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A Brief Look at Salesforce’s Einstein Vision for Social Studio

A Brief Look at Salesforce’s Einstein Vision for Social Studio

There was a time when social media was purely limited to text. However, as time passed on, social media evolved into a medium that was more dependent on visuals that just plain old text. There’s nothing surprising about that. After all, that’s what technological tools do – they evolve to offer better capabilities.

When images became a core part of social media, it didn’t take long for the idea to catch on. Soon, users began to share images and use them as expressions of their own feelings and opinions. People today share more images on social media than they did once with text. To put it simply, images are the way to go now.

A recent survey from Deloitte found that, in 2016, social media users had shared over 2 trillion photos. This is a number that continues to increase. Social media will continue to be a primary platform through which these images are shared.

The images shared by social media users range from special occasions to the meals they’re gorging on. Anything that catches their fancy is immediately clicked, collected and shared for everyone to see. So, what does this mean for sales teams and marketers?

Well, images shared via social media do offer a peek into the minds of the average social media user, who is also a customer. They can tell us about what the customer values and what his/her preferences are likely to be. In other words, image sharing offers marketers data that can be really helpful in developing effective marketing strategies.

However, there’s a problem. Unlike text, images cannot be monitored. So, when your customers post an image that communicates an opinion about your brand, you’re probably not going to even notice it. This is a major problem considering the fact that most of the social media sharing today is image-based.

You could end up missing out on a range of opportunities that would have allowed you to engage with the customer better or understand their needs better.

This is exactly what’s wrong with most of the social media monitoring tools that we currently use. They only track text, which means you’re only listening to a small percentage of all social media conversations. You are kept totally in the dark about all the other messages that are being passed around about your brand in the form of images.

Fortunately, thanks to Salesforce, we’ve now got the solution.

Salesforce to the Rescue

Last month, Salesforce launched a tool called “Einstein Vision for Social Studio”, which allows marketers to actually monitor and track images that are shared on social media platforms. The tool is currently run with the help of Salesforce’s Einstein Vision service, which wasn’t launched recently as well.

With Einstein Vision for Social Studio, businesses can now rely on context when interpreting social media conversations. For instance, a business can tally the number of brand mentions with the number of logo appearances to determine engagement levels. This can provide marketers with an idea of how impactful their recent campaign was.

Key Features

Einstein Vision for Social Studio offers these 3 key benefits to marketers:

  • It offers visual data, allowing for businesses to gain a more in-depth perception of what their customers are really like. This can lead to business decisions that are far more informed. For example, images of the latest parties or events within a region can tell event management firms what kind of party or event themes are doing well in a particular month or season.
  • It allows marketers to get a better idea of how their social advertising campaigns have worked. For instance, images from a brand sponsored event can be tracked to determine whether such events provide the necessary amount of brand lift.
  • It allows marketers to monitor social media feeds to know how their products are being delivered or utilized. This can help them develop proactive measures to improve the customer’s user experience.

Currently, the tool only works with Twitter. However, Salesforce plans to include other platforms eventually.

 

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Key Steps Involved in Implementing Dynamics 365

Key Steps Involved in Implementing Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 hit the markets not too long ago. It’s simply a cloud service that Microsoft came up with to offer all of its Dynamics products within a single package. So, it’s not uncommon for organizations to assume that 365 will be easy to implement. However, it’s actually quite complicated.

Even so, it’s worth putting in the effort considering the fact that this solution doesn’t have interval-based updates. Rather, the updates are in real time. Other than that, it offers a range of features and functions that simplify operations. Dynamics 365 is now a core offering among all other Dynamics products.

For starters, it allows organizations to truly experience what CRM or Customer Relationship Management is all about. There are far more options in terms of changes and customization, which means, outcomes are far better. However, this has led to an increase in complexity as well. So, organizations need to factor in more than just basic implementation.

So, naturally, there’s a lot that you need to know about Dynamics 365 implementation. Here are a few key steps to start with.

Planning

Naturally, you need to have a plan before you start anything. It is a crucial part of every implementation project. You will need to make sure that, each phase of the implementation process  is planned. This is very true with Dynamics 365 implementation.

