The move into the digital age has meant that marketers and managers have whole new arrays of tools to use in order to maximize their workflow’s productivity, understand the most loyal customers, and attract new audiences. The huge amounts of data that companies can collect about their products as well as their customers has inspired the rise of apps and support software that helps business leaders and executives make decisions based on this huge volume of data. It is an exciting time to be in business!
Using Software to Understand Data
This trend is exemplified in the new field of customer relationship management. CRM tools enable a business to get a bird’s eye view of the way someone interacts with their brand, from first awareness to purchase. Beyond just reporting information, CRM software from providers like Salesforce can also automate and optimize many stages of interacting with customers by unifying data and outreach into a central pipeline. The executive toolset in CRM suites is a powerful means to make use of the data that pours into companies with an Internet presence. It is one thing to possess this data, but quite another to understand how to use it. CRM software makes that possible.
There are similar tools for many different areas of the customer’s relationship with the company. For example, while the most flashy aspect of the customer relationship is how sales are generated, one that is at least as important for maintaining loyal customers is the technical support and customer service. It’s not as glamorous, but on customer having a bad experience can do far worse that stop buying or ask for a refund- they can tell everyone they know, online or offline, to avoid the brand. Each contact with customer service needs careful handling and attention, because nothing sinks a brand faster than a reputation for bad customer service. Zendesk apps are customized to help in managing this specific aspect of customer relations, by aggregating social media into a unified platform, automatically creating and managing tickets from support calls, and creating environments for email and chat communication with customers. These kinds of tools make it much easier to both ensure that each customer has a good experience and track whether there are recurring problems or other patterns that might need executive attention.
There is even a tier beyond these specialized CRM solutions. Third party apps offer the ability to plug into your company’s internal network, pull out data, and integrate it with Zendesk, Salesforce, or any other CRM platform you care to use. That way, if you like the functionality of several different suites of CRM software, you can combine them all into one interface and manage them directly. A major theme in CRM is automation and aggregation. Try to automate as many tasks as possible and present aggregated data that tells a specific story about the relationship between customers and the brand. Apps move even further in this direction by uniting many different approaches to CRM and making them all easily available to decision makers.
The Impact of Data Analytics
All of these tools have only begun to appear on the digital marketplace recently, but they have already begun to change the whole landscape of marketing and business. Customer support, sales, design, marketing, IT: these are not individual parts of a company. They all combine to form the entire customer-facing side of the enterprise, and any given customer could interact with any of them at any time. Customer-centered software strives to present a view of the company as a customer might see it- not as individual departments but as a monolithic whole, with different outlets that provide different services. This viewpoint allows executives to understand what they need to do to improve the relationship that customers have with the business. One of the most important aspects of business is developing relationships with customers, no matter who those customers are. So customer relationship engagement is more than just a data gimmick- it’s a way to understand every customer relationship with the company. That is the way to build a growing business that has a core of loyal customers and an expanding new audience. No matter what sector you are in, analytical software tools are sure to have a transformative effect on the way you do business in one way or another.