End of Customer Service: Start of Customer Relationship Building Era
Companies have long emphasized the basic touch points and the innumerable critical moments when customers attempt at interacting with the organization and their offerings during purchase and after. However, the narrow focus on maximizing satisfaction at those moments can create a distorted picture and divert attention from the bigger—and more important—picture: the end-to-end journey of a customer.
Customer Service – The earlier concept
Customer Service in simpler terms is interactions that a company has with its customers, usually via phone or email and more such traditional channels. Usually the customer will have an issue, a problem that needs to be resolved or he could also be a potential or current customer.
Customer Relationship building- The new concept
Customer relationship is the process through which a business creates, establishes and maintains relationships with its customers as they can decide potential turnovers for the business. On the other end, it is mandatory that you develop effective communication practices with your customers, address complaints promptly and treat them as potential areas for improvement. Listening to what customers have to say, in short, is the key.
Evolution of Customer Service into Customer Relationship Management
Customer expectations are evolving and customers are more vocal and willing to share both when something is good and something is bad. At times, the Customer service standards can prove quite expensive. Usually, the service-based industries often experience high turnovers, which in turn necessitate ongoing training initiatives. Essentially, if customer service tools don’t help in expanding your company’s customer base then they might as well be perceived as non-required expenses.
Here are a few challenges from the earlier Customer Service practices, which the new Customer Relationship Management has actively been working to provide solutions for:
1. People :-
Challenges: Service agents were one of the primary aspects of the service.
Solutions: With the help of CRM, service agents, sales & marketing, manufacturing, engineering and more, came into existence.
2. Processes :-
Challenges: Earlier Customer Services procedures were on a linear scale, static by action and clumsy with performance.
Solutions: Customer Relationship Management facilitates the process in being very dynamic, coordinated and adaptive for the business.
3. Technology :-
Challenges: Earlier medium for servicing used email, phone and multi-channel web as the customer servicing mediums.
Solutions: Modern management involves active involvement of phone, web, SMS, community & social, chat and mobile and various other cross-channel platforms.
Challenge: Customer services earlier had a reactive, scripted and controlling approach.
Solutions: With the help of the Customer Relationship Management, the approach for business has now become more pro-active, collaborated and extremely engaging.
Challenges: The central idea with Customer Service was ‘Customer Issue’. There were basic issues with customer complaints’ resolutions and especially with the speed.
Solutions: The central idea with Customer Relationship Management is ‘Customer’. Hence, the quality of experience and problem solving sped up tremendously.
On a more strategic level, businesses should treat customers at the center of the business activities and as a key component, impacting business decisions. As a business, you need to see the world through the eyes of the customers and focus on creating products and services which would suit their wants, needs and desires.
Insights into Customer Relationship Management
CRM is the strategic process devised, implemented and operated in order to retain a customer and in targeting potential customers better. Such relationship development improves the rates of customer retention, increasing profitability and reducing the need to focus on new business for revenue growth.
Merging marketing efforts with business processes is what CRM is all about- identifying, pursuing and managing customer relationships. It’s about recognizing, understanding and analyzing your customers’ preferences, requirements and purchasing habits so that you can view it from the sale-point and aid customers, even after the sales transaction is complete.
Benefits of Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management is the method or process which a business uses to understand and learn more about their customers’ needs, behavior and purchasing habits, in order to develop stronger and longer-lasting relationships with them. Implementing CRM solutions might involve considerable time and expense, but it has many benefits and advantages.
Data organization – When managing dozens, hundreds or perhaps thousands of leads and customers, having a robust contact list is critical. Many CRM systems let you search for customers with broad keywords, rather than entering specific details as well.Task and time management – With CRM software, it’s almost impossible to miss important deadlines. If you enter tasks into the system, it will send you an email reminder to keep you or your team on track and remind you of upcoming events.
Reporting – CRM software has now made it easier for businesses to assemble all their sales in one system and take out the basic analysis and standard reports in no time. This surely beats the hours of work that was put in creating manual accounts of sales in the excel spread sheets.
Lead management – Building a prospect list for the business, to garner better and more qualified leads, is much easier with the Customer Relationship Management solutions.
Inventory Management – With the help of this system, storing products and services, pictures, serial numbers and other various customer requirements can be collectively taken care of. Inventory management allows a business to achieve seamless integration in the account activities between pre-sales and post-sales.
Payment Management – The platform of CRM solutions provides you with a complete picture of your potential and existing customers as well as your sales pipeline. You can thus identify and target individuals with the greatest potential for your future sales marketing. CRM allows you to skip out on the mass marketing approach and instead focus on fine tuning marketing efforts towards the selected target groups of potential customers.
CRM has been gaining importance in the technology and digital era, with new and improvised tools, frequently coming in the market. Businesses now find it easy in cutting costs, improvising and providing better quality and overall performance—all for the customer’s satisfaction.