“I like thinking about how customers experience things and how you’re able to effectively tailor your business to them.”
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Corin Rogerson, a CRM Specialist and customer champion to discuss all things CRM.
Beginning in the digital space she has taken her holistic overview of customer experience with her throughout her career and built CRM programmes for some of the biggest brands on the market. So how has CRM changed during this time and where does she see it going? As we see a general trend towards digital first businesses, online platforms and integrated apps it goes without saying that CRM is having to follow suit. For Corin, potentially one of the biggest changes driven by this is this marketing technology landscape: “I think the main thing I’ve seen is when I first started in CRM there were lots of tools that were offering the ability to communicate with someone through one channel […] and now what I’m quite pleased to see is that some companies are building solutions from the ground up.”This shift from bolted together CRM/ESP’s to streamlined platforms offering the opportunity to build multi-touchpoint journeys now makes it far easier to build synchronised customer experiences. Hand in hand with technology is the ever-increasing presence of data in decision making, and a growing factor in successful CRM: “A few years ago everyone was talking about Big Data, and there are more tools able to process that data now”. But within this is the value that Data can bring bought about through “thinking about the Data that is actually important to you and what you can actually use, rather than just pushing everything in.”
But simply having the Data there isn’t enough to immediately achieve results and one of the biggest issues Corin has faced is around data latency and the impact this has on communication: “In the past if you had Data in 24 hours that was perfectly fine, but now you really need to know virtually in real time what a customer has done to communicate with them effectively […] for instance if a customer’s payment details have expired and there is a lag between them updates and an email going out it can be a really confusing communication.” However, that doesn’t mean that Data hasn’t played a large part in her successes. Customer Data has huge ties to personalisation (another noteworthy trend in the CRM space) and is often the best way to demonstrate the value a customer has to a business as shown through Corin’s biggest successes: “Where I’ve been really successful in a company or working on individual projects is always where the CRM team works really closely with the Data team. Over time you can put in really intelligent campaigns.”
So, what is the importance of CRM in today’s climate? Having experienced the power of CRM across businesses at different stages of their journey CRM is ultimately really important for growth. In the case of start-ups “the focus is very much on acquisition and that is partly because of the priorities in early life” but no matter the size of the business “it’s very expensive to acquire a new customer”. As such, Corin suggests bringing in a CRM team and shifting towards a culture of retention over rapid acquisition as soon as possible: “As soon as you bring a CRM team on boards […] you can start looking at your existing customer base and seeing how likely they are to repeat purchase […] the more you keep those customers long term, the better your business will do.”Her biggest pet peeve linked to CRM and growth? Data: “There’s nothing more frustrating than not having the right Data available”. Although the overriding advice is ASAP, it’s with the caveat of an adequate Data infrastructure to allow for the insights to be leveraged. It feels uncomfortable not to acknowledge the elephant in the room and the impact COVID-19 has had on how brands market to customers: “When the pandemic hit a lot of businesses had to take a step back and think, what are our values, what is our proposition and how can we help people in context to the pandemic.”In an ideal world this would then feed into the CRM team yet we’ve all experienced “empty examples of communications from companies who feel they have to say something about it […] and it doesn’t work, and I think it actually does damage to the brand.” Corin’s advice on this?”If I was in a CRM team that is what I would be thinking about. Making sure communication is relevant, it’s useful and it’s something that you will then be remembered for when everything is over.”If you’re looking for an opportunity in the world of CRM, or to build your Customer Insight team, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.