Modern businesses have come a long way in building customer-centric business, which is sensitive and compassionate towards demands and wants of the customers. They have implemented technology that will help them in understanding their customer requirements, predicting future trends and accordingly personalize services to improve customer experience. However, there has now been a paradigm shift. Today’s customer care is overwhelmed with inflow of data – flowing in from different directions – leading to confusion and therefore, inaction.
Today’s businesses have found themselves at a juncture where they must harness this voluminous data to make the necessary transition from being what they are to more opportunistic, competitive and complex marketplace.
Technology has enabled businesses to assimilate deluge of information generated from social media, survey reports, rising opportunities of communication, internal reports, live chats, emails, phone calls, and more. But it may seem like a flood of data without a proper data analytical strategy in place.
The data generated through different channels can offer in-depth insight on the changing mindset of modern customers. If businesses fail to optimize this opportunity they may run a risk of missing crucial insight for their survival. In the complex and competitive global market it boils down to the preparedness of the enterprise to handle the challenges presented by big data. They need to formulate strategy to tap into what’s relevant for them.
Customers relations management technology powered with advanced search and analytical tool has transformed the ways how customer support, marketing and sales teams accessing the same information and integrating it in creating customer centric business strategies. It helped businesses gain unified view on customers – correlated customer insight with sales and marketing data.
Today customers create stream of data filled with information of products and services, which need to be mined to understand trends and applied the same to improve overall customer experience. A CRM system can track this ocean of information on various metrics.
Social media content
Over the years, role and importance of social media changed the overall scenario of customer service. Social media now add critical content to the mix. Social media tools have increased scopes for customer interaction through social networking sites, micro blogging sites, online communities and forums – generating plethora of information which initiated demand for improved and sophisticated search and analytical tools. Organizations are fast adapting to social media and strategizing to assimilate the abundance of information in redefining their business strategy. The challenges before them are how to apply logic to the unstructured data and how to combine this flow of unstructured data with structured data in creating actionable insight.
Transformation of social enterprise
The transparency offered by the social sites has increased customers’ expectations from the brand. They now insist on building personal level relationships with their favorite brands. Companies trying to leverage the power of social media are embracing the transparency in their business strategies in formulating customer-oriented policies.
However, in order to fully unleash the power of social media companies need to do more than just listening and responding. They must transform the information into actionable insight and accordingly act upon those. Organizations failing to do so may risk making customers unhappy when they fail to take action based upon the information provided by them.
New technology has enabled organizations capture the information generated through the social media sites. Tools are now available to analyze the text and customer sentiment based on their posts. Social CRM has integrated the social feeds to traditional CRM system to gain a 360⁰ view on customers.
Social CRM is the new way for organizations to engage their customers. It enabled enterprises to tap into and mine information gleaned through social platforms – applying analytics and logic to it in apprehending customer reactions for their actions. It acts as a repository of information and creates a platform from where information can be disseminated across sales, marketing and customer support.
However, till today only a fraction of enterprises are harvesting the information in actuality while many are yet to integrate social media to their customer relationship CRM. Big data is going to be the driving force for business strategy implementation. Over the last few years the demand for integrating big data with analytical CRM techniques has increased exponentially. It further promoted the demand for breaking silos and unifying disparate, fragmented usage of information into a common platform for analysis and sharing.
Putting information into action
Introduction of cloud allowed enterprises to move enterprise application to a scalable, flexible, and accessible environment. It facilitated taping big data insight into CRM software. However, there is still a visible gap in analyzing the data gleaned – creating a band of data-rich but insight-poor organizations. To improve the situation steps needed to be taken in the direction of:
- Consolidating data across platforms to represent a 360⁰ analysis of customer preferences. This calls for creating a unified platform that is easily accessible from anywhere by teams.
- Achieving consolidation of data would require creating an integrated platform that would create link between front end (customer service, sales and marketing) with backend (customer insight, financial status, etc). Cloud enabled environment has made the integration process easier. Cloud applications are designed to facilitate easy integration, such as – integration between CRM and social and multichannel systems facilitated dissemination of information.
- Modern business demands access to real-time data. Earlier organizations used to assimilate and evaluate data on intervals but the changed scenario demand continuous flow of information to be processed and analyzed to create actionable insight – to get immediate and instant information on every customer interaction so that action can be taken in timely fashion.
- Developing simple and intuitive applications (CRM systems) to help users navigate and apprehend the insight gleaned. When more in-depth analysis of data would need professional analysis the common user must be able to get a basic understanding from the dashboard of the application.
Big data and knowledge management are going to be the two most important factors for future businesses. But more importantly the data need to be applied in forming actionable insight in improving customer experience.