How Strategic CRM Apps Will Drive Customer Engagement

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-01-15 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - How Strategic CRM Apps Will Drive Customer Engagement
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    How Strategic CRM Apps Will Drive Customer Engagement

    Strategic CRM apps will boost customer engagement with predictive and adaptive analytics that provide insights to address changing needs.
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    2 - Marketing Takes the
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    Marketing Takes the "Creepy" Out of Customer Experience

    Marketing and sales tools are giving businesses unprecedented power to stay connected to their customers today. But they also need to be smart about how they use that power. Taken too far, businesses give off a "creepy" factor that can backfire. With technologies such as predictive analytics and event-triggered actions, marketers will be able to engage with customers with just the right tone, context and cadence without crossing the line.
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    3 - CRM Focuses Less on Visualizing, More on Doing
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    CRM Focuses Less on Visualizing, More on Doing

    While many CRM players tout their advanced analytics, these capabilities are often nothing more than glorified reports. Analytics will move beyond basic visualization in 2016 by automating the process of turning insights into specific actions. Front-line service reps will no longer have to wade through charts and graphs to figure out what to do next to make the sale; the next best action will be served up to them on a platter specific to each customer or prospect.
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    4 - Assisted Channels Get a Modernized Makeover
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    Assisted Channels Get a Modernized Makeover

    The in-store experience in 2016 will get a facelift, thanks to enhanced assisted channels that digitize how shoppers buy in-store. This will go beyond self-service kiosks by leveraging engagement channels such as video chat, co-browsing and contact centers to change the way store associates assist their customers. This new blend of digital and human assistance will combine to change the way consumers interact with brands in their stores.
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    5 - The 'Leasing Economy' Forces Businesses to Redefine Customer Service
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    The 'Leasing Economy' Forces Businesses to Redefine Customer Service

    New-economy companies, such as Uber and AirBnB, are famously leasing their most important assets. Now consumers are following suit. For example, instead of buying their smartphones, consumers are leaning toward leasing them from their mobile provider. However, as the rise of the leasing consumer gains steam, this puts new pressure on businesses. In the "leasing economy," there is a constant stream of moments where the customer holds the threat of walking away at any time. This new behavior pattern forces customer service professionals to continually prove themselves to keep customers happier over a longer period in order to maintain revenue streams. Business will need to adapt to this trend and rethink the role customer service plays.
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    6 - Customer Journey Maps Move From Static to Active Process
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    Customer Journey Maps Move From Static to Active Process

    Many businesses are documenting their customers' journeys to better understand their experiences. But often, this ends up being nothing more than a documentation exercise using fancy graphical tools. In 2016, businesses will be able not only to model their customer journeys but also engage with that model to gain better insights into where customers' pain points are. Using advanced analytics, companies can automatically understand these issues and have suggestions presented to them on how to fix them. This will turn the customer's journey from a static document into an active tool that can help them run and manage their business.
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    7 - Customer Experience Teams Expand Their Reach
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    Customer Experience Teams Expand Their Reach

    Managing the customer experience is no longer the domain of one person or even one department. The lines are blurring as sales, marketing and customer service all play a vital role in cultivating customer relationships. Moreover, new skills are required from specialized disciplines to meet rising customer expectations—from user experience (UX) experts, data scientists, IT architects, customer journey experts and more. As more businesses try to differentiate themselves by improving the customer experience, we will see new roles added to the CRM team—led by the chief marketing officer or chief customer officer—to help them gain a competitive advantage.
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    8 - The End of Hold Music
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    The End of Hold Music

    Time is of the essence, particularly when it comes to customers. However, many companies aren't designed to value a customer's time. This is true of any company that still puts a customer on hold for an extended period of time when they could be doing something more productive to recapture the customer's loyalty. Every moment of engagement must convey some sense of value to the customer. This year, we will see companies find new ways to ensure customers are continually made to feel their time spent with them is a continuous positive experience.
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    9 - Moving With Your Customer in Context
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    Moving With Your Customer in Context

    Customers are constantly on the move, and businesses need to be able to move with them—whether they are in-store, on their mobile devices or back on their desktops. Thanks to services like digital TV, consumers are now trained to expect that they can stop a shopping activity and start it again at the same point they left off on any channel. This makes it critical for businesses to preserve customer context on any channel and know customer context at all times.
 

Today's customers are more empowered than ever. Sites like Amazon are conditioning them to expect fast, seamless customer experiences every time, while social media gives them an outlet to easily air their grievances to wide audiences if businesses don't measure up. Those sky-high expectations will rise even more in 2016, meaning businesses will face unprecedented CRM challenges that require forward-looking solutions. Most CRM tools on the market simply serve as glorified online Rolodexes, when what enterprises really need is the ability to turn those records into real-time insights that improve the customer experience in real time. Strategic CRM applications have the power to drive the future of the customer engagement with predictive and adaptive analytics that provide companies with the insights they need to anticipate and react to changing customer needs in context. This eWEEK slide show, based on insights from strategic business app provider Pegasystems, highlights these trends and demonstrates how CRM applications will help businesses transform the customer experience and address new challenges and opportunities in the coming year.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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