CRM solutions have been around for years, but modern business applications bear little resemblance to the initial customer relationship management systems. Today the current market is increasingly consumer-centric and so are the CRM solutions. Customers expect personalized service built on rich data records, and today’s CRM solutions have to be designed to fulfill those demands.
Despite this, Information Age suggested one of the major mistakes companies make when implementing CRM solutions is expecting business as usual. Companies face modern challenges and can benefit from technological innovations that create new opportunities and improved processes. Here are five questions decision-makers should ask when considering the purchase of the latest CRM products:
1. What do modern customers need?
Technology allows the modern generation of customers to stay connected continuously and social platforms are a popular way to communicate and share experiences. A J.D. Power survey found access to convenient communication channels and a need to save money prompts consumers ages 18 to 35 to speak up when they have a question or concern, according Smart Customer Service. Millennials are twice as likely to contact businesses during service interruptions than baby boomers.
To keep up with increased customer service interactions, companies may turn to CRM solutions to create consumer records and monitor multiple communication channels. As customers take brand engagements to text messages and social media, businesses have to ready for them.
2. Is it time to implement the cloud?
To keep up with the flexible and convenient computing devices used by consumers, an increasing number of companies turn to the cloud. Those that don’t run the risk of falling behind. Forbes shared the results of a Bessemer Venture Partners report that predicted 62 percent of CRM systems will run on the cloud by 2018.
Moving CRM solutions to the cloud makes it easier to share data with various departments and computing devices. This allows modern companies to provide the personalization audiences expect by ensuring every business representative has consistent information when speaking with customers.
3. Where does automation fit in?
One of the primary reasons businesses undertake a CRM implementation is to improve efficiency and save time. Business software solution’s automated data processes offer many advantages and as well as their workflows which prompt actions and business intelligence tools that can decipher details through machine learning.
Take Microsoft Dynamics CRM for example. The latest version of the offering has a social listening solution that can help companies monitor channels full of informal conversations. System features allow users to codify common expressions and collect general impressions or track specific consumers. These tools allow business to easily cut through the noise and visualize data to make decisions.
4. Can the business integrate CRM and ERP systems?
CRM systems no longer have to operate in isolation. Collecting consumer data can provide direct insight into how enterprise activities succeed or need to adapt. Implementing CRM solutions with ERP integration allows a company to streamline its overall information processes.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Dynamics 365 for Marketing and the other CRM components of Microsoft Dynamics 365 work in tandem with products like Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Financials, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Integrated CRM and ERP solutions allows users to simplify daily tasks and create complete visibility of product and customer information they can share with business associates and consumers. Decision-makers can compare reactions to new enterprise strategies to measure the outcomes of investments and spot opportunities for improvements.
5. What about customization?
When working with a CRM partner, businesses may choose to design customized business solutions. While it’s smart to create a system that works with a particular company’s needs, Information Age warned against trying to design too much, too fast.
During CRM projects it’s usually wiser to focus on individuals features. Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 have most of the features businesses of many sizes demand built-in. An organizations considering creating custom applications should consult with a CRM consultant before custom developing anything.