Dynamics 365 operations occur online and that means your updates are going to occur in real time. So, not only do you need to plan, you need to plan ahead. You need to be ready and always a step ahead. You must be able to anticipate the various outcomes and instance while also knowing what kind of responses or actions are required for each scenario.

That way, you will reduce the chances of adverse changes in your outcomes with the development and production phases.

Key Steps Involved in Implementing Dynamics 365

Assess the Functionalities

Before you collect client requirements, take a look at the functionalities offered by Dynamics 365 once again. As stated earlier, updates for 365 occur in real time, which means you’re to going have new add-ons or functionalities being included frequently.

So, keep yourself updated on what Dynamics 365 can do for you today. This is far better than relying on custom components.

Keep Stakeholders Informed

Now, it’s quite obvious that your stakeholders will want to know what you’re up to. This includes knowing about the latest developments, especially ones concerned with the introduction of a new capability or offering. That means you will need a robust strategy that convinces your stakeholders about the viability of the new offering or capability.

So, how can you convince them to show support for Dynamics 365?

Well, you carry out a presentation within the context of a business scenario. Avoid focusing on what the solution can or cannot. Your stakeholders want to know how Dynamics 365 contributes to the bottom line and that’s exactly what you need to emphasize.

Don’t Ignore the Benefits of Using Other Resources

Let’s face it – no solution is truly effective until there are other resources paired with it. So, make the most of the resources available to you. Don’t ignore them. In fact, you should look out for other resources that might be helpful.

Additional resources to support your implementation will simplify the overall process and also, provide ideal results.

Keep Your Stakeholders on the Same Page 

When you are about to exit the implementation process, make sure all your stakeholders are on the same page. It might take time, but, trust us, it’s much better to compromise on time than to have your stakeholders stuck at different levels in the implementation process.

 

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Here’s Why Your Sales Team Is Averse to CRM Systems

Why Your Sales Team Is Averse to CRM Systems

Most organizations and their respective sales teams have a hard time with CRM adoption. This isn’t a random statement. This is a fact. Look at any study or statistic and you’ll find that CRM adoption rate is less than 50% and the failure rate is often more than that.

So, why do sales teams have an issue making the most of a CRM system? Well, we’ve listed out some of the key reasons below. Once you’ve got an idea of what ticks off your sales team, you can use the knowledge to invest in a CRM system that can address all these issues.

 

Sweating the Small Stuff

One reason why sales teams have a problem with your CRM system is that it forces them to sweat the small stuff. Yup, we’re talking about those mundane daily tasks that shouldn’t be a concern with an effective CRM system.

You see, salespersons already have a lot on their plate trying to create trust and communicating with their leads through various channels. They simply don’t have the time to stay updated on everything. So, it is only right for them to have certain expectations of their CRM system.

In this case, it’s the small stuff such as meetings, reminders, and follow-up calls etc.

Sweating the Big Stuff

CRM systems aren’t just there to help with the small stuff. They’re also here to help with the big stuff. In fact, the big stuff is more of a priority than the small stuff. What we are referring to here are capabilities such as:

    • Data analytics to help figure out a lead’s potential or how to approach a certain lead. For example, voice analytics can help determine why some sales reps are better at closing than others. The insights gained through this can be shared in the form of best practices to boost the overall closing rate.
    • AI functionalities that can advise on the ideal action or response and determine the status of existing customer relationships. According to CSO Insights, more than 40% of sales reps expect CRM systems to assist with tasks such as account prioritization.

      Mobile Support

Your CRM system needs to offer support for mobile devices. This can’t be stated enough. Mobile is the future and if any of your enterprise applications fail to incorporate mobile support, you’re going to have a problem. Statistics tell us that mobile-friendly CRM systems allow their adopters to boost business by almost 22%.

This is because such systems allow sales teams to have constant access to customer/lead profiles.

Staying on Top of Data

A core service offered by effective CRM systems is data recording and updating. If your sales team is forced to manually log or update data, it ends up becoming counterproductive to the whole idea of having a CRM system in the first place.Other than that, you’re also looking at human error and the possibility of the entered data being highly unusable.

