The magic of integration
For CRM to really work its magic, integration must be a crucial ingredient
If we accept that knowledge of a customer is even more important than performance of your product, then CRM can be a key differentiator, and a key to business survival.
Where product innovation is the only thing constant in a changing world, and new global players driving price competitiveness, a business needs to ensure they become indispensable to their clients. But services such as customer support are only as valuable as the customer views them to be.
So, the more a company knows about a customer’s needs, and tailors its offer accordingly, the greater the value it can provide that customer. If a customer places a high value on your knowledge of their needs, then they face the prospect of significant disruption if they were to switch suppliers. Good service and valuable insight, through use of CRM strategies, can help retain a customer (and their value) for a longer period of time.
However that accurate knowledge can only be attained if a robust CRM strategy is implemented with integration - a joined up view - as its foundation. Quite simply you need one complete view of the customer, easily accessed by the many departments that deal with your customer's business.
A good CRM implementation facilitates joined-up thinking, and from this, genuine value can be delivered. It enables individuals from all a business' departments to access the "right" information - so there are no mistakes about who customers are, what they need, and how valuable they are to the business.
Unsurprisingly, this same capability also saves CRM users time in looking for and inputting data and frees up management time to actually act on the information. A successful outcome for all stakeholders.