Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Your Competitive advantage

Date:   Friday , April 15, 2016

Tata Teleservices is one of India\'s pioneer CDMA technology companies offering end-to-end telecommunication solutions for businesses and individual customers across the nation and internationally.

Companies competing in the real world today are working harder than ever to retain customers. Traditional boundaries are disappearing, and services are getting commoditized. In order to be successful, firms need to gain their customers\' trust and create lasting impact. Customers are asking for greater personalization - with integrated services across traditional as well as mobile and social channels, and have an expectation to be served when they want. The general standard of experience has risen to the extent that \'OK\' as a response to your satisfaction questionnaire is no longer an acceptable level of service. Customer today looks for the \'Wow\' factor. It is therefore imperative for companies to deliver pioneering products and services of outstanding quality & value and delight their customers with great experiences at every touch point.

Considering this tremendous rise in expectations, the bar of \'excellent\' customer experience standards will only become higher with time. Let us look at a few trends that are expected to define our industry in 2016:

Mobile CRM to Become Mandatory

In 2016, CRM will go mobile in a big way. So far, most mobile apps have focused on providing a basic phone-ready version of the desktop variant with limited features. In 2016, expect more mobile-first apps, with map and note-taking features. Sales representatives will rely on mobile CRM to keep connected, and real-time data will keep the sales team updated. Mobile CRM will become a powerful sales and service tool.

Social media integration

Social media has become a part and parcel of everyday life, and businesses are no longer an exception. Majority of companies have presence on social media and it is equally important to measure the impact of social media. Social CRM will be a new platform to promote the interaction between customers and companies. Social media monitoring tools will be paramount in monitoring brand presence. Moreover, response time is critical these days, as a dissatisfied customer has ready access to social media channels for airing grievances and harming brand image. Thus, organizations are increasingly adding features to monitor conversations and feedback on social media, and utilize customer opinion judiciously.

CRM platforms equipped with predictive analytics capabilities

In 2016, predictive analytics capabilities will play a huge part for CRM platforms, as they enable real-time offers to customers on the basis of behavioral and purchase analysis. Predictive analytics, combined with CRM data, gives marketers and sales people a chance to understand the customer better and have personalized interactions, leading to increased sales and improved customer relationships.

Empowering customers with self-service

Customers today are empowered and understand their needs and choices. This makes self-service an important part of the client-customer relationship. When it comes to self-service, social media can play an important role. Some of the leading brands are successfully using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for customer service. Here, customers are able to speak to each other on common concerns or seek help from experts. With a customer\'s preferred mode of communication becoming technology-driven, making the customer delivery channels more trusted and secure would be an area of thrust in CRM. Biometrics such as voice authentication, fingerprint identification or arterial pattern recognition will be increasingly incorporated for secure transactions at various touch points.

It is also high time to move beyond IVR (Interactive Voice Response) for CRM. Telecom companies can use smartphones to strengthen alternate channels for customer delivery - apps, chats, virtual assistants - and promote online versions of ordering, tracking, fulfillment, and feedback.

Don\'t underestimate a physical store

Even with more Indians getting used to the idea of transacting online, brick and mortar stores are here to stay. So when customers walk into your stores to enquire about data packs and new offers, do not push them to find answers online. Physical stores present a golden opportunity of interacting with customers one-on-one. They also present an in-shop branding and advertising opportunity to amplify core messaging of a brand at a given point in time.

Customer relationships are built on trust. While technological interventions to acquire and leverage customer information for the benefit of both customer and businesses are on the rise, being sensitive to customer\'s privacy and security needs cannot be emphasized enough to maintain and grow trust.