CRM has been an important focus for companies for a while now. As we enter a new year, talk about ‘what’s next’ in the quest to achieve ultimate customer experiences and build lasting, quality relationships is top of mind.
Over the course of the last year, collection of data and analytics were key. Finding out what your customers were doing when they came to you, how they prefer to communicate and their other wants and needs were all important pieces of data.
Now that all of this data has been collected – and there is lots of it – putting it to better use will make all the difference in CRM for 2016.
For just about every single industry, leveraging this data will make it better to improve business processes, customer relationships and ultimately, the bottom line.
Cameron Weeks, CEO of CRM/phone solutions provider Fathom Voice, believes skills-based routing is one area that will take on even greater significance in 2016. As customer service and sales teams use the data, they will be able to pair customers with the right-fit agent based on skills and take a step further now, to also pair them based on mutual interests and affiliations such as alma maters or cities of residency. This is that ‘next big thing’ happening in 2016.
I recently caught up with Weeks to chat a bit about the company’s achievements over the last year and his predictions for the CRM industry in 2016.
2015 was a turning point Fathom Voice’s history, Weeks said. In addition to major investments in infrastructure and development over the last several years, it also completed the building of its sales and marketing teams in 2015 so it would be well positioned to, “come out hard in Q1 2016.”
Bigger account sizes in 2015 and a rebranding of its product were also key achievements in 2015.
For 2016, Weeks shared that the company plans to ramp up communications that center around the customer, from marketing to sales and support.
“Essentially, we’re going to be able to provide a single solution for a company’s entire communication needs,” he said. “I think this will be a larger trend overall of companies looking for fewer providers to work with in order to receive all of the features / functionality they require.”
And companies will have some work to do when it comes to CRM in 2016. As Weeks noted, at companies of all sizes, a key issue with CRM is the task of data entry.
“Without users entering activities and update- to-date customer information, a CRM tool is just a wasted investment. This is where communication providers play a key role because the closer we are able to integrate into CRM software and push/pull data, the more powerful that data will become for companies.”
“After all, employees are already busy enough doing their jobs. It’s not that they hate CRM or don’t want to use it, but it’s the CRM’s fault for not being part of the normal behavior and activities of the employee through the day. In order to see success in 2016, software and technology need to adapt to the user, not the user to the software and technology.”
Edited by Rory J. Thompson