Effective CRM systems must be able to help sales teams make the most of customer data. For that to happen, the CRM system must be able to offer a simple logging process, avoid data duplication, reduce the number of required fields etc.

Also, effective CRM systems have the ability to integrate with other enterprise applications such as your marketing automation systems or accounting systems. This kind of integration can also contribute to the reduction of manual logging, thereby, boosting the amount of productive time available.

Plus, there is also the benefit of improved accuracy.

Complications!

Complicated CRM systems have a high “adoption failure rate”. So, when choosing a CRM system, look for factors such as easy navigation etc. Focus on critical features and be ready to drop the not so critical ones. Other than that, create CRM leaders who can assist your sales teams and organize user training session in collaboration with your vendor.

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Follow These Best Practices for Lead Management

Follow These Best Practices for Lead Management

Leads are what drive a business and if you have problems generating them or even managing them, don’t be surprised if your business shuts down eventually. Lead management is a very important process. In fact, it’s just as important as generating them. Poor lead management is as good as not having any.

So, how does a business make sure their existing leads provide the value they are looking for? Well, there’s only one way and it’s through the structured and systematic application of best practices. By applying these best practices, you can nurture your leads and turn them into proper opportunities that sales can leverage towards the end of the cycle.

Here are some of the best practices that we’ve been talking about.

 

Identify the Ideal Lead

One of the first things to do with regard to lead management is to make sure you know who your ideal leads are. This involves figuring out their interest, pain points, preferred communication methods/channels, and their exact position with regards to the buying process.

By figuring out all of that, it becomes easier to determine if the concerned lead is ready to be promoted to the sales side of things. Also, make sure you pass on your insights on the ideal lead to your marketing and sales team.

Attract Your Leads

Once you know who your perfect leads, start attracting them with the kind of content they would engage with. For instance, a recent study found that blogging was able to generate around 67% more leads. Of course, you might find that there are other marketing tactics that work better for you. But, the point here is that by providing your customers with what they want, you are creating opportunities to influence their decisions. You are building a relationship where you now have the power to persuade them while also understanding them on a deeper level.

So, figure out your leads and divide them further and target each division with appropriate messages

Position Marketing and Sales Teams Accordingly

The marketing and sales teams are your two most valuable entities. They need to be aware of strategy and tactic in place. So, make sure that there is a kind of mutual agreement between them that allows for the efficient working of a lead.

For example, you can establish a centralized lead database that both teams have immediate access to. This will allow them to gain insights that they can exploit in a coordinated fashion.

Nurture Your Leads

Nurturing your leads involves establishing relationships with key prospects and retaining the lesser qualified ones for eventual opportunities. Ironically, most businesses tend to forget this practice completely. Don’t make this mistake.

The other thing to remember is that lead nurturing must continue until you’re sure that they are perfect leads. Never forward a lead to sales if it doesn’t achieve the minimum lead-score. Keep nurturing them with offers and benefits at every step of the funnel.

Automate

Automation is a necessity for businesses that are on the path to expansion. However, if you’re a small business, you might face the dilemma of having to choose between changing an ineffective process and automating. We suggest you choose the latter option.

In this case, it is far more effective to simply reboot your approach with the proper tools.

Filter Your Data

Make sure you only have high-quality to rely upon. Do not waste time and risk failure by holding on to data that is not relevant.

Look for Feedback

Continue gaining insights even after the closure of a deal by establishing a feedback system/mechanism. The feedback that you collect will help you streamline the lead management process even further.

 

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Sales Management Evolution-4 Key Stages

Sales Management Evolution-4 Key Stages

When it comes to sales management, you’re likely to come across two kinds of managers. The first one notices the market declining and decides to manage that over everything else. In this scenario, the only result you can possibly expect is a decline in sales as well.

The second type of manager is the kind who decides to leverage the decline and increase the brand’s market share. This is a bold manager with vision who knows how the game is played. Managers of this kind have no problems achieving results even in the most challenging scenario.

But, if you were to dig deeper, you would find that these managers follow a pattern; a pattern that is broken down into 4 stages, with the 4th one being the most evolved stage. In this blog, we are going to explore these 4 stages even further.

