of data and analytics at their fingertips wherever they are. However, it can also have direct benefits for your customers too.
The shift to mobile technology is a multi-platform move with your customers now using tablets or phones, email, apps, text messages or social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to interact with you. It’s vital that you’re in a position to deal with such interaction effectively and to facilitate this the modern CRM system can integrate across all these platforms and allow your business to provide a truly personalised customer service on demand.
Whatever your business situation, using a CRM to track customer activity makes a lot of sense. But combining mobile and social technology with your existing customer relationship management means your customers can contact you when and where they choose, whilst you can track, manage and respond to their enquiries with your full capability at hand. Business done on the hoof will no longer get lost in the administrative jungle or written on a scrap of paper and left on a car seat to blow out when the door is opened. Your client details and leads will all get written straight into the system for processing and follow-up.
CRM does not have to be overly complex or expensive, and as the new generation of customers who’ve grown up with fast developing technology arrive in the marketplace they’ll demand ever faster and more convenient ways of interacting with your business. To get left behind could be fatal.
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