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How to keep pace with increasing customer expectations in a digital world

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As we approach the one-year mark of the pandemic, the economy clearly has undergone a massive shift. Almost every single business – no matter the industry – has altered its model to help curb the spread of the virus, which has accelerated digitization and digital transformation in the workplace.

In fact, businesses in Canada were set to increase spending on digital transformation by 7% in 2020, according to statistics from IDC.


Increased Customer Expectations in an Increasingly Digital World

The rate of today’s digitization will continue beyond the pandemic and the ability to be more agile is more important than ever, as customer service expectations have changed. Businesses will shift their priorities from safety and protection to faster service and flexibility enabled by digital solutions.

Customers have become increasingly accustomed to instant and contactless transactions.Research from McKinsey shows that 75% of people who used digital channels for the first time intend to continue using them, even after the pandemic.

Additionally, customers increasingly expect a personalized experience – with consistency and ease-of-use – that is driven and strategically informed by data and analytics. According to research from Epsilon, 90% of consumers find personalized experiences appealing, and 80% of them said they are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides it.

The businesses that can accommodate these changes in expectations will thrive in the new normal, while those who are unable or unwilling to, are likely to be left behind.


Customer Retention Is King

The second major change that has affected businesses has been the financial hit that the economy as a whole has taken, which has brought about its own major changes in consumer behavior. The spending power of the average Canadian consumer has suffered, which results in a desire to stick with businesses they are familiar with and know they will get their money’s worth from.

For the businesses themselves, retaining and selling to their existing customers comes with major cost savings and increased efficiency.

In fact, statistics indicate that:

Clearly, customer retention and strong client relationships are more vital than ever.

So, if consumers prefer to stick with businesses they know and those businesses can be more profitable by selling to their existing customer base, what strategy should they use to maintain that relationship? With limited resources and a weakened economy, more companies should be placing a higher emphasis on upselling and cross-selling to existing customers, simply because it is a cheaper and more efficient method for building revenue.


The Modern Customer Relationship Management solution

So where can businesses turn to when looking to provide the increasingly digitized and customized services that consumers now expect? How can a business efficiently and strategically cross-sell and up-sell to their existing customer base?

A modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, such as Zoho CRM – that is driven and informed by data and analytics – can provide businesses with the ability to do all this and much more.

In the past, CRMs have been considered the jurisdiction of marketing and sales teams exclusively, but the modern CRM has transformed and grown in sophistication and is now relied on to manage the entire customer experience, spanning your entire organization.

The functionality of a modern CRM has wide-ranging features including:

  • Lead, deal, and contact management
  • Omnichannel customer service through channels like email, phone, social, and customer service portals
  • Automated analytical features like data analysis and report building
  • Financial functions like quote and invoice building
  • Automated marketing via customer segmentation, lead nurturing, integrated Google Ads, and event management
  • Cybersecurity through role assignment, permission defining, and access control
  • Innovative data security functionality and data privacy compliance settings

With the abundance of data running through every business nowadays, you can use your CRM to identify market trends and keep pace with rapidly developing customer expectations. And, most importantly, set your business up for future success throughout this pandemic and beyond.

 

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