What is the future of CRM? If you ask Salesforce, it’s integrating the customer experience through every possible interaction. From in-store to email to e-commerce, Salesforce wants its clients to know what every customer is doing during every interaction and connect all of that information together in one customer profile. Currently, CRM does not do a good job of connecting a customer at different interaction points. The same customer is effectively treated as a different person depending on whether they are in store, buying online, or tweeting at customer service. This is a disservice to the customer experience, which should be able to cater to the holistic customer regardless of which method they are currently communicating through.
“[Customers] are expecting to be understood and to be reached out to with the right information at the right time at the right price and through the right channels but unfortunately most organisations have not bridged that gap.”
The problem, according to Milano, is that retailers, phone companies and traditional brick-and-mortar stores have transactional websites to capitalise on the growth of e-commerce but are not able to connect customers’ online experiences with those that occur in their stores.
“They’re swimming in an ocean of customer data but don’t really know what to do with it,” he says. “They’re not able to do personalisation at scale and find it very difficult to have consistent engagement with customers, whether they’re in a store or online chat or in a e-commerce site, social channel or call to a call center.
…“Companies need to react. This is the number one item on the agenda. CRM will be the single fastest growing category of IT over the next five years.”
Salesforce is one of the biggest aggregators of customer data in tech right now, and if they are able to use this data to integrate the consumer experience, they will open up a whole new type of CRM for their clients. Customers will appreciate the boutique approach to customer service that will begin to emerge, and reatailers and service providers will likely see costs related to customer dissatisfaction decrease while brand loyalty and spending will likely increase.
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