Contact centers and CRM systems are vital in the sales process, and as customers have demonstrated increased selectivity in the companies they purchase from, each of these tools have undergone key transitions.
The call center has long been important to enterprise operations in its ability to reduce the cost of non-core functions, and during the economic downturn a few years back cutting costs became the primary focus in order for the industry to survive. In recent years, however, contact centers are employing a more customer-centric focus to better respond to client needs. The macro trend of more selective brand preferences has generated a marked increase in contact centers' concentration on loyalty, as evinced in ICMI's recent report which identified â€˜service level' to be a key factor in how approximately 70 percent of surveyed contact centers measure success. In turn, centers have adopted multi-channel approaches in order to maintain satisfaction and increase loyalty among customers who seek simple, convenient communication.
As contact centers seek to better serve their clients, CRM solutions are similarly drawing upon multiple channels to better understand them. Integrating behavioral data gleaned from social media providers into CRM systems has become not only mainstream but critical in successful selling, as online communities now hold a fundamental role in customers' social presence. Such data, involving lifestyle cues and purchasing behavior, can be used in segmentation strategies that amplify the power of CRM in sales targeting. The integration process, however, has not proved to be flawless for all brands in this transitional phase; an eMarketer survey conducted in December of 2011 determined that although 91 percent of participating companies engaged in one-way communication through Facebook, 56 percent failed to respond to posts on their page.
Thus, as companies better utilize their contact centers and CRM systems they mustn't cut corners in implementation if they seek to properly leverage customer insights into maximizing loyalty.