 

Stage: One 

This is the stage at which most companies begin their journey and it can be best described as being chaotic or without rules. There is no structure in place and the sales team is simply commanded to go make a sale. Needless to say, such a scenario can lead to all kinds of problems and conflicts.

That’s when the person running the business decides to introduce some sense of a structure by hiring a sales manager.

Stage: Two 

In stage 2, we start to see a system in place or something that’s close enough to an actual system. The sales manager, at this stage, functions as though he/she were conducting a survey. He/she tries to make the sales team feel valued and comfortable.

The sales team is provided with everything they need, which is fine as long as the sales team can continue contributing to the brand’s growth.

However, all good things come to an end and the cracks start to appear. A common problem that plagues stage 2 is self-interest. When all their needs are met easily, salespeople, especially the ones higher on the success ladder, tend to develop an attitude of “I’m only supposed to sell. That’s my job”.

In other words, stage 2 becomes toxic. The manager is forced to deal with complaints of unfairness and other issues such as low productivity.

This is when a stronger sales manager is called in; someone who won’t hesitate to fire salespeople who aren’t contributing and someone who can restore order. That brings us to stage 3.

Stage: Three 

The stage 3 managers begin to standardize the system and show the door to non-performers. The profits go up and prices are raised. The stage 3 manager functions as a CFO cum owner. This person is invested in expanding the business and doing what’s best for it.

However, this is the trickiest stage as many companies tend to fall into a false sense of comfort assuming that there isn’t much else to do. In other words, they don’t strive for stage 4. That brings us to the question of what stage 4 looks like.

Stage: Four 

Stage 4 is when the hired manager is a proper businessman capable of transforming the team. He/she can identify the non-performers and work towards motivating them. A stage 3 manager only hires and fires; a stage 4 manager transforms. They can play with the cards that they’ve been dealt.

There are 3 key changes that the stage 4 manager does. He/she establishes a do or die culture while celebrating the entire sales team, establishes a selling process, and provides the tools needed for the team to do what’s necessary.

 

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IOT and its Benefits in Businesses

IOT and its Benefits in Businesses

What is IOT

IOT or Internet of Things is the way of interconnecting physical devices, smart devices and other embedded devices which includes sensor, electronic circuit, software with some network that allows exchange of data between the two. In a nutshell a thing can be represented as any physical entity having some sensors or electronic module which gets connected to ‘internet’ or a network making the term Internet of Things. Let’s take an example of smart home, here the entity smart home works as a ‘Thing’ which is connected to internet allowing the user to remotely control, monitor the electronic devices at home.

Why IOT

IOT helps the consumers, businessmen and people from all sections of society to ease their daily life activities and deliver a better optimized outputs. IoT can significantly reduce the overall production expenditure in an organization by streamlining the processes using the analytical data from its sensors, which thus helps in generating a better revenue. This approach has a massive potential to transform any business and take to a much higher level.

Scope of IOT

Researchers have already forecasted that by the year 2020 the number of IOT devices in market will grow to 30 billion from the current value of 10 billion. These type of predictions are very well supported by the growing market of smart devices. IOT is a game changer that can help organizations in improving their productivity by using various services provided by it like analytics, security etc. Various industries like finance, retail, petroleum can take the aid of IOT in order to increase benefits by taking more intelligent decisions backed through interactional  data, which is ready at disposal.

 

Optimized Operational Output–. IOT reduces human involvement and energy costs by using real-time data from sensors to monitor and enhance process efficiency. The data obtained can be used to minimize downtime due to maintenance, inventory, as well as time to market.

 

Improved security: – IOT not only resolve problems faster by coordinating with team but also helps business to improve workplace safety by using sensors and cameras which help monitoring equipment.

 

Better Asset Management: Real-time data obtained from sensors is used by IoT to monitor and improve efficiency, promote automation and reduce energy costs. The obtained data can be used in minimizing various roadblocks like maintenance or inventory downtime.

 

Improved Decision Making: Organizations can implement real-time operational insights to make smarter and faster business decisions and reduce operational costs. IOT helps in prioritizing and distributing all business decisions.

 

Better Cost BenefitsInternet of Things (IoT) can boost the productivity and efficiency significantly in an organization through better assets and resources utilization.

