Why are companies rushing to redefine their CRM strategy?
The major CRM projects of the 2000s were often disappointing. After months of complex integration, they produced tools that were difficult to administer and inefficient. The world of CRM has radically changed and that’s good.
Current CRM technologies are to systems of the past what an iPhone 7 is to an old Nokia: performance has nothing to do with it. At the same time, customer uses have greatly evolved, justifying new applications. In this context, companies are therefore eager to update their CRM strategy.
A growing weight of digital in the act of purchasing
Faced with mutant consumers, the old strings are worn out. “We bet everything on the phone and the door to door», Told us a client. “This mode of sale is now difficult. Customers no longer pick up. Television campaigns and the classic press no longer have the same impact“.
The available brain time continues to migrate from traditional media to digital. 95% of car buyers check multiple websites before going to the dealership. The Web is now emerging as the first and sometimes the only point of contact. Enrolling customers and prospects in a CRM cycle has always been a critical and expensive phase. This issue is now resolved by the customer himself who registers and qualifies.
Among all the possible digital tools, mobile is gradually establishing itself as a priority channel. Loyalty applications, which cover the entire customer life cycle, allow longitudinal customer follow-up, from the first contact to the store visit.
Tools finally adapted for marketing
Marc Benioff got the idea for Salesforce while surfing on Amazon. A brilliant intuition widely adopted thereafter. Transposing the user experience from e-commerce to CRM applications has indeed enabled a strong appropriation by operational staff. The new CRM tools hardly require training because they are intuitive. They incorporate real business expertise, for example by calculating statistical significance thresholds.
SaaS labeled “No software” by Salesforce freed the marketing teams from IT constraints, providing incomparable advantages. Highly scalable, capable of managing large volumes, easy to set up, SaaS tools are also easy to integrate thanks to complete sets of APIs. The time to implement projects was considerably shortened. For example, a tool like Intercom can be set up in a few minutes and can be used to produce complex scenarios for animating web visitors.
Personalized actions thanks to data
The personalization of the dialogue with the customer is a founding myth of CRM. If many companies are wishful thinking, CRM is (finally) entering the era of personalization. The amount of information available has grown exponentially in recent years allowing high definition vision of the customer.
Companies better integrate their internal data but, above all, they access third-party data. The use cases are endless. In the automobile, it is possible to precisely detect purchasing triggers, such as moves or changes in family structure.
Much more flexible than traditional paper tools (letters, magazines), digital tools (emails, mobile notifications, retargeting) allow a logic of tests and fine segmentation. Thanks to the rise of machine learning, technology comes more and more to the rescue of humans to offer new rules of personalization.
Finally positive ROI
Lighter, cheaper, the programs make it possible to earn money quickly. The tunnel effect specific to classic ERP projects that provided a first deliverable after two years is disappearing. A marketing automation program can be set up in a few weeks. Experience shows that you can increase conversion on prospect targets by 10 to 20%.
The impact on customer retention is also massive, in particular through the churn data identification programs. Here again, through an agile approach to big data, it is possible to obtain a result in less than a month.
The GDPR directive: a non-negotiable regulatory deadline
It is also often the legal field that pushes companies to act. The new European regulations which will come into force in 2018 pose a major risk for companies, since they provide for penalties of up to 4% of turnover.
The first compliance audit is often a cold shower for companies: scattered customer databases, use of unofficial tools such as Access or Excel databases, lack of process … Under these conditions, the establishment of a customer database unique, the basis of a CRM program, often imposes itself as an urgent project.
The rush for new CRM tools is therefore confirmed. It will benefit everyone, especially the customer, to whom we can finally offer a harmonious course that is truly adapted to their personal needs.
Pierre Guimard is associate director of Keley Consulting.
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