CRM Is More Than Software – Technology On Its Own Does Not Create A Competitive Advantage [5 Reading Tips]

crm, customer relationship management, challenges, data silos
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Personalisation is essential to the successful creation of digital customer relationships and thus for long-term success. Addressing customers individually is far more than sending an e-mail with the correct name. 360-degree customer focus is required, which in turn covers all touchpoints of the customer journey. In order to master all these mammoth tasks, companies need a reliable and central source of supply, the so-called »Single Point of Truth« for customer relationship management.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the topic CRM has recently become more and more important for companies. Consequently, more and more money is invested in CRM projects as well. However, according to a study conducted by Uniserv, 62 per cent of companies are not satisfied with the management of their customer data. What does this tell us about the status quo of this important technology in digital business and which challenges do retailers, manufacturers and brands currently face in this regard?

Status Quo Of The CRM Software Market

Not only common sense, but also figures show that CRM continues to experience unstoppable growth. According to Gartner, the global market for customer experience and relationship management software (CRM) grew by 15.6 percent in 2018. The total expenditure of companies on CRM amounted to 48.2 billion US dollars. This also means that CRM software is the fastest growing business application software.

It is another important finding that cloud-based CRM systems are the preferred software for almost three quarters of companies. This is not least proven by the fast decline of on-premise solutions. Gartner expects the cloud business to grow by 75 per cent in 2019.

Amongst other things, the advantages of a SaaS CRM model are the following:

  • It is easy to implement.
  • Its deployment is affordable and flexible (remote or mobile).
  • It goes hand in hand with agile business processes.
  • It is suitable for the usage of AI-based applications.

Regarding CRM vendors, Salesforce remains in first place with a market share of 19.5 per cent, followed by SAP (8.3 per cent), Oracle (5.5 per cent), Adobe (5.1 per cent) and Microsoft (2.7 per cent). It is not an easy task to choose the right CRM vendor. This is why we show you a comparison of different CRM vendors as well as a variety of specific use cases for B2C and B2B.

CRM Systems – Data Silos Inhibit Efficiency

The entire data set indicates that CRM is mainly deployed with the ultimate goal of strengthening customer loyalty and improving customer satisfaction. However, more than half of the companies are not satisfied with the performance. What is the problem? What is done wrong?

Data silos are still deeply rooted in the functionality and structure of many companies.  According to the above-mentioned study, one out of two complains that customer data is saved and managed in separate systems. This isolated data storage lowers the quality of customer data in particular. Therefore, more than three quarters of respondents (79 per cent) believe that data quality has to be optimised in their companies.

In most cases, there is also a lack of coordination between company departments. 64 per cent of respondents use several department solutions to manage customer data, for example customer relationship management (CRM) systems (81 per cent), ticket and customer support solutions (42 per cent) or marketing automation tools (39 per cent).

This scenario mainly occurs in omnichannel environments where the offline way of thinking is still very present. In this regard, the biggest challenges are the separation of communication and sales channels as well as the linking of offline and online advertising campaigns.

In contrast to what one might think, however, there are also data silos in e-commerce environments and many pure players have problems with customer data management, in particular because different tools and programmes collect, process and analyse data. Moreover, these tasks are also taken care of by different departments.

CRM Systems – Strength Lies In Uniformity

Today, the huge challenge for companies lies in managing a large amount of data effectively and efficiently, which, in turn, is processed by different tools and devices. In this context, customer data platforms could be a possible solution to minimise data silos and to get a better view of one’s own customers. The large CRM vendors (Salesforce, SAP, Adobe and Microsoft) were actually quick in announcing that they already have CDPs in their portfolio. The reduction of data silos, however, does not just revolve around technical, but also mental and structural aspects.

Our 5 Reading Tips Of The Week

CRM-Probleme im E-Commerce: Der unbekannte Kunde [Internet World Business]

Vom Dashbutton zum Decision Making [Computerwoche]

Erst ein vernetztes CRM eröffnet Handlungsoptionen [Channelpartner]

AI And CRM: Will Customer Management Get Easier? [Forbes]

3 ways to leverage CRM data to boost retail sales [digitalcommerce360]

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