You may have heard recently that data is becoming the new currency of business, so much so that I firmly believe that the experience which businesses provide to customers is becoming the product. But, did you know, that according to Gartner, fewer than 10% of companies have a 360-degree customer view & only 5% use this view to systemically grow their businesses?
Over the last 300 years, our world has seen incredible innovation and unprecedented technological change. Today, according to the World Economic Forum we’re entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is where artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming the customer experience. Artificial intelligence is making devices and apps smarter and nearly human. The lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring, with Revolut and Monzo now starting to challenge traditional banks. Airbnb and Uber have transformed the customer experience, with both essentially being customer experience businesses being that neither own any significant assets. In 2019, we’re finding that customers expect every business to give them a personalised, connected experience and treat them as if they are their only customer.
360 Degree View of your Customers
Golden nuggets of customer data come from all over a business, but unfortunately, they’re very often stored in many different systems or places. You get a much crisper view of your customer’s journey if all that information (from sales, service, and marketing) is stored in a single place that all teams can access at any time. Traditionally, only very large corporations could afford to implement CRM technology, and those who chose to do so, often incurred very large up-front costs, complex server installations and high maintenance costs. Thanks to the cloud, over the past few years, a mass democratisation of technology has occurred. This means, that businesses of every size are now able to use the very same technology platforms that global corporations are now using – from Xero for accounting, to Microsoft Office 365, to Dropbox for file storage. Now, using closed based CRM technology, businesses of every size can easily pull data from email, calendar, spreadsheets, multiple support channels, and more to achieve a single, 360-degree view of every customer and the whole business. Think of this 360-view as your crystal ball. When you look inside you can see the past, present, and future of a customer relationship with your brand.
Once you have achieved a 360-degree view of your customers and unlocked the ability for multiple teams to access the same information, it simply skyrockets the amount of achievable progress. Sales, marketing, and customer service teams can share valuable information about customers to continue to funnel them down the pipeline to get the desired result of closing a sale, knowledge of new products, or excellent customer service. Every department can now tag team to get the right information to the right individual. With this newfound ease, we find that teams can seamlessly work together throughout a businesses, improving business efficiency, financial results and also customer experience.
80% of customers say the experience a business provides is as important as its products and services, with 76% of consumers now expecting a business to be able to proactively understand and anticipate their needs. With barrier to entry for businesses to use CRM technology at an all-time low, I believe there is a fantastic opportunity for businesses of every size to delight customers and turn the experience they provide for their customers into being a key feature of their product.
- Source: Gartner 2018
- Source: Salesforce 5th State of the Connected Customer Report