The Industrial Revolution was fueled primarily by coal. The boom after WWII was fueled by oil and gas. Today, companies are trying to accelerate and sustain growth by combining the IT Revolution with the modern-day fuel that empowers the business—data. In the past, production, marketing, purchasing and selling decisions were made based on limited data or even on hunches and gut instinct. Companies had few alternatives because it was simply not feasible to collect and analyze large volumes of data to make informed decisions.
CRM gains wide acceptance primarily because it enables businesses to collect customer data, create automated processes, and summarize data for reporting and analysis based on hard numbers. Today, companies can enrich a CRM by integrating it with huge volumes of big data—customer sentiment data that exists outside the company’s ecosystem such as social media networks, text, voice, videos, blogs, and kiosks—and enjoy the invaluable insights from big data analytics.
1. Real-Time Customer Engagement
The customer’s geolocation information can be combined with data collected by the company—through multiple channels—to come up with personalized proximity-related offers for all existing and potential customers. Instead of a one-size fits all approach, you can create customized campaigns to help your target audience engage with your brand simultaneously through different channels.
2. Understand Customer Sentiment
Social media channels enable brands to not only communicate with consumers, but also to analyze their posts, opinions, profiles, and views to understand their sentiments better. Big data analytics can help companies combine macro trends and patterns with individual preferences for better understanding of consumer sentiments.
Brand presence on social media can be a double-edged sword with praise as well as criticism getting equal attention. Improper understanding of what the customer thinks and feels can lead to credibility loss. This potential issue can be avoided by integrating big data analysis into the CRM platform.
3. Predict Customer Behavior
By combining big data and CRM, companies can move beyond reactive policies and focus more on predicting customer behavior accurately. Mining data collected through channels like social media, emails, the internet, and call centers can help companies categorize leads accurately for appropriate follow-up. Collecting and analyzing data related to demographics and behavioral history will enable businesses to create strategies and implement tactics based on accurate understanding of how customers will—individually and as a group—behave in the future.
4. Improve Quality of Service
Apart from improving consumer-facing operations, big data can help companies improve the quality of service through better and more accurate assessment of the quality of back-end operations. Determining more relevant and accurate benchmarks, verifying the reliability of indicators, and monitoring parameters like cost & revenue and sentiment retention will allow companies to formulate data-driven strategies to improve performance.
5. Determine ROI with Greater Accuracy
The ability to manipulate intangible factors has always been the ‘X’ factor that sets the market leaders apart. Collecting and processing data related to front-end and back-end operations will—apart from other benefits—help companies assess ROI of various initiatives with greater reliability and accuracy.
With Internet of Things and wearable devices set to become the next big thing in the world of technology, experts anticipate a significant increase in the volume of data generated by consumers and machines from all over the world. Companies equipped with CRM systems that have the capability to extract customer information from big data will enjoy significant benefits over competitors.