 

IoT not only resolve problems faster by coordinating with team but also helps business to improve workplace safety by using sensors and cameras which help monitoring equipment.

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GDPR and Its Impact on Microsoft Dynamics 365

GDPR and Its Impact on Microsoft Dynamics 365

If you’ve been keeping a track of news surrounding the subject of data security, especially in Europe, you’re likely to have heard about the GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation. Though you might have read enough about it, you probably still have a few unanswered questions.

 

Well, we are going to help you out by giving you a good idea of what GDPR is. More importantly, we are going to tell you how GDPR is going to impact your use of Microsoft Dynamics 365.

 

Understanding GDPR

The GDPR is a major update to existing European Union Privacy Laws. The last time we saw updates being made was 20 years ago. The GDPR is a much-needed addition considering the fact that technology today has evolved drastically. It’s time that there were laws such as this in place to combat data and privacy threats.

 

The GDPR actually replaces the older DPD or Data Protection Directive, which came into play all the way back in 1995. This was a time when web technology was still taking root. However, we now live in an era that is made up of cloud services and mobile access. So, needless to say, GDPR is something we really require.

 

Several of the regulations under DPD became obsolete, which set the motion for new data security laws to be passed within the EU.

 

In essence, GDPR’s objective is to make sure organizations and businesses protect personal data, irrespective of where it’s stored, sent or sourced from. To put it simply, businesses/organization will have a greater responsibility with regard to data protection and security.

 

The new regulation covers every entity; right from private corporations to even government agencies and NGOs.

However, GDPR’s regulations are not uniform. They will vary from member state to member state. This is due to the fact that EU’s member states are, at the end of the day, independent countries with their own laws and regulations.

 

The penalty for not adhering to GDPR will result in a fine that can be as much as 4% of the offending organization’s annual revenue or 20 million euros.

 

Currently, organizations have been given a time of 2 years to transition into a state of compliance with GDPR. The GDPR will go into full effect on 25th May 2018.

 

What are organizations required to do?

The key focus will be on privacy policies. GDPR will require privacy policies to be more comprehensive and detailed. The policies will also have to be written in language that is plain and understandable. Legal representatives will have to be hired in order to review these policies and clear them as being GDPR ready.

 

GDPR will also regulate permissions. In other words, opted-in email addresses belonging to customers will be beyond the access of companies after a period of inactivity.

 

Needless to say, this will affect CRM efforts and strategies.

 

Microsoft has already released a 5-step plan to help users of Dynamics 365 adapt to the new changes. For starters, the tech giant will be including 3 new commitments into existing contracts to enable automatic compliance with GDPR.

 

So, Dynamics 365 users can be sure that their version of the CRM tool will be updated to be compliant with GDPR.

 

There will be a more dedicated focus on granting access privileges according to individual records and job titles. Highly sensitive areas will see greater restriction.

 

Access and control of data in the Dynamics 365 environment will be given more priority now. Solutions such as Azure Active Directory and Azure AD Privileged Identity Management will be implemented to make user management easier and heavily regulate access via control and reporting.

 

 

 

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What to Expect from Salesforce’s New Einstein Analytics

What to Expect from Salesforce’s New Einstein Analytics

If you’ve been keeping track of all things Salesforce related, you’ve probably already heard about the CRM’s new Einstein Analytics feature. Einstein Analytics comes exactly a year after Salesforce launched an AI-based tool for its Customer Success Platform. Now, Einstein Analytics takes things further.

In essence, it is predictive tool aimed at sales and marketing functions. In addition, Salesforce has also re-branded BeyondCore and is now calling it “Einstein Data Discovery”. Now, Einstein Analytics, as already mentioned, is aimed at assisting service agents, marketers, and sales representatives. It provides them with the key insights needed to make customer interaction much more intelligent while eliminating dependence on mathematical models or algorithms. Here are some of the key benefits that you can expect with the new Einstein Analytics.

