People 'n' Issues

CRM must be Unified

November 21st, 2016
As data becomes ever more central to business operations, companies that market with disparate data sets and tools will fail to drive a superior customer experience, writes  JASON BALDWIN, Consulting Director at Acceleration.
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In a world where the competition moves quickly and customers expect increasing levels of engagement and service, companies that do not have an aligned marketing technology and execution will reach a capability plateau and decline as the customer experience they deliver falls further and further below customer expectation.

The solution is simple, go to market, company-wide, with an aligned approach to customer experience and engagement driven by insightful data and supporting toolset. However it’s difficult to execute. The reality is that it’s not a single, delivered once solution, it must be seen as an ongoing capability evolution.

Developing a unified approach to customer engagement

Creating a successful CRM strategy using data at the core requires a balanced approach, the need to drive complex multichannel interactions leveraging value adding data (creating the best customer experience) and pragmatically delivering new capabilities to execute with the business.

Creating a successful CRM strategy

1.       Recognise the current reality

Assess your organisation’s current ability to deliver. Look realistically at the current multichannel execution capability; the data supporting campaign execution processes, skills and tools needed. A good test here is the ability for the organisation to adopt a new campaign strategy.

2.       Align business processes and data value with customer experience

Understand what data is valuable to your organisation. It’s crucial to apply the insights gained from your data to the way in which you operate. The focus must be constantly on the customer experience that you want to deliver. Success here depends on having access to the right data and insight at the right time to architect and orchestrate the customer experience. Supporting processes need to be flexible and scalable in order to adapt quickly to changing customer journeys.

3.       Build the business organisation, skills and tools

It’s important to determine and hone the campaign and channel execution processes, then properly align customer and business data with the CRM tools – this is imperative if you are to gain a holistic and informed view of your customers and how this translates to the engagement and experience delivered to them.

The benefits of a unified, data-driven CRM approach

Understanding the data driven engagement capability end to end, from insight and strategy, through configuration and delivery, to reporting, optimization and attribution will allow for the ongoing optimization of the customer experience. The ability to change the customer experience with full knowledge of what the upstream and downstream impacts are (people, process, data and system) will position your organization to adapt quickly. Optimization of multichannel campaigns can be achieved and an improved customer experience can be engineered. It also opens the opportunity to effectively apply machine learning, but that’s for another article!

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