20 Jan Here’s How A CRM System Can Add Value To Your Customer Journey
One of the many benefits of implementing a powerful CRM system, like Salesforce, is the ability to provide structure to your service and sales teams, and improve efficiency. Along with automating sales, lead management and customer service processes, a Salesforce consultant can set you up with a CRM system that can play a role in your overall customer journey. Here’s a look at how a customer journey mapping and a CRM can come together to create a powerful system for your organization.
What role does CRM play in mapping customer journeys?
The potential benefits of customer journey mapping have been well-documented.
However, not every business is yielding success from the exercise. In 2016, 63% of marketing professionals said they relied on customer journey maps to guide their customer experience efforts, yet contrastingly, 2017 data stated that 55% of senior marketers were not confident in their company’s “understanding of the customer journey”.
This paradox often exists in a business in which the end-result – the visual ‘map’ itself – is the core objective for undertaking the exercise. As Gartner’s global research director, Brian Manusama explains, too many businesses are taking action without gathering adequate insight – mapping the journeys of their customers without first constructing a detailed understanding of where the points of interaction exist, how often they’re used, how they connect together and where roadblocks exist.
To paint relevant pictures requires CRM; and more notably, a CRM that’s connected across multiple customer-facing functions – marketing, sales and service. Yet Gartner research says that the focus of more than 80% of CRM projects is currently too narrow, either “targeting the processes of a single department or seeking to fine-tune existing processes — or both”.
This is where customer journey mapping and CRM coalesce.
“Most organisations take CRM data and say – this is how different customers are engaging with us from a sales perspective, a marketing perspective, service perspective; here’s a bunch of engagement channels, a bunch of steps in the process,” says Manusama.
“You have contact centre data, you have your transactional data, website browsing behaviour, etc. All that information together gives you a feel for what a customer journey would be like. You need to connect everything with the one goal of giving customers a better experience so they might buy more and become more loyal.
“CRM, therefore, has to be the input for the journey mapping. CRM gives you the insights required around what your customer interactions actually are. CRM and the transactions that happen from sales, marketing and service perspectives, is an input for getting an understanding of customer behaviour which can be taken and drawn up into a customer journey map.”
The problem for many businesses is that CRM often guides process, which can in turn lead to an inside-out approach to customer journeys.
But as Gartner research explains, the customer journey is, in essence, about shifting your thinking from ‘the customer wants a mortgage’ to ‘the customer is buying a house’; i.e. understanding that even if your organisation is only involved in one step of a customer’s journey, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make efforts to establish exactly what an end-to-end journey might look like. It’s an outside-in view of where your processes fit within a customer’s journey in its entirety.
As Manusama states: “There’s a difference between journeys and processes. The journey is always about making a full breakfast, whereas the process is making the bread. The journey touches upon a lot of processes but most of the time it’s done from an operational excellence perspective.
“Stepping away from this approach to think from an outside-in perspective is a costly activity, so you make a conscious decision that the journey isn’t good for the customer. For instance – it’s assumed that fewer touchpoints and interactions is a better experience for both customer and business because it’s more efficient for both. But what about in the case of billing, say, when a bill is set to be much higher for a customer and the business knows and can ring in advance to warn that customer? Isn’t that a better experience than the shock of no interaction at all? This is information that can be gleaned from joining a certain part of your CRM with your understanding of customer journeys.
“The question here is if you avoid taking this route and shoot for the more ‘efficient’ option, are you being customer-centric? No, because you’re taking operational costs over customer experience. To what cost is a company willing to have an ineffective process in order to serve the journey for the customer? That’s what businesses are grappling with.”
Find the Right CRM Solution with a Salesforce Consultant
We know Customer Relationship Management (CRM). In fact, by connecting you with a leading CRM solution like Salesforce, your organization can enjoy streamlined customer-based operations. Having a salesforce consultant on your side means the software implementation is done for you. You can start automating sales and close deals faster, connect with your customers in a whole new way and deliver outstanding customer service and a memorable customer journey.