 

Optimized Workflows

Salesforce will now make it possible for its customers to access advanced analytics. Einstein Analytics takes the Artificial Intelligence aspect one step further and simplifies the complete analytics workflow. For example, CRM related insights are automatically mined and used to provide suggestions on how customer service, sales, and marketing can be improved. This is very important considering the fact that there is tremendous growth in the amount of customer data produced. It is beyond the ability of marketing or sales teams to spot each trend or make sense of near-infinite correlations.

Contextual Analytics

Einstein Analytics offers a range of apps that are contextually relevant. These apps help users explore a variety of data to reveal powerful insights. This includes everything from a basic sales pipeline dashboard to highly critical decisions concerning forecasting.

 

The Einstein Data Discovery tool, powered by AI, has the capacity to analyze several billion combinations of data and prescribe recommended solutions and even predict possible outcomes. As stated earlier, this allows sales and marketing teams to enjoy smarter interactions with the customer.

 

Account Insights

There is also an Einstein Account Insights tool that provides sales teams with the latest news on topics such as financial results and mergers & acquisitions.  These insights can be leveraged using Salesforce Engage by the sales team to produce personalized marketing messages and get in touch with leads from existing accounts. The Insights tool provides an interactive dashboard as well that allows the tracking the impact made by the marketing messages. This includes monitoring click-through rates and even the exact moment of clicking. Campaign effectiveness can be measured as well, via a single dashboard that displays B2B Marketing and Sales Analytics.

Salesforce is also considering the launch of Multi-Touch Campaign Insights to help marketers identify what aspects of a campaign are effective and how they can boost sales for individual accounts.

Actionable AI

The Einstein Discovery tool can carry out statistical analysis to determine the validity of a trend and provide an explanation for the identified patterns. The explanations are communicated in a manner that is easy to decipher for the user.

 

The tool also offers recommendations on what actions need to be taken and even allows the user to present the findings via slide presentations and visualizations that are generated automatically. By doing so, it actually provides a complete analytics workflow.

 

The Einstein Discovery tool works with Salesforce CRM to generate feedback and also improve insights by leveraging the power of human intuition. In other words, sales teams can determine what exactly needs to be done. Sales teams are guided at each step and stimulated with queries that they might ignore or even fail to consider. For instance, the Sales Analytics app can carry out an analysis of several deals using Einstein Discovery and identify key factors that impact the closing of a deal.

 

This can be done for a range of markets and industries. Additionally, users can actually access the algorithms and models used by Einstein Analytics to see how it derives recommendations and predictions.

 

 

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Factors Enhancing Successful CRM

Factors Enhancing Successful CRM

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management which incorporates data-driven strategies to improve the way of interaction between businesses and its customers. CRM business programs and applications are designed to manage customer relationship with the goal of enhancing business relations with customers while increasing a steady flow of sales growth.

With many CRM software available in the market, the one that everyone is talking about is Microsoft Dynamics 365, which covers the full spectrum of CRM through separate apps integrally working together- Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Automation, and Marketing.

 

While implementing an effective CRM system is a crucial business venture for your organization, there are a few important factors to consider for executing a successful CRM system.

 

 

Comprehend strategies

 

For satisfying and growing customer relationships, CRM uses IT and Business Practice Solution strategies. Therefore, a thorough planning about using the CRM system to satisfy your customer goes a long way to establishing a driving sales force.

 

Strategy comes first

 

Take into account your business strategy first. Most companies want to achieve success by implementing latest technology and gadgets without having a properly designed strategy. Deploying highly advanced state-of-the-art CRM systems without clearly chalking out business strategy will be detrimental to the growth of your company.

Effective planning

 

A CRM implementation plan is as vital and crucial as your original business plan, and therefore it needs equal attention. Making a clear and logical plan and following it should be one of the most important priorities in a successful CRM system. Think practically and chalk out what needs to be done and at what time it is to be done. Planning the implementation in short phases will help accomplish a greater number of small successes.

 

Communication

 

One of the most important factors of CRM implementation is direct interaction with customers. Talk to your customers directly and get valuable customer inputs. Address customer complaints, comments, and their recommendations to redesign and enhance the dark areas of your CRM system.

