4 Reasons Why the Future of CRM is Multichannel
Businesses are in a race to maximize data insights into their customers as they look for opportunities to drive growth. In doing so, they are increasingly turning to a multichannel approach with their customer relationship management (CRM) software, using wider and more diverse data sources in an attempt to form a single view of the customer. This approach, once considered leading edge, is here to stay. Here are four reasons why the future of CRM is multichannel.
1. Customers Already Live in a Multichannel World
Any business worth its salt wants to meet its customers where they are. Now that smartphones have provided customers with always-on mobile access wherever they go through a dizzying, continually expanding array of channels, those customers expect that they will be able to engage with their favorite brands on demand at the tap of a screen. What’s more, they assume that every interaction they have with that brand will be consistently helpful and personalized.
Businesses can deliver on this expectation by adopting a multichannel approach that caters to the reality of how customers engage online today. Whether they come in by phone, chat, social media, or another major method, businesses need to be ready to engage with them there and effectively track those data so that they can maximize insights from them and highlight opportunities for growth.
2. Personalization Demands a Multichannel Approach
As is well documented, today’s customers not only expect that the companies they do business with provide them with a consistently good customer experience at whichever touchpoint they happen to use—whether that’s chat, social, or another method—but that that experience will be personalized. Again, here’s why a multichannel approach will be fundamental (and for many business, already is). Only by gaining a complete view of customers’ interactions with the company can the firm best understand what they want, what drives them, and how best to service them. Operating on assumptions and received wisdom about what customers want is no longer an effective business strategy for the future.
Only by using the power of data analytics for greater personalization can a business be sure that it’s responding to its customers’ needs and priorities as they evolve. Doing so may also unearth discoveries that give a business a critical advantage over their competition. What company doesn’t want that?
3. Mobile CRM Will Be Key to the Multichannel Future
CRM’s first incarnation was as a web-only product available in the cloud from an office laptop or desktop computer. That’s still a common base configuration, but mobile CRM is becoming far more commonplace. Customers now connect using an average of 4.5 devices, and the vast majority of their connections are mobile in nature.
Along with a mobile-optimized website and perhaps apps that cater to customers’ mobile habits, businesses will need a mobile CRM system that carefully tracks mobile interactions with them. Doing so also empowers employees to be responsive in the way required today, responding to customers’ queries more flexibly and immediately by using the mobile CRM app—whether at the office or on the train home after work.
4. The Benefits of Multichannel CRM Go Beyond Sales
Most businesses already understand that a multichannel approach to CRM is desirable from a sales perspective, but that’s not the only benefit worth considering. Engaging with customers via multiple channels provides greater opportunities for data collection, and the resulting data insights can be valuable for a range of business activities—from sales to marketing to product development. Businesses that want to truly leap beyond standard practices that simply maintain the status quo and unearth greater opportunities for game-changing digital transformation are no doubt going to take a multichannel path to get there.
Not so long ago, multichannel CRM was something only the more risk-tolerant and technologically advanced companies pursued, but that is no longer the case. More and more, it’s becoming clear that the future of CRM—for a great many companies, regardless of industry—lies in a multichannel approach.