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Post-Sale Service: Strengthening Customer Engagement After the Sale is Made

July 16th, 2015 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

Post-Sale Service: Strengthening Customer Engagement After the Sale is Made

Congratulations! Thanks to your hard work, you closed the sale and have a brand-new, happy customer. But don’t pop the cork on the champagne bottle quite yet – your job isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning.

Maintaining strong customer relationships is crucial to maximizing profitability. With competition for customer wallet share growing fiercer, and the cost to acquire new customers growing higher, companies that focus on increasing customer retention rates gain a significant advantage.

Providing exemplary customer service (even immediately after a successful sale) is essential to making loyal customers.

Show Your Appreciation

This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s shocking how often companies simply ignore a customer after a sale. You know that old saying – the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s apathy. If a company signals indifference to a customer’s decision to choose them over a competitor, the customer will mirror that indifference and take their business elsewhere. Because why would a customer stick with a company that doesn’t care about them?

Expressing appreciation to a customer shows that you value them and their business. A token of appreciation doesn’t need to be big or flashy – a handwritten thank you note, a coupon, a small special offer – can go a long way toward making a customer feel special. A positive emotional experience is what binds a customer closer to a company.

Know Your Customer

Working hand-in-hand with showing your customer appreciation is actually knowing your customer. What are their likes and dislikes? What are they looking forward to? What do they need right now, and a few months down the line?

Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system is extremely valuable in keeping all of this important information in one place. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, sales reps can view all pertinent information on a customer record, such as contact details, location, and all past interactions with the company. By leveraging this information, sales reps can better understand and anticipate customer needs, and thus create more meaningful engagements.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM also enables companies to include personal details about the customer, such as relationship status, birthday/anniversary, and can also link people who are related to that particular customer. For instance, in the below example, a sales rep can see that Emilia Clark is married to Dominic Clark – if Dominic Clark is also a customer of that company, the sales rep can link his customer record to Emilia’s as well.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM also enables companies to include personal details about the customer, such as relationship status, birthday/anniversary, and can also link people who are related to that particular customer.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps sales reps see a complete view of the customer, which facilitates more targeted – and more conversion-worthy – engagement.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps sales reps see a complete view of the customer, which facilitates more targeted – and more conversion-worthy – engagement.

Encourage Feedback

To better serve your customers, you need to hear from the people who know best: your customers. As with any relationship, open communication is crucial for a mutually beneficial relationship between a customer and a company. Your customer wants to get the most value out of the time and money he gives to your company; your business wants to make him keep coming back.

Encouraging feedback, especially negative feedback, helps you better understand what works and what doesn’t. Negative feedback is particularly valuable in that it a) helps you pinpoint and correct specific issues that are causing your customer headaches, b) helps you prevent other customers from experiencing those same issues, and c) gives you another opportunity to delight your customer.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables sales reps to store all interactions with a customer on the customer record – from email, to phone, to in-person. This interaction history serves as a helpful reference point for future communication, leading sales reps to better connect with the customer’s needs.

For example, in the case of Darla Worth (screenshot below), a past issue she experienced was a delivery of poor quality paper. While that issue was resolved and she continues to be a customer, a sales rep can follow up with her on if her paper orders have still been meeting her standard of quality. This attention to detail and consideration can be the difference between Darla being a company advocate or a company antagonist.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM keeps track of all interactions between the customer and the company, providing a useful reference of any previous issues, questions, or requests.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM keeps track of all interactions between the customer and the company, providing a useful reference of any previous issues, questions, or requests.

Investment in Customer Relationships Pays Dividends

The bottom line for any customer service initiative is the fact that if you invest in the customer, then the customer will invest in you. By putting in the effort to genuinely connect with your customers and make them happy, you can benefit from a long-term revenue stream.

If you have any questions on how a CRM system can help you more effectively strengthen customer relationships, please email CRM@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 to Better Align Sales and Marketing

October 9th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

With its next product release, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 is fully-equipped with tools and capabilities to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. When sales and marketing teams are better aligned, the focus on the customer is strengthened, resulting in a stronger customer engagement. Check out highlights of the new release, slated to be available in the fourth quarter of 2014, below, or see Microsoft’s Release Preview Guide.

