The last couple years have seen an important turning point for customer service and customer experience. Think about it: we've witnessed vast improvements in digital customer service technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and live chat, both of which are certain to continue evolving. Many companies recognized the importance of digital customer service and CX as key differentiators.
89% of businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience.
Chances are you've read that stat before. But it's worth thinking clearly about why so many businesses are so concerned about customer experience, and why 72% of businesses say that improving customer experience is their top priority. First, according to Sitecore, there's a $3 return on investment expected for every $1 invested in customer experience.
As much as brands like to think they're customer experience (CX) experts, it's customers who are really in charge. According to Accenture, 89% of customers get frustrated when they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. In addition, Kampyle reveals that 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.
Mark Hillary of the CX Files recently interviewed me about an omnichannel experience and putting the customer first. By having a digital first mindset, contact centers can seamlessly talk to customers across platforms, so the customer gets answers quickly on the channel of their choice.
That word "consistent" is key. Because there's another reason we're at a turning point in customer service and customer experience: AI and chatbots are doing more and more, yet most customers still prefer to do business with a human. So, the question for every company is how to provide a consistent, results-driven customer experience that is also personalized and human. The answer to that conundrum is powerful CRM integrations.
How does CRM work?
CRM technology creates a database of customer information that agents can draw from each time they interact with a customer. That means when an agent is serving a customer, they know a whole lot more about the customer, his or her preferences, past interactions and behaviors. Here's how it looks on our platform:
Digital customer service software creates customer profiles based on social media data and customer activities. These profiles are created automatically and linked to the incoming customer query.
Essentially, CRM is the digital customer service agent's secret weapon. It's a wellspring of information they can use to provide better, more personalized service. That personalization is exactly what today's customers want, which means that brands with CRM have a distinct advantage. This is important especially when we bear in mind how CX is becoming an ever-more-important differentiator.
The truth is, CRM isn't just good for brands, it's good for customers too.
Why powerful CRM is the answer
Just like there are two sides to every story, there are also two sides to every customer service interaction. That means if brands want to make real improvements in the way they serve customers, they've got to think about two points of view: the agent and the customer. CRM has advantages for both.
CRM's Advantages For Contact Center Agents:
Agents know more about customers, which enables empathy and real human connections. They have a collection of customer data that continually helps them work more efficiently.
CRM's Advantages For Customers:
Customers feel less frustrated and better served because they don't have to re-enter information and re-explain their case. Issues are solved more quickly and in a more personalized way.
If there's one tool that can elevate customer experience to delightful levels, inspiring positive emotions in customers and therefore encouraging long-term loyalty and spending, CRM is it. There's no downside to using CRM, and in fact the advantages are so clear that it, like digital customer service integration, is now a necessity. The only question is which tool to choose.
How to choose the best CRM tool
There are many digital customer service solutions on the market with CRM, so it can be a challenge to pick the right one. It's a good idea to begin with research. Here's our list of recommended reading:
- Why Digital Customer Service Integration Is a Necessity
- The Definitive Checklist for Choosing a Digital Customer Service Vendor
- Top 5 Customer Pain Points When Integrating a Digital Customer Service Solution
When choosing the best CRM tool for your business, it's vital to define exactly what your needs are. How big is your customer service team? How many customers do you have? What are your goals for your customer service program? These are good questions to start with.
Beyond that, you want to bear in mind that you should be future proofing your business, that is, planning for an increased number of customers and customer service interactions, not simply plugging the hole of your current needs. You're looking for call center software that's trusted, that's flexible, and that can easily integrate with existing technology.
CRM is just one part of our powerful digital customer service software which can help delight your customers and lead to a demonstrable ROI. With so many brands competing based on CX these days, it makes sense to give your team all the advantages you can. So, we've not only made our software powerful, we've made it super easy to use, and easy to integrate with existing systems.
Interested in learning more on how customer expectations are changing in the digital age, check out Digital – First Customer Service: The Future is Here Today, our webinar.