Alen Paul George, Principal Software Analyst Microsoft Certified Professional – MCSA Dynamics 365

1. Delivering modern products and services is a complex process and usually requires the collaborative efforts of multiple teams like sales, professional services and support. The cohesion and coordination between these teams and the way they present a one-company-view to the customer is a major differentiator in customer success today.

2. Accomplishing this level of coordination between people who seldom talk/interact with each other and reports to different managers and divisions is accomplished, partly through the culture the company cultivates in its employees and partly through a modern Customer Relationship Management software system the company invests in.

3. Culture – Eliminate the culture of blame games and reward those who take accountability and stay with the customer till the customer has been handed off to the next business unit. Details of customer interactions MUST be fed into the software. Data collection and categorization need to be part of the culture at all levels.

4. Technology– CRM systems that is always available to customer facing employees – via mobile devices, tablets, laptops and office desktops. Data is the life blood of the company. The CRM system should have data analytics/reporting/auto-alerts/Trend Analysis ability so that the generated data can be used by mangers in real time to adapt the business or to intervene early, if a client’s experience with the company is on a downward spiral.

5. Today’s CRM systems need to be omni-channel. Especially in the B2C market, customers are deep into the sales pipeline long before they can meet with a company sales representative. The purchasing decisions of the modern customer takes place in realms of social media – in twitter, yelp, fb, product reviews etc. Legacy software simply does not have the ability to keep track of what is being said about the company and its products in the internet. It cannot gauge the impact a comment has nor can it deduce what is the emotion behind the free text comments that proliferates in the internet. This is where social media integrated CRM systems that continuously tunes into social media buzz and intelligently picks up opportunities for the staff to intervene, sets customer service apart. Technologies like Social media integration, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis allow even large corporations to stay relevant in the eyes of its millennial customers.

6. Tomorrow’s customers expect ability to make purchases through all channels – brick and mortar stores, websites, mobiles or even directly from a picture uploaded by a friend in a social media platform. With the shrinking relevance of brick and mortar stores, the role of virtual reality and augmented reality in the customer experience is increasing. Several purchasing channels now incorporate VR to allow prospects to evaluate a product over the internet. This is particularly evident in real estate.

7. Is your company making the culture and technology investments at your workplace to thrive in the modern world?