Marketing

In today’s changing marketing landscape, more than half of CMOs still feel unprepared for the new environment. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 can help manage marketing campaigns while offering a centralized look at the buying journey, which helps sales, marketing, and customer service agents to work together to provide the highest level of support and information to the customer.

The powerful new features in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will make it easier to achieve the following marketing goals quickly and easily:

  • Engage customers one-to-one across channels
  • Build your sales pipeline
  • Demonstrate the impact of your marketing investments in real-time

Email Editor

Email Editor

Source (All Images): Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide

Marketers can use the new email editor to create emails from pre-defined templates, or design from scratch using an interactive drag and drop process or an advanced CSS and HTML editor.

Sales Collaboration

Sales Collaboration

The new Sales Collaboration Panel allows sellers to provide input into campaigns and targeting. With advanced visibility, sellers are able to target specific customers and receive alerts based on each interaction.

Sales

Enhanced sales features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 continue to improve sales processes, helping you to sell more, win faster, and drive results. Business process flows are further enhanced to implement complex business processes via a new branching capability. Improvements to cross-sell/up-sell opportunities make it easier for representatives to sell products more efficiently by bundling products and recommending related products automatically. Additionally, sales hierarchies bring real-time territory and forecasting data to representatives, allowing them quick access to revenue details, account ownership, and activity posts for each account.

Guided Sales Processes

Guided Sales Processes

Business process flows can now be configured to split into two branches: one specific to products, and the second for services. This split happens automatically after a common qualification stage, and is updated real-time.

Tablet Enhancements

Tablet Enhancements

New CRM for tablets enhancements are optimized to make on-the-go data more accessible, personalized, and synchronized. Flexible, role tailored dashboards and analytics are available on any Windows 8, iPad, or Android tablet and new records can be drafted offline and synchronized once reconnected.

Customer Service

Since today’s customers research their buying decisions on their own before contacting a retailer, it is crucial to deliver amazing customer service—while keeping cost of service low. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 enables agents to provide efficient and effective service over the web, social networks, or by phone. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 provides relevant, proactive, and personalized service, which builds customer loyalty, empowers agents, and drives resolution.

Case Management

Case Management

Flexible Service Level Agreements within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 enable agents to track and analyze key metrics like First Response and Case Resolution. Agents can pause and resume SLA’s and track the time for which a case was on hold, ensuring SLA’s are met.

Social

Microsoft Social Listening makes monitoring social media channels like Twitter and Facebook accessible and affordable. Users can track products, brands, competitors, and campaigns globally and in real time. This helps to better understand your customers and how your business performs online.

Microsoft Social Listening

Microsoft Social Listening

Microsoft Social Listening provides a consolidated reporting source to: analyze what people are saying about your brand, see posts from specific countries or regions, and listen to social conversations and analyze sentiment in various languages.

Stay Tuned

We will be providing more updates as more information regarding Microsoft Dynamic CRM 2015 becomes available. For more information regarding Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please email us at CRM@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

How Customer Experience Impacts Bank Profitability

May 13th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

As much as superior customer experiences are expected to be the norm, banks are falling short in regards to customer satisfaction. Capgemini’s Customer Experience Index (CEI), which assesses the performance of retail banks in meeting customer expectations, took a dip this year, in contrast to a three year upswing.

The declining trend in customer experience was present worldwide, with the exception of Latin America’s increase in the CEI. The report cites two main causes for this: an inability to deliver on important expectations, particularly those from Generation Y, and a disconnect between providing services to both digital savvy customers and those who prefer direct services.

Nobody is ever inspired to advocate your bank (or any product, for that matter) after receiving a neutral experience—and a poor experience can even initiate a bank change. The fluid nature of today’s market encourages change, and people are not afraid to leave a bank that is not providing the service they deserve and require. In fact, customers with positive experiences are three times more likely to stay with their bank and three to five times more likely to refer others and purchase additional products than customers with negative experiences.

