Magazine article CRM Magazine

Forging the Next CRM Frontier: Integrated Technologies Hold Great Promise for the Future of CRM

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Forging the Next CRM Frontier: Integrated Technologies Hold Great Promise for the Future of CRM

Article excerpt

AN IMPORTANT evolution is occurring in the CRM industry, thanks to a convergence of new technologies that leverage big data to better understand customer behavior, drive channel optimization, and enhance the overall customer experience. Properly implemented, these technologies, explained here, deliver increased customer satisfaction and higher profitability.

BIG DATA ANALYTICS AND INSIGHT

In "Software Advances Are Propelling CRM to New Heights" (CRM, October 2013), I described CRM and third-party big data analytics tools that enable companies to analyze customer behavior, engage customers via their channels of choice, and recommend products or services in real time. In the time since I've written that column, data analytics tools have become even more powerful and intuitive. Almost all are capable of working in real time, collecting customer interactions across multiple channels, detecting customer sentiment, and engaging with customers through their channel of preference.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I predict that new real-time data analytic technology will meaningfully change the way that companies formulate and implement their customer-centric strategies. Let's apply these tools to a key CRM area of the future, namely multichannel optimization strategy.

MULTICHANNEL OPTIMIZATION STRATEGY

The new "connected customer" is channel agnostic, expecting companies and brands to deliver on their promises, regardless of the channel in which the customer chooses to work. The challenge for companies is to find the right balance between fulfilling a customer's desired channel preference(s) and achieving the lowest cost-to-serve channel for each customer. This requires performing data analysis to understand current preferences and market research to determine future preferences. To achieve the lowest cost-to-serve channel for each customer requires careful analysis of all relevant financials for existing and planned channels. Over the years, ISM has worked with many best-in-class companies that have wrapped their arms around this trade-off and have achieved or are achieving multichannel optimization. This is without a doubt one of the most exciting future CRM challenges, and real-time analytics technologies will play a critical role in helping to resolve this challenge. …

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