Soccer team in a huddle

Data Fuels Customer Engagement

October 17, 2016 by Angela Schuller

Two out of three executive leaders believe their current CRM system is not enough for their future customer engagement needs, according to a recent survey conducted by SAP Hybris.

In a Facebook Live session from the SAP Hybris Americas Summit, Volker Hildebrand, Global Vice President of Strategy, SAP Hybris, shared his perspectives on why companies have to look beyond traditional CRM in order to adequately meet the needs for their customers in today’s digital economy.

“Businesses Have to Think Beyond Traditional CRM”

With the evolution of technology, consumers are more connected to information they seek more than ever were before. And because of this, businesses have to understand and innovate based on what their customers want, in real time. “There’s a paradigm shift from customer relationship management,” said Hildebrand. “[Its] shifting away from managing those relationships towards a customer engagement, where you can really engage with your customers in the moment when it matters to them as opposed to following your internal processes,” said Hildebrand. “What that means is that you got to think beyond the silos of commerce, marketing or service,” he said.

If Service Isn’t Convenient, You Could Be Losing Revenue
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Ursula Ringham and Volker Hildebrand

Because of consumer hyper-connectivity, they don’t have time to waste – and neither does the company that is trying to serve their needs. According to Hildebrand, convenience is a “huge competitive differentiator” when it comes to powerful and effective customer engagement. “Consumers are saying ‘if you make my life easy for me, then I’d rather do business with you than anybody else,’” Hildebrand said.

Convenience is a “huge competitive differentiator” for customer engagement according to @vhil11

There’s a business imperative, then, that companies have to understand and leverage the access points where customers are making inquiries on their products. Gone are the days where sending an email to an identified group was enough to secure a sale. “Traditional methods of mass marketing doesn’t resonate anymore and they’re being ignored by the audience,” Hildebrand explained.

So how do companies get the attention of the consumers they are trying to reach? They have to “blur” the lines of reaching the customer. For Hildebrand, it’s about connecting “unassisted and assisted service” to the customer so they feel more confident with the purchase they are about to make. Customer service, for example, was traditionally a touch point post-sale, now these reps are central to helping customers have the information they need to confidently make purchases.

Data is the fuel for customer engagement, and being able to pull together all the relevant information about in real-time,” Hildebrand said. SAP Hybris is helping companies do just that. “[It] allows you to engage with your customers when it matters most.”

More from the SAP Hybris Americas Summit: When Beyond CRM Goes Beyond Hype

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This post originally appeared on Business Trends on the SAP Community.

Top image via Shutterstock

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