Why do some companies succeed while others fail? With 8 out of 10 businesses failing (yes, the failure rate is very high!), this question assumes tremendous importance. There are plenty of reasons, why even some of the most highly vaunted businesses fail, but one reason stands out – Their inability to deliver a satisfying customer experience.
What businesses tend to forget many a times is that they might be offering some fantastic products/services, but target customers will only buy them, if they are promised and delivered a fantastic customer experience. Businesses who don’t invest in customer relationship building soon find their sales taking a hit and if something is not done about it, they might soon have to down their shutters.
Most businesses, if asked, will tell you that defining a customer relationship management policy is easy, but its implementation can be really very difficult. Some cite lack of resources for their inability to offer great customer support and some say they cannot manage and control customer support activities, especially if their business is growing rapidly. But the fact of the matter is, irrespective of the problems, you still have to deliver a highly satisfying customer experience.
So, how do you face these mounting challenges? The solution lies in cloud computing. Cloud computing has come like an answer to the prayers of companies who couldn’t seem to come to grips with their customer service responsibilities.
Customers these days don’t demand a satisfying customer support; what they are looking for is sustained customer engagement that can deliver a richer and more fruitful customer experience. As can be imagined, it will be a test to come good on their expectations, but not if you leverage the immense potential of cloud computing.
CRM is Getting Cheaper Courtesy the Cloud
Most businesses, irrespective of their size go the automation route to manage relationships with their customers. They buy proprietary CRM systems to improve customer support. The problem in this case is CRM systems don’t come cheap. Also, you’ll need to keep upgrading your systems to keep pace with your business’s strategic growth. Things can reach a point, where you desperately need a CRM system upgrade, but cannot afford it. In a worst case scenario, this can result in deteriorating customer relationships and typically, such situations are impossible to salvage.
Enter the cloud.
41% of CRM systems are SaaS based, meaning they can be accessed via Cloud. The emergence of cloud-based CRMs has dramatically reduced costs associated with integrating an advanced CRM system in a business’s existing IT environment. Cloud-based applications have a subscription-based business model, so all a business needs to do is sign up for a pay-as-you-use plan and scale up the plan as and when required (they can also scale down, if there is a slowdown).
Optimize Your Frontline
While there is no doubt each and every department of your company must work towards improving customer experience, you will have a group of people who are at the frontline of your efforts to trigger more meaningful customer engagement. These people need to collaborate with each other and the people handling the back end processes; this helps them take care of customer queries and feedback, effectively. They need to get a ringside view of every customer centric activity, so that they are able to play a powerful role in enhancing customer experience.
This is not possible without making an investment in technology, especially cloud technology. You’ve got plenty of service providers for e.g. Salesforce, who are coming up with really radical cloud based customer engagement solutions that help businesses seamlessly manage their customer service efforts. These solutions ensure that all customer facing processes of a business perform optimally and deliver immense value to the organization.
The great thing about cloud technology is that you have the option of choosing from an array of CRM systems; all you need to do is get a clear idea of your needs and requirements and choose a solution that satisfies these needs. In fact, you need to be very careful about the SaaS based system you pick; there will be plenty of service providers vying for your attention. The idea is to pick a system on the basis of its features and functionality rather than pricing. Make no mistake – cost should be an important parameter, but not the basis of your selection.
Innovation for Better Customer Experience
There are times, when businesses don’t score with their customer service efforts because they are afraid of pushing the envelope. This usually results in an inability to meet customer expectations. The use of cloud gives them the scope to innovate as it enhances operational flexibility and scalability. Business can transform their customer relationship models quickly to meet the expectations of target customers. You can collect customer data from various sources (utilize big data), analyze it, evaluate it and use it to create new customer engagement processes that help you build more sold customer relationships.
Basically, the cloud helps you keep pace with the demands of the market. It also enhances business agility and enables you to make changes to your business’s tech infrastructure if and when needed; this in turn helps you easily achieve your customer relationship goals.
Customer experience is based on a truckload of variables; and most of them are not in your control. Cloud computing helps you approach customer service, support and engagement with a great deal of confidence, irrespective of the variables. You can make better sense of all the customer intelligence you have at your disposal and put it to good use. Think of it this way – The cloud helps make sure there are no ifs and buts to your customer experience strategy. You can approach it in a more sure footed manner.
(Lead image source: George Thomas)
More about Customer Experience
Interested in improving the customer experience of your business? Be sure to check out our other customer experience articles:
- 16 Best Customer Experience (CX) Enterprise Software Platforms
- Improve Your Customer Experience With Virtual Offices
- Customer User Experience For SMEs
- User Experience Challenges In Customer Relationship Management Strategy Planning
(Lead image: Depositphotos)