November 21, 2014

Data, Content, and Engagement

In the eCommerce space, you often hear about the importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and why your company needs one. Did you know that CRMs can increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34%, and forecast accuracy by 42%? Making sense out of unstructured feedback is complicated, and companies that crack the code are gaining a better grasp of the customer experience than ever before. Integrated marketing and selling techniques have driven the need for traditional CRM systems to include social and digital aspects, generating a new buzz around “social CRM”.

The way in which your business and customers use technology, including digital and social media, on a day-to-day basis has transformed the business landscape. Businesses must expand to include more sophisticated analytical tools that help teams collaborate, both internally and externally, to get a holistic picture of your business health in real time. Overall, fusing marketing and IT will generate a better web storefront with good product data and encourage evolution and advancement.

The dramatic growth in mobile and eCommerce is creating a “New Normal” for businesses and their customers. Customer-facing business transactions no longer rely solely on “analog experiences,” such as filling in paper/PDF forms, phoning the call center, visiting a branch office, or applications that do not offer an optimized experience for every device.

Customers expect to have an intelligent, interactive, and engaging digital experience with your brand. In fact, consumers prefer assistance over the following channels: phone (61%), email (60%), live chat (57%), online knowledge base (51%), “click-to-call” support automation (34%). It is imporant for your business to be able to increase productivity and efficient communication through mobile technology.

With businesses drawing away from face-to-face interaction and delving online, managing customer relationships has become more difficult. Several businesses are being faced with determining the best strategy for maintaining customer relations. The answer? Creating a strong partnership between two departments that historically do not see eye-to-eye: Marketing and IT to create a strong CRM system.

Sources: SalesForce, eConsultancy


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This article is an expansion of a keynote address, given at the 2014 IDEA E-Biz Forum by Rhonda Gauthreaux, VP of the Marketing Electrical Division at Southwire.