How Data-driven Relationships Enhance the Customer Experience

More than half of business owners plan to “take action” in the near future so they can better understand their customers: what they want, how they think and how they can best be served.

“Taking action” isn’t as easy as reading a study or sending out a survey, but it’s simpler than you may think. Every transaction customers have with your company, whether that’s a phone call, click on an email or a visit to your website, produces a tremendous amount of data about who that customer is and what they’re looking for. Everything from basic demographic information to advanced analytics regarding their likes and dislikes becomes a part of the customer profile, information which can then be used to enhance nearly every aspect of your business.

Now, the big question — how do you get this important information?

This is where customer relationship management (CRM) software comes into play. Many finance and real estate companies already leverage Salesforce CRM software to better manage customer transactions, project status, lead generation and more. However, many of those same companies don’t realize that Salesforce supports this incredible opportunity to harness customer data so business owners can better understand their customers and improve messaging, increase conversions and improve leads as a result.

Within Salesforce, information once isolated in programs like Microsoft Excel is now free to mingle with information past and present from a multitude of sources. Salesforce is a repository for big-picture, transactional and granular data, all of which are necessary for building an in-depth customer profile. That information would have taken significant effort to compile beforehand — or it would have gone unseen altogether. With the help of third-party extensions and the right customization, this data can be harnessed and applied back into business operations quickly and effectively.

This rich data set can be deployed in a seemingly infinite number of ways, including:

  • Tailoring marketing. Marketing used to take a “spaghetti toss” approach — throw a pot’s worth at the wall in the hopes that some will stick. Now, thanks to the massive amounts of data collected through and organized by Salesforce, these campaigns can be carefully segmented and customized through programs like Pardot to increase the likelihood of a conversion. Lists can be pulled based on the data that resides in Salesforce and contacted via a drip campaign built on demographics, past behaviors or a “score” assigned to the quality of the lead, thus increasing the likelihood of delivering relevant content and messaging. For example, customers who just financed the purchase of a home would not be targeted for open house drip campaigns, or customers missing a section of their user profile can be nudged to fill in more information (which creates richer, more valuable data for you to use down the line).
  • Tracking preferences. No matter how technologically-advanced the process, a human touch is still an important part of sales. To that end, data-driven customer service helps the humans on the other line remember details about the customer. From logging notes from previous calls to tracking the customer’s habits and preferences, representatives can provide a smoother customer experience from beginning to end. All related information appears on the screen at the touch of a button. This ultimately leads to higher customer satisfaction and a higher retention rate, since customers want to continue doing business with those they connect with and with those who go out of their way to make their lives easier.
  • Preventing duplication. Customers hate being bombarded with emails or being called multiple times. Oftentimes, this was the result of incomplete and duplicate data in those disparate Excel spreadsheets or Outlook. Sure, it was a mistake, but customers don’t see it that way — they can interpret your company’s duplicate emails or phone calls as being unnecessarily aggressive. Salesforce and third-party extensions can eliminate this duplicate and incomplete data so there’s minimal risk of “over-contacting” a potential new lead – or losing an existing customer.

It’s 2017, and customer relations has moved beyond the spreadsheet. CRM software streamlines the process for your business, centralizing and enriching a single source of invaluable data across departments within the same company and for collaboration with business partners. Now, you have this golden opportunity to tap into a treasure trove of data to build a unique world of contacts and content for each subset of customers. With the right extensions and customization, finance and real estate companies can bring their business to soaring new heights.