 

Upsell drives sales force

 

Products or services which form the best upsell are usually complementary to your initial product. For example, when you buy a dress, the sales assistant will show you a nice belt or any other accessory that goes with the dress. Hence, use your CRM system to immediately upsell a product to the customer. Post-purchase, look up the purchase history to display products which are related yet not bought by the customer so that you can recommend those related products to him or her. This process will boost up CRM sales force.

 

Defining data

 

Redefining data for a new database is a must-have for the successful running of CRM software. Formulate clearly as to what data needs to be imported and what has to be scrubbed clean. This will help your computer to work efficiently with the new clean data. There may be some amount of dissatisfaction for not being able to store all historical data at one place but it will ultimately help in faster and more accurate reporting.

 

Constantly update yourself

 

Successful CRM software demands a company to learn, acquire and manage brand new business processes and evolve constantly with the help of supported technologies which is a tough job to handle.

 

The above-mentioned points clearly elucidate the fact that the success of a CRM system is not based on a single but a host of crucial factors including latest technology, business strategies, and effective planning. It is important to realize that though technology is bound to change in due course of time, customer satisfaction and loyalty will and should remain the same, which only an effective CRM system can ensure.

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The Need Of CRM in Hotel Industry

The Need Of CRM in Hotel Industry

Customer satisfaction plays an extremely important role in any business. It is the customer’s feedback about a product or service that determines its success and translates into profit for the company. This is especially true for service based industries like hotel, tourism or transport industries. All successful businesses in the world today thrive on customer relations rather than the quality of their products alone. It is crucial to identify, create and maintain a dedicated customer base in today’s competitive market.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) not only builds a comprehensive database containing all information pertaining to the customers, but it also facilitates the company’s long term growth by forging strong ties with the customers.

CRM is a business approach which can support the sales, marketing and service processes within an industry and maximize its profit margins. It functions by associating with selected customers and providing them with an unparalleled experience both in terms of the quality as well as the manner in which their needs are addressed. This customer- centric approach is of pioneer importance in the hotel industry as it attempts to retain customers and build a long partnership with them.

Customer Service in the Hotel Industry

In the hotel industry, it is not just the core customer services like pricing, quality and delivery that matter; it is also the friendly approach, the prompt problem-solving, and the flexibility in options that make a big difference. It is this extended customer service that gives a company an edge over others as it increases the customer’s perceived value towards its services.

CRM is essential in the hotel industry as it helps a company exceed its customers’ expectations by enhancing the aesthetic value of its services and providing the opportunity to build effective interpersonal relations.

Advantages of CRM for hotel Industry

Advantages –

1. One-stop Database – A CRM Software contains all relevant data pertaining to its customers which are constantly updated to accommodate any changes. This facilitates for quick identification of data regarding the customer which aids in faster problem solving.

2. Enhances Sales Productivity – Repetitive sales tasks like sending bulk e-mails and generating reports can be automated, thanks to CRM. The CRM mobile access allows sales teams in the hotel industry to have ready access to their customers’ preferences which helps them to create more lucrative offers for their clients.

3. Customer Retention – While competition and product dissatisfaction account for only 9% and 14% of customer loss respectively, 69% of customers move away from one company to another due to the lack of personal bond with the company. As Rob Yanker of Mckinsey & Company puts it, “Winning back a lost customer can cost up to 50-100 times as much as keeping a current one satisfied.”

4. Winning Strategies – CRM employs strategies like cross-selling that involves offering customers services that augment their original purchase and develop their interest in other products of the company. Offering upgrades or extra services, for example, sightseeing packages come under the category of up selling. CRM strategies also include benefits like a two-day all-inclusive package at a discounted rate for its loyal customers. All these schemes increase the company’s sales while making the customers’ purchase experience more meaningful.

5. Customization – CRM software allows the hotel industry to customize products according to the target audience. While for certain customers, value for money is the priority, for many others luxury and overall experience matter the most.

6. Increases Referrals – With its focus on customer satisfaction, CRM creates a good referral base as contented customers give favourable reviews which in turn solidifies the company’s reputation.

7. Better Customer Support – CRM builds an effective customer support system that is fast and provides assistance to clients through phone, chat, e-mail and even in person.

CRM is not effective when used as a strategy or software; it needs to be adopted as a company philosophy for the best results.