The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront a unique equation between an organization and its most vital pillar of growth – the Customer – who is one of the most crucial contributors to the organizational success, irrespective of nature or size.
It is important for businesses to win the loyalty of their customers, leading to retention, which further translates into revenue-generation. So, it is no surprise that organizations are keen to understand and leverage Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. The numbers tell the tale, the global CRM market size was valued at $40.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.2% from 2020 to 2027.
Key Drivers Accelerating the need for CRM
Real-time accessibility of consumer data is playing a pivotal role in the growth of CRM.
Customer-centric services ranging from social media marketing to personalization are being supported by innovations in technology such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, and various service models such as Software as a Service (SaaS).
Further, with devices such as smartphones and wearable technology coming into play, organizations have at their disposal a reservoir of consumer data that can be used to draw valuable insights.
Also, organizations are opting for a deeper integration of CRM strategies and solutions with other business processes and systems, such as e-commerce solutions, marketing automation, and analytics platforms. This integration can help them streamline and study data effectively.
Role of CRM in Business Continuity in the New Normal
Building customer profiles: CRM provides business leaders and decision makers requisite data to understand customer behaviours and preferences, which can then be used to build strategies for engagement and retention.
Robust support: In the current COVID-19 times, CRM can enable businesses to operate by providing the necessary workflows, processes, and artificial intelligence tools for faster adaption to the new normal.
Creating new business prospects: By syncing the software with the company’s websites, the information from the filled forms by the visitors can be pooled into a centralised database, which then can be used for generating potential business opportunities.
Enhancing employee engagement: With teams working remotely, it is imperative for managers to ensure that people stay positive and connected. CRM can help set up team alerts and reminders, tracking not just the tasks assigned, but also foster a sense of belonging, thus enhancing employees’ productivity and collaboration.
Crisis management tool: The crisis is putting to good use features such as templates functionality to send out a consistent corporate message to all stakeholders through emails. Companies can also target messages to specific groups, thus building a strong foundation for continued goodwill amongst its peers.
Cloud CRM: Cloud-based solutions are omnipresent and scalable and, thus can help in reduction of setting-up costs. With easy installation and no hardware requirement, it reduces the IT costs as well as does away with the need of constantly updating versions. With other benefits such as flexibility in pricing and ability to scale up with business expansion, a cloud-based CRM system can form an integral part in a company’s business continuity plan.
Selecting Best-fit CRM Solution: Challenges
Here is a reality-check that businesses must undertake to find their best-fit solution:
Have clear implementation goals: The decision-makers must have a strategy in place and an exhaustive list of requirements that has to be fulfilled by the new CRM software.
Choosing the right vendor: Companies need to evaluate the software in terms of not the price it comes at, but the objective it fulfils.
Bridging the digital divide: Any new technology adoption comes with a challenge of being accepted by the workforce. They should not find it difficult to understand or consider it as threat to their jobs.
Management approval: Bringing the business leaders and the digital leaders on the same page pertaining to adoption of a CRM solution is one of the biggest roadblocks. Business leaders must see this as an investment with well-defined RoI and not a cost.
Data security: Multiple devices capture information about each client’s actions, preferences and behaviours, causing rise of privacy and security issues such as data breaches or theft.
Enterprises can draw huge benefits through effective CRM solutions that create consistencies in the business workflows, processes and strategies, allowing them to function in uncertain times. CRM promises to be a critical tool for aiding businesses in their survival and growth strategies amidst the new reality of doing business.