We’re living in the age of the recurring revenue business, and in this increasingly digital economy, enterprises succeed by nurturing customer relationships over the entire lifecycle. Such an approach takes time, dedication and attention to detail, but it’s worth it. Do it right and customers will stay with you for years.
Keeping customers happy starts with obsessively gathering insights on your clients from data. From a lot of data. Maybe even drawn from large numbers of clients across multiple sales channels or product lines. With this much information and so many customers, you need software that will inform you when a customer experiences a relevant event.
Some enterprises turn to customer relationship management (CRM) systems to make it easier to juggle a large number of clients. But while CRMs certainly have their benefits, traditional customer relationship management features simply don’t include the necessary capabilities for nurturing long-term growth. However, by using the right enterprise customer success solution, whether by itself or in addition to a CRM, you can gain all the functionalities you need to satisfy your customers for years to come.
A Traditional Customer Relationship Management System: Features and Limitations
A customer relationship management system is a tool for managing the data associated with customer relationships. These applications offer many features, including opportunity tracking, sales management. But a traditional CRM application focuses on the transaction stage of the customer relationship rather than cultivating growth across the entire customer journey. This is a loss because true success—in the form of long-term customer relationships—is obtained after the sale is closed. Customer success teams need the ability to nurture the relationship throughout a customer’s lifetime.
Traditional CRMs also don’t provide the business intelligence (BI) you need to truly understand the customer experience. You need tools that can spot events your customer success team has identified as important indicators of customer dissatisfaction. For example, imagine a customer stops using a feature they were once engaged with. A traditional CRM alone won’t pick up on the change or alert your customer success team of the problem, so your team may be unaware of a sign that a customer might be about to unsubscribe.
While there are excellent CRMs on the market, they work far better when used in conjunction with a comprehensive customer success platform. A good customer success platform adds a host of capabilities that enhance any CRM, giving your enterprise the ability to manage customer relationships long after the initial transaction.
The Benefits of a Customer Success Platform
The right customer success platform breaks customer relationship management down into a series of goals. Since every aspect of customer relationship management is modular, it becomes easier to identify top priorities and address them in real-time.
A quality customer success platform can:
- Create BI without exporting data to a separate data analysis application.
- Notify you of important events within the customer’s experience and enable you to easily take action.
- Perform automated actions in response to key events.
- Provide a glimpse of the health of each customer’s account, making it easier to prevent churn.
- Send alerts when customer behavior indicates they may be dissatisfied.
Your enterprise can use a customer success platform to define its priorities, choose what information it wants to use or display, and decide what customer actions to respond to and how to respond. Those are just a few of the ways a customer success platform can improve customer relationships—all from a single platform.
Integrating a CRM with a Customer Success Platform
If you currently use a CRM system, you can enhance its value by seamlessly integrating it with a customer success platform. By using both platforms in tandem, your customer success teams can easily obtain all the information they need about a customer’s history and status in order to make better decisions.
A customer success platform integrated within a high-quality CRM offers:
- Powerful customer success intelligence: A robust CRM coupled with a customer success platform enables customer success teams to manage customer portfolios, view health scores and engagement data, and see all customer and team activity in one place.
- Detailed account scorecards: Detailed customer profiles can be customized to display the information you want, including full account histories, customer calls, emails and meetings, or real-time data on engagement, product usage, and other metrics.
- Collaboration through integrated tasks and touchpoints: You can integrate customer success team tasks and touchpoints to keep everyone informed and working as a unit. These applications enable you to assign automated tasks to every team, which can also notify account executives about upsell opportunities or other flagged events.
- Synchronized data sharing: A good customer success platform and CRM can transfer data between each other seamlessly. They can share information—such as application engagement, business outcome, or utilization data—that you can use to create customer health overviews or other reports.
Without a robust customer success platform, your CRM will lack a lot of important capabilities. As a result, your customers will miss out on an enhanced experience with your product and brand.
So, if you’re using a quality CRM, consider augmenting it with a customer success platform. Together, these applications make it far easier to continuously nurture your clients, reducing churn and increasing subscription rates. And by using software that makes it easy to stay organized when managing customer relationships, your enterprise will be ready to handle future growth.
Totango is a leader in understanding and innovating within today’s customer-centered economy. Our tools and advice can help you quickly onboard, effectively monitor, and continually serve your customers. Request a demo or explore Spark to learn how we can help you build your business around your customer.
Image courtesy of Rido81.