The Ever-Evolving CRM Landscape
1. In your opinion, how has the CRM landscape evolved over the years? What are some of the advantages of the current technological evolution?
• At Kmart, technology and data will deliver further improvements in customer experiences and strengthen our lowest-cost position. The changing data privacy environment driven by the introduction of App Transparent Tracking (ATT), the cookie-less world, expansion of IP and email masking are some of the areas that will require organisations to consider their approach in building and maintaining customer relationships.
• We know customers are now more conscious and aware of what data they are prepared to share and have high expectations and transparency on how their data is being collected and used by organisations. With 90% of iPhones already on iOS 14, the ATT impact is real. Early opt in rates for App Tracking in Australia ranges between 10%-13% depending on category and app. Being transparent and having clear communications with our customers is so important - consider the value exchange when seeking data collection inputs and apply the right level of consent considerations, minimising the grey area.
2. What according to you are some of the challenges plaguing the CRM landscape and how can they be effectively mitigated?
With a vast amount of 1st party data from service, marketing, ecommerce, social etc. Organisations needs to find a systematic way to ensure that data source, data organisation and data utilisation is built on a framework for effective decision making with purpose.
Clarity of purpose is a key foundation for success. Asking the right questions such as what type of data critical, what data is should be used for insights vs action, how does the role of data use increase the level of customer engagement and overall business performance.
• Another element is delivering a consistent customer experience. Covid has significantly increased the level of digital adoption across all industries. Within a retailing environment, the sense of connection and bridging the physical and ecommerce shopping environments are becoming more important than ever before. At Kmart, we believe that stores are no longer just a channel to sell products. For example, our team has developed several initiatives to streamline Kmart’s omnichannel offering, which will significantly improve the customer experience through multiple touch points. These include: a new online platform, category expansion through online-only exclusives, real-time inventory management, and automation.
We are investing in a multi-year program to transform the in-store customer experience and deliver operational efficiencies and even greater value for customers - our Connected Store experience reflects this commitment by building a digitally enabled in-store commerce that coverts store visits into an enjoyable, faster, and convenient shopping experience. For customers, they shop and engage us as one Kmart, any time they need us most.
• Lastly, building a customer first approach across the enterprise is so critical in empowering teams to consider holistic customer touchpoints and understand where we can impact the most. Passion for our customers and making their lives brighter enables the organisation to accelerate the collaboration with purpose. Building and maintain a customer thinking culture means that our problem solving is about our customers.
Which are a few technological trends influencing CRM today? What are some of the best practices’ businesses should adopt today to steer ahead of competitors?
• Omnichannel customer engagement: 91% of customers interact with two of more channels before they make their decision to purchase. Bringing a consistent approach to ensure alignment to delight customers along their journey irrespective of channel. Engage customers in their channel preferences and be mindful of the fluidity of channel engagement. Maximise cross channel touch points to drive full funnel performance.
• Rise of Social: Digital platforms are no longer just an advertising platform. The rise of Social especially in e-commerce and support will impact the way that our customers see us and learn who we are as a brand. The two-way interaction and engagement will continue to evolve as our customers demonstrate through their actions their channel preference.
At Kmart, our social presence continues to flourish and our community support via social platforms remains. Our customer expectations are rising in line with how other retailers are leading the way with digital engagement. We continue to lean in to support our customers in the way they need us, from conversational AU chat and SMS shopping support to or simply to continue our integrated social journey.
Do you have any advice for industry veterans or budding entrepreneurs from the CRM space?
• Build and maintain the customer connection - ensure every customer engagement is a positive one and you are listening to your customers. Adding value to the relationship - take time to create value to the relationship building process. Research reveals that it is 3x harder to acquire a new customer so a balanced approach between building customer love and customer acquisition is key. Consider the journeys and seek ways to surprise and delight customers in new ways to experience your product and/or service. In an age where cold calling is out, social selling is the norm and the ever-increasing level of cold emails land in your inbox, take the time to build the customer connection. Consider the various touch points of your prospects and seek to ensure to be helping rather than selling.
• Understand the customer problem - focus on how you’re able to solve the problem whether it is a B2B, B2B or B2B2C environment. Technology is the enabler - it is not the strategy to solve problems. Help your customers by helping them join the dots to solve their customer problems. This will empower then to link their strategy to solid execution.