We recently explored various benefits that our clients have enjoyed since replacing their on-premise ERP systems with cloud ERPs. Cloud-based CRM solutions bring about similar advantages in their own right, so let’s take a similar before-and-after assessment of these transformations.
Before Cloud CRM: Customer Data Sitting in Silos
After Cloud CRM: Customer Data is Centralized
Think back several years before the internet changed the way businesses managed data and processes—when systems were connected, if at all, by complex workarounds or manual keying and re-keying of data. Your legacy systems, including first-generation CRMs, may still operate this way, and it’s likely that your employees are spending more time (and probably budget dollars) than necessary to make sure systems “talk to each other.” If this uncomfortably resonates, don’t miss Are Data Silos Creating a Big Data Problem for Your Company?
Today’s cloud-based business systems are designed to connect to each other—and to all users—automatically, with very little or no manual intervention. Integrations may be as simple as plug-and-play or may require some configuration, but either way, the data itself is meant to be shared and maximized so businesses can make the most of it. With cloud-based CRMs, marketing and sales departments can access all of their multi-formatted customer-related information (from ERPs and even social media channels, among other sources) in one place and take high-level or deep dive looks into the data to answer questions, uncover opportunities, and more.
Before Cloud CRM: Customer Needs Fall Behind
After Cloud CRM: Customer-First Approach
Consider a customer service issue arising in which a customer is frustrated because they haven’t received their order, and imagine the salesperson and/or customer service agent having to place the customer on hold to call another department, dial into a disparate system, or rifle through a stack of paper purchase orders or shipping receipts hoping to uncover details. This was how it used to work, before cloud-based CRMs were available to centralize the need-to-know (now) information. The customer “experience” was reactive frustrating, to say the least.
Scour the marketing headlines or talk to anyone in your marketing department and it’ll become crystal clear that the “customer experience” is a major focus in today’s competitive marketplace. Of course, you’ve been putting the customer first for years now, but there has been increased attention placed on delivering seamless, even proactive, service across channels—that is, whether a customer is engaging with your company over the phone, online, on social media, etc.
This means it’s becoming more important than ever to provide marketing, sales, and customer service employees with up-to-date, comprehensive customer records that can be accessed at any time. Take a look at 4 Features You’ll Love About Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Customer Service Hub to see what we’re referring to. It amounts to modern CRM tools that make it easy to make the customer experience a priority—with every interaction.
You might enjoy our white paper, 6 Critical Business Processes to Build Customer Loyalty.
If you’re considering adopting cloud-based CRM software to take your organization’s customer data and processes to the next level of productivity and efficiency, contact us for a free consultation. We can help assess your needs and next steps towards a successful technology transformation.