The new multichannel CRM world

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John O'Hara, president, Pitney Bowes Software
John O'Hara, president, Pitney Bowes Software

The proliferation of new communication channels—email, SMS, chat, social networks, and others—have caused traditional CRM solutions alone to become outdated. Companies need to access data from across those multiple channels, along with CRM, to create a truly overarching view of a customer.

1. Look at data. Without looking at all the data available on each customer, marketers lose the opportunity to effectively communicate with them. It's not just about looking at demographics or psychographics anymore. For example, “socialgraphics” (social media data) is a field that will only grow and become more important.

2. Gain insight. Once businesses have a single view of a customer, they're able to use predictive analytics to forecast how specific customers will respond to various sales or services offerings. Uplift modeling takes this a step further by making it possible to target only those customers who will react positively. Additionally, using analytics can help companies save money by not marketing to customers who will make a purchase of their own accord, without a promotion.

3. Communicate across all channels. Customers are communicating with companies via more channels and they expect that companies are listening to their complaints, raves, or queries. If a company embraces a multichannel communication mind-set, customers experience greater consistency as they interact with that company.

4. Have a clear strategy. Companies should ensure that everyone is aligned on their approach to connecting with customers. Data can support those efforts. Marketers who excel in customer communication management value solutions that offer rules-based, data-driven, real-time decision-making. This provides a company with the ability to drive communications with quality data and predictive analytics, and is truly the only way organizations can create personalized and highly efficient engagements with customers.

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