Business development and customer relationship management (CRM) are constantly changing. Basically, if the customers are satisfied, then the company generally grows and thrives well. In other words, a successful company has happy customers. Unfortunately, it is the case that we live in turbulent times. If customers were completely satisfied yesterday, tomorrow they will desert to the competition.
The demands do not decrease. On the contrary, because constant accessibility and a personalized approach require many customers today. Companies have to meet these expectations if they want to create satisfied customers and continue to grow. Thanks to digital change and ever new technical innovations, maintaining CRM can be a tightrope walk. But it doesn’t have to be. The following trends promise successful support in business development and better customer loyalty.
Smart homes, smart cars, smart sensors. Our everyday life is becoming more and more connected to the Internet of Things. IoT, the buzzword of recent times, is also increasingly finding its way into CRM. IoT refers to the networking of physical and virtual objects such as cars or coffee machines. The devices communicate independently within a network and can be controlled via the Internet. Data on, for example, user behavior is collected automatically and can then be evaluated – a great, time-saving advantage.
The CRM opens up innovative ways that achieve greater customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. For example, IoT applications can identify customer dissatisfaction at an early stage. Countermeasures can then be taken quickly so as not to lose existing customers. Saving measures include individual discount campaigns or personal cover letters that are sent to customers.
Up-and cross-selling is also made easier with the support of IoT. Intelligent devices determine relevant data that provide information on how, when and where products can be promisingly offered to customers.
Without a sophisticated CRM system, not even SMEs can do today. In recent years, the focus has been on simple usability, so that employees from all areas of the company can work with the system if necessary.
Modern work is also becoming more and more independent of location. The new trend will therefore be the mobile CRM system, which can be accessed from anywhere and at any time – on the go via smartphone or from the home office. This ensures that relevant customer data can be called up quickly and easily at any time.
At the customer appointment, a quick look at CRM can be worth gold. Another key component for tomorrow’s CRM will be the automated entry of customer data. This saves time and money.
Predictive analysis is part of business analytics and dares to look into the future through data analysis. This method is part of the daily bread of a business development manager. For example, it is popular with financial service providers. This form of analysis is used to determine creditworthiness and credit limits. The technology can also be efficiently transferred to CRM. Predictive Analytics can ensure that customers will remain loyal to a company for a long time – and at the same time you are one step ahead of the competition.
In principle, predictive analysis is about making predictions about future activities and purchases by existing customers. Past purchases, interactions and demographic data that are stored in CRM are used for these predictions. Based on this analysis, it is possible, for example, for account managers to focus on promising leads. With appropriate software development, tools for predictive analysis can be integrated into CRM.
Today’s market offers an oversupply of products in almost all areas. Fewer and fewer companies succeed in convincing customers only about the quality of a product. Servitization is the key to customer loyalty and a continuing trend in recent years.
In principle, the term says that manufacturing companies must also become service providers. At least if they want to be one step ahead of the competition in the future. Because customers want more and more full service and individual support – and that from one provider, not from different ones. For example, if a bicycle is bought, the customer nowadays wishes that the manufacturer also offers repair services.
Additional services are convenient for the customer and save time. For the manufacturer, they are a first-class opportunity to effectively win and retain regular customers. Services are less easily interchangeable. In addition, there is automatically a close contact with the customer. That creates trust.
So-called geo-marketing is one of the trends in CRM and business development. This is about taking a closer look at the geographic environment of the customers.
Using geo-marketing, target groups and potential customers can be located geographically. Data from the CRM are located spatially and combined based on further market data. Clearly shown in maps, this gives a concrete illustration of the areas in which existing and potential customers or business partners are located. In addition, you can identify locations of competitors and open up new target groups. As a result, tailor-made marketing campaigns can be planned, for example.
Digitization means that we can be reached anytime, anywhere. The smartphone has become our constant companion. Whether by phone call, email, instant messenger or social media – constant availability is also taken for granted by customers these days.
From the customer’s point of view, telephone accessibility is particularly important. A representative study by Consulting GmbH has shown that 77% of callers are frustrated when they cannot reach anyone by phone during business hours. 59% even refuse to speak to the answering machine. The consequence is obvious: customers migrate to the competition and lucrative orders are lost.
Service outsourcing like a virtual secretariat saves time and leads to greater customer satisfaction. In order not to disappoint customers, more and more companies are relying on outsourcing customer hotlines. External service providers offer telephone services and virtual secretariats, for example. These answer calls on behalf of the company. Customers have the feeling that they can reach a contact person at any time. This leads to more satisfaction. From the company’s perspective, this external service saves valuable time that can be confidently invested in the actual core business.
As digitalization continues to evolve, so does CRM and business development. The use of tools and techniques such as IoT, outsourcing service and innovative marketing strategies is recommended. It is also worthwhile for companies to take a look outside their own portfolio. It is possible that new sales channels and offers can be developed that sustainably promote growth. In this way, companies can keep up with complex customer requirements and continue to operate successfully in the market.