Your CRM system is an indispensable element of crafting great customer experience (CX) — the strand of your business strategy that seeks to drive customer loyalty by delivering highly personalised, valuable experiences for your clients throughout their customer journey.
Your CRM is your toolbox; your customer service and CX representatives are the experts who need to leverage those tools to create a client-centric masterpiece. The right synergy between your CRM and CX primes you to reduce churn, enhance customer retention and improve ROI. Here, Emma Haines, Customer Success Representative at Provident CRM, shares how.
Your CRM system tracks your interactions with your customers, gathering information about each of your accounts:
Ideally, these CRM insights will lay out the what, where and when of your customers’ individual experiences, trends and pain points. This is the first step towards enabling your customer success team to deliver optimised client interactions throughout your sales cycles, as well as ensure your clients gain maximum benefit from their time with you.
What your CRM won’t immediately tell you is the why behind those data points. That’s where your CX strategy comes in, as the overlay that completes your understanding of your clients.
Your CRM gives you the tracking and reporting abilities you need, while your CX approach needs to embody a client-centric ethos to ensure you keep seeking insights on your customers’ needs and aspirations, how you can best meet these, and in what ways you can take the initiative and continue to surpass their expectations.
1. Enabling your customers to achieve their goals as effortlessly as possible
Providing seamless CX that rapidly solves client issues and queries means your representatives need to have comprehensive client information at the tips of their fingers. Informed down to the latest detail of your interactions relating to each client account, they’ll be empowered to respond to and guide your clients to the best of their ability.
By capturing all this data in your central CRM repository, it can be easily tracked, reviewed and acted on to deliver the bespoke, quality responses your customers expect. With a shared, up-to-date overview of each account, any of your representatives can channel your entire team’s knowledge, at any time.
2. Making your customers’ interactions with you worthwhile
If your clients were to pay for the customer success phone calls they make to you, would they think they were worth the cost?
Are they getting the results they need, as far as possible? Are they, at the very least, hanging up having had a positive, meaningful exchange with you? For this, preparation is key. A rapid scan of the data that your CRM has gathered on a particular account sets your representatives up to deliver this clued-up value, every time.
3. Crafting your interactions to create memorable experiences
While shared insights via your CRM work to empower your customer service team as a whole, giving your clients one recognisable, reliable face to turn to with their queries is key to creating memorable, value-rich interactions.
Of course, one person may not have all the answers right away. However, in my experience, it’s better to have a single representative field a client’s queries, who then does the back-end legwork to source the answers they don’t already have from their colleagues. That way, the client never has to navigate various names, roles and faces, be put on hold, juggle multiple emails and re-explain their predicament over and over to find their answer. Because we all know that feeling… and want to avoid it at all costs!
4. Nurturing trust and relationships
There’s no way around it: To create great customer experiences, you have to care about being there for your clients.
If you don’t, you simply won’t do the best possible job. I believe in building a rapport with my customers; creating trust. At Provident CRM, we nurture a customer-centred work philosophy that’s based on mutually supportive and reliable professional relationships. Whether with new prospects or existing customers, this is equally important. The same level of passion and engagement needs to be put in at the beginning and right through the evolution of each customer relationship.
Putting in the effort to go above and beyond for customers — no matter the size and scale of their account — is what sees this thrive. The ultimate reward? Seeing the benefits that your clients gain from your service exceed expectations as a result. In my time with Provident CRM, stand-outs for me have been working in the automotive sector: We heard from Tangelo that the service and engagement they experienced from our biweekly calls were second to none, and we’ve seen Arnold Clark live, breathe and continue to expand the CRM we support them with, as their user adoption outpaces their goals.
1. Leverage reporting to track your calls, meetings and correspondence with each client. This enables you to capture all relevant information about your interactions to keep their account overview updated, as well as set up custom notifications to boost engagement as needed. For example, you might configure an alert to schedule a check-in if you dip below a KPI of hours spent with a client per month.
2. Implement dashboards to enable your customer success team to work from a single screen, rather than jumping around to access key data. This empowers your people to come across as instantly informed; as a result, more confident and fulfilled in their role. Tailoring dashboards, utilising tile views… there a plenty of ways to minimise the clicks needed to access the insights required.
3. Link in email archiving via tools such as SugarCRM’s Sugar Connect. This enables you to pull up all the emails relevant to a client quickly and easily, saving time otherwise spent searching your inbox for long-lost threads and chasing teammates for updates. A better experience for the client, for each of your customer-facing representatives and for their team as a whole!
4. Customise your CRM studio to elevate your CX, your way. Tailor your studio environment to fit your ways of working and terminology, as well as the integrations you need (finance packages, ERPs, and so on). When built right — designed to support your company’s future, as well as current, needs — you’ll be able to evolve, adapt and customise your CRM fields as your organisation grows.
5. Leverage your CRM to empower your CX team by tracking their outcomes, too. A nifty hack is including fields that gauge how your team feels about interactions, as well as how your clients do. Scoring from 1 to 5, for example, enables your CX team to learn and improve on the job. Was a call a 1 because they didn’t have the insights they needed to answer a client query? If so, how can you ensure that data is accessible in future? Is a team member consistently recording 1s and 2s? Perhaps that’s a sign they need further training, resources or managerial support.
✓ More unique, value-filled customer experiences
With a detailed overview of each of your clients instantly available for your customer success team, you can dedicate time and effort to honing bespoke, above-and-beyond interactions, rather than hunting down basic information.
✓ Less friction
Give your customers the results and answers they need, as rapidly as possible. Via an informed team or — even better — via one familiar, friendly face.
✓ Reduced churn, enhanced loyalty
Engage your customers so that they know they can rely on you to guide them to extract maximum value from your services. Tailor your interaction monitoring so that your customer success team can check in with all your accounts, so no one slips through the cracks and churns.
✓ Better ROI through data-driven decisions
The brilliant thing about quality CRM systems — both out-of-the-box and with tailored add-ons for your company’s unique situation — is that they’re highly flexible and evolvable. Chop, change and grow your CRM and CX strategy as your business develops, remembering to experiment with changes in your sandbox (not live!) environment first.
1. Be open to constructive criticism
Finding out what your customers think of your as-is service is the best place to begin enhancing it. Be open to honest feedback, humble and curious; CX improvements come from listening.
2. Put a clear plan in place
How do you want to deliver your customer service? What do you need to know to achieve this? Identify the KPIs you should log and the touchpoints you want to implement and prioritise.
Ultimately, it isn’t just your customer support team that delivers customer service — success requires buy-in from your whole company. One of your employees might be the face of your quality CX, but it takes your whole company caring about it to make greatness happen.
“Finding out what your customers think of your as-is service is the best place to begin enhancing it. Be open to honest feedback, humble, and curious.”
– Emma Haines, Customer Success Representative at Provident CRM
Interested in further guidance on how to drive customer success by implementing a CRM system that will work for you while leveraging integrated CX data? We’ll be happy to talk with you! Reach out to our team via the form below.