So what are customers really looking for when choosing a bank? According to the Capgemini Financial Services Analysis, customers still want banks to deliver on the basics: fair pricing, broad product sets, and dependable service. The quality of overall bank service was ranked as a top priority in every region of the world, see chart below.

Factros Influencing Customers

Fees/price, quality of overall bank service, and quality of internet banking service were ranked the top three factors when choosing a bank worldwide, with the exception of Latin America, which ranked quality of branch service higher than internet service.

With a targeted customer service campaign and powerful customer relationship management software, banks can easily improve the number of positive experiences customers are receiving in order to initiate a more supportive customer base. A great CRM program delivers unmatched functionality and convenience, an ease of use anyone can master, and, mainly, superior customer service. Ignify has developed a CRM solution specifically for banking and financial institutions.

CRM for Banks enables banks to produce positive experiences through 360-degree views of the customer, tracking customer engagements and customer history, and a unique database of help topics to solve queries. The system integrates with the core banking system and shows neglected accounts, loans, mortgage records, mutual funds, and more.

Customizable dashboards enable customer service agents to prioritize cases, view problems by category, and track customer satisfaction after cases are resolved. All of the data can also be drilled down further to view information such as account owner, how long it took to resolve the case, and if there was any follow up from either the customer or the agent.

Customizable dashboards

It is important for bank managers to view information similar to the above dashboard to track and analyze data regarding customer satisfaction and service. Information such as account number by branch, account number by last transaction date, and account number by product can all be accessed in one convenient location.

Accounts by Corporate Banking

This drill-down into active cases provides a list of the accounts by corporate banking on the left, and a line graph on the right showing the account balance by bank. This can help to monitor how banks are doing in terms of revenue and open accounts.

When a customer calls in, it is imperative to know a bit about them and their history to make them feel valued. Within CRM for Banks, you can view past cases, detailed information about the customer, and create a case for the most recent activity. With Parature, this functionality is further improved by allowing customer service representatives access to a vast knowledge base to pinpoint the best solution to any problem. CRM for Banks connects disparate systems to allow access to all customer data in one place, eliminating the need to work from a variety of programs.

Access to Customer Data

CRM for Banks makes viewing cases simple, and a wide variety of field entries organize data in an easy-to-use manner. Follow up times and activities lists ensure the problem is resolved and the customer is satisfied.

If you would like more information on Ignify’s CRM for Banks solution, please email banks@ignify.com to connect with one of our specialists.

Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Named the Leader in Customer Case Management for 2014

March 24th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

CRM 2014 Service Awards

CRM Magazine’s March 2014 cover story, The 2014 Service Awards, named Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the service leader in Customer Case Management.

The Ignify team is proud of Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s newest award: CRM Magazine’s leading software in Customer Case Management for 2014. Microsoft Dynamics beat out Salesforce.com, which had sat in this top spot for the past two years.

The team chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM for its excellence in the following criteria: reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality or services, company direction, and technology costs over a five-year period.

With the acquisition of Parature, a provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions, Microsoft Dynamics became a key player in customer case management and was on the minds of many of the analysts responsible for naming CRM Magazine’s Service Awards winners.

“The acquisition of Parature shows Microsoft is taking service seriously, instead of investing only in sales and marketing, as most cloud CRM vendors tend to do,” John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research for the Technology Services Industry Association, said in CRM Magazine’s article.

The rating system used for CRM Magazine’s Service Awards is based on a composite score of company revenue and analyst ratings on a five point scale. Microsoft Dynamics CRM scored 4.4 for company direction.

The CRM Magazine Service Awards is now in its 11th year, and aims to help technology buyers make the right customer service technology purchases for their companies. The awards are separated into eight customer service categories, in which judges take a broad view of the major CRM vendors.

If you have any questions about Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s customer case management functionality, or if you would like help with your CRM system evaluation, please email us at crm@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.