IoT Data Helps A CRM Live Up To Its Name
Columnist Loretta Jones believes that with the Internet of Things and a proliferation of data, marketers have an opportunity to better understand and meet the needs of their customers.
Lost in all of the talk about adjusting air conditioners from the road and uploading your latest 5K time to Twitter is the true value of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Data derived from Web-connected devices can change the way companies operate and serve their customers.
Much can be learned from the ability to monitor the health and utilization of a product a customer buys. However, there may be no greater use for this data than the ability to make customer service more proactive.
Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions already track a significant range of customer data to promote strong customer service. They help keep teams on top of their clients to ensure the best service and a uniform experience for the length of the relationship.
Moving forward, data’s influence on the enterprise is only going to become more pronounced. With data taking its place as a form of currency for businesses, companies must populate their CRM solutions with information that differentiates them from competitors.
And IoT may be the best source of that data.
Make Customer Service An Action, Not A Reaction
The ways vendors and service providers help their customers now frequently relies upon reactions. Service calls, complaints, requests and other queries come in, and employees do their best to address the situation.
Ideally, all of the information from the service issues will go into a CRM to ensure similar issues are monitored and to ensure other employees are aware of the customer’s history of interactions with the company.
IoT is making it easier to gather this data, with sensors and software transmitting performance data back to companies. When this data automatically populates a CRM dashboard, employees can take charge and be proactive with customer service.
For example, a smartphone with a lagging connection alerts a local retailer, who can reach out to the user to check on any performance issues. Or an appliance manufacturer can call a customer whose refrigerator has been consuming more energy than usual to recommend a service call.
Building IoT into the customer service process isn’t an option for every company, of course, but it presents substantial value for businesses with the ability to do so.
Personalize Customer Service To Win Business
The customer has more power than ever before. This is true for all businesses. The Web and cloud delivery models mean people can work with more companies from more corners of the globe.
Frequently, much of the decision comes down to price. However, companies that actively try to establish positive relationships with customers can build long-term trust, using IoT and a robust CRM to understand their customers and market better.
With an improved comprehension of customers comes the ability to adjust strategy in line with their preferences.
Any marketing automation platform can ensure a customer’s name appears in an email marketing campaign. But personalized service is about knowing what each customer needs to be successful and then tailoring the marketing content to address the customer’s challenges or goals.
The task for any manager or employee is identifying where there is opportunity to personalize service and marketing.
For example, when a customer purchases a new product, the next communication should highlight a way to maximize their experience with that item. Another sales pitch has the potential to turn them away instead of reintroducing them into the funnel and keeping them there.
Both CRM and IoT are likely to play a major role in the continued evolution of the big data movement. It’s up to each company to identify how to integrate each into their strategies to pull out meaningful insights that can help put customers at the center of marketing.