More than ever, ‘customer service’ has become a major buzzword in the conduct of modern business. The age-old adage states that “the customer is always right”, and while that may not be entirely accurate, the customer, more specifically their satisfaction, has become the most important factor to consider when doing business.
Today’s business environment has, in just the past few years, evolved tremendously and so have the expectations of customers. Furthermore, the automation of once manual functions, such as purchasing, has led to consumers who have grown accustomed to and now demand instant gratification. There was a time when customer service entailed a simple response to queries, and perhaps not even in the most timely manner. However, the times have changed and consumers now demand customer service that is instant, personalized, connected, and proactive. This is where the concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) becomes essential because the way in which an organisation handles CRM can either make or break that business.
What is CRM, and why is it important?
CRM refers to the way in which a company manages its interactions with current and potential customers, with one simple goal: improving business relationships. As with many other things in the modern business world, this is best achieved by using some type of technology, in this case, a CRM system such as Salesforce. An effective CRM system, like Salesforce’s cloud-based and easy to use the platform, allows a company to seamlessly manage relationships with a range of stakeholders including customers, service users, colleagues, or even suppliers.
Thanks to the rapid pace of technological development, consumers all over the world are enjoying levels of customer satisfaction that was once reserved only for the rich. However, unfortunately, this does not always obtain in Jamaica. While some companies have made notable efforts to keep their client base happy, a sizeable portion of Jamaican businesses has much catching up to do if they are to come in line with what is quickly becoming international standards. Some of the most common complaints heard from Jamaican customers is that they feel underappreciated; employees of companies cannot accurately provide product or service information when asked; they have been passed on to multiple employees with no real solution; and that they have been put on hold for unreasonably long periods. It is problems such as these that Salesforce software has been designed to rectify, because while staff training goes a far way in ensuring good customer service, having the right software to facilitate this process is what will give a business an edge over its competition.
What is Salesforce, and what can it do for your business?
Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform designed to boost business by improving the way that companies interact with their customers, including in the areas of marketing, sales, commerce, and service. The platform’s ability to unify all aspects of customer interaction allows companies to provide a streamlined and data-driven customer experience. Salesforce’s many services are all available on a single platform which is accessible from any desktop or mobile device. The platform is recognised internationally as the global leader in CRM technology and has been recognised as the industry leader by the International Data Corporation (IDC) for an impressive four years running.
The Salesforce ‘Service Cloud’ is the company’s customer service and support platform which allows businesses to get faster and reliable case resolution by providing a 360-degree view of every customer, resolving issues across any channel and increasing customer satisfaction by connecting the whole business.
If the myriad benefits of this platform could be narrowed down to one short phrase it would be ‘customer-base retention and expansion’. By collecting and helping you to analyse data from all your company’s interactions with clients throughout the lifetime of the relationship, Salesforce allows businesses to create personalised solutions to keep existing clients happy and attract new ones. Imagine doing business with a company who keeps track of all your interests and preferences and completely tailors the experience to suit you. This is the level of service that Salesforce helps organisations to offer, through the use of cost-effective, best in the market, software that can be customised to fit any industry and any size business.
Some of the platform’s standout features include having all the information needed about customers in one place; streamlining the case resolution process; the ability to handle cases on all major social media channels; smart collaboration between employees to enable shared expertise; and a completely mobile platform. Salesforce also integrates seamlessly with a plethora of other commonly used and business-related applications and software. Salesforce clients report an impressive 22% decrease in support costs, 26% increase in customer retention, 31% faster case resolution, and a 35% increase in customer satisfaction.
The features available on the Service Cloud platform would prove to be a game changer for Jamaican businesses.
Salesforce in a local setting
Jamaica is at a critical juncture in its developmental process—consumer confidence is at an all-time high, the stock market is performing incredibly and more people are willing and able to start their own businesses. With this increased commercial activity comes greater competition, meaning that keeping customers happy is essential for the continued customer base retention and expansion of companies. Despite being a ‘developing country’, Jamaican consumers now expect the same high-level service they receive when they travel or conduct business online, and when they do not receive it they readily switch to the competitor.
With a growing unwillingness among local consumers to accept bad customer service, more local firms need to consider incorporating CRM solutions into their business practices to ensure continued relevance in Jamaica’s ever-changing and evolving business landscape. Support has become an essential part of the customer experience, and Salesforce is the ideal CRM partner to help local businesses improve customer satisfaction and help grow their respective organisations.
Author: CRMmetry – Standardizing the Future
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