Last month, the Aberdeen Group published a research report entitled “
- “Need to improve customer experience”
- “Customers demand better service”
- “Activities of all customer-facing groups unaligned with business goals”
- “Insufficient share of customers’ wallets”
- “Lack of product differentiation requires more emphasis on service”
For the aforementioned reasons and pressures, Aberdeen’s research asserts that Best-in-Class organizations invest heavily in integrated technology solutions, such as CRM and ERP. In particular, CRM enables companies to create the highly coveted complete view of their customers that captures all prior and upcoming interactions and the overall health of the account relationship. With the use of a CRM tool, internal executive stakeholders can monitor summary dashboards of key performance indicators, while client-facing personnel throughout sales, marketing, and customer service departments can immediately access and drill down into more detailed information concerning the accounts they are targeting and servicing. All layers of the organization can leverage a CRM system to attain more insights on customer and prospect needs, preferences, tendencies, and purchasing behavior. As a result of now having this newfound deeper understanding of new leads, qualified prospects, and longstanding valued clients, it should become much easier to close and onboard new business, cultivate relationships, and preserve existing accounts.
Aberdeen’s research also demonstrates that Best-in-Class organizations with a 360-degree view of their book of business have a distinct competitive advantage over their competitors in the Industry Average and Laggards categories. The chart below that I have created using some of Aberdeen’s findings reveals that Best-in-Class firms definitely experience higher customer retention and satisfaction levels. Furthermore, compared to the competition, Best-in-Class firms spend less of their time searching for customer data. Lastly, the Year over Year Net Client Value for Best-in-Class firms increases, while it actually decreases for Average and Laggard firms who rely on siloed systems, thereby having to constantly jump from one application to another to find answers, often in a very inefficient and inconsistent manner.
Source: Aberdeen Group “Creating a Complete Customer View: Best Practices in Master Data Management, May 2011
Firms looking to obtain a 360-degree view of their customers should consider investing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. It is a centralized, enterprise-wide CRM solution that offers robust salesforce, marketing, and service automation along with personalized flexibility and intuitive point-and-click customization capabilities. Tightly integrated with and operating directly within a user’s Microsoft Outlook application, CRM 2011 resembles the look and layout of other popular and familiar Microsoft Office products, thus increasing user productivity, response times, and the likelihood of user adoption and implementation success. Additionally, as previously noted