Business Resolutions

Wednesdays With Will: Business Resolutions

By William Marchesano, Technology Advisor & Evangelist
I know this greeting is about five days late but…Happy New Year! That’s the challenge of “Wednesdays With Will”, I have to stick to my day (Wednesday) for the blog title to make sense. Regardless, I’m sure most of you participated in the common ritual of making resolutions for self-improvement now that a New Year is upon us. Instead of asking about your personal resolutions, why don’t we discuss your business resolutions for the year? This question isn’t intended to give you anxiety but to get you thinking about how you can take what you did well in 2015 and make it great in 2016. Let’s narrow the focus to 3 areas that are common among most businesses no matter the size or industry…Sales, Marketing, and Customer Services/Support.
If your business is like 99.99% of businesses today, you are looking for ways to improve at least one if not all of these aspects of your organization. As we discussed in previous posts, one of the best ways a business can address all three facets or each individual component would be to leverage a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Is your sales team currently using one to track your interactions with customers, prospects, and opportunities? Is your marketing team using one to manage marketing campaigns (including budgets), gauge effectiveness of individual campaigns, and track social sentiment to better position your organization through messaging? And finally does your customer service or support team have the tools to effectively service your customers so that they become your advocates? These are all tasks that can be easily managed by a CRM.
It’s a New Year so that means you have a fresh start and new opportunity to set your business up for success. Seize the opportunity and have the conversation now. What you do in January will dictate your success for the rest of the year.

 

As always, I encourage you to reach out to me to discuss these topics in deeper detail. I hope you enjoyed and found this week’s article informative. If you’re interested in some how-to related CRM material, check out blogs by my colleague Ben Ward here. Till next time…

About the author:

Will has over 16 years of experience in business development, team management, and project management. Will has worked at Managed Solution for over four years and is currently advising businesses on best CRM practices and implementations. Will’s focus is on process improvement and analytics specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Will is a Microsoft Certified Professional, with certifications in Presales Technical Specialist – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Sales Specialist- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Application, Sales Specialist- Office 365, Sales Specialist- SMB Infrastructure and Sales Specialist- Datacenter.
Other articles by Will Marchesano:
For information on deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in your organization, please call us at 800-257-0691.
Customer Service

Wednesdays With Will: Improving The Service In Customer Service

Wednesdays With Will: Improving The Service In Customer Service

By William Marchesano, Technology Advisor & Evangelist
In our last few installments, we touched on how your marketing and sales teams can more easily acquire new business by leveraging a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). As a business owner, you know that client acquisition is only half the battle. Once they become your customer, that’s when the real work starts. Sadly, this is often an overlooked aspect for some businesses which can lead to frustration for both the client and your own employees in supporting them. Today we are going to cover how you can help setup your customer support and customer service teams for success.
During the sales process, your marketing and sales team have set the expectations as to what will be delivered when a prospective customer becomes a client. As we all know, a promise is only as good as how well you are able execute it into reality. Sadly, there is a common tale of the chasm between what was promised by Marketing/Sales and what is delivered by Services. Worse, it will sometimes lead to finger pointing as to who is at fault…Marketing/Sales for overpromising or Services for under delivering. What if there was a way to mitigate if not prevent this from happening by having everyone on the same page.
In the previous blogs, we discussed the benefits of increased transparency and collaboration between your marketing and sales teams as you bring the prospective customer through the sales cycle. What if you could take it a step further to provide a streamlined handoff to your Services team? By leveraging a platform like Microsoft Dynamics CRM it is now possible. Under a single pane of glass, you are able to collaborate more easily between disparate teams (Marketing, Sales, Services, etc.) while coordinating enterprise-level support services. It enhances ease of use not only for your internal teams but also from the customer perspective. Let’s discuss how.
As I mentioned, there is often a disconnect between Marketing/Sales and Services. One of the most powerful aspects of collaboration is enhanced communication. If your Marketing/Sales team has a better understanding of what Services are capable of delivering, there is less chance of overpromising. If your Services team has a clear understanding of what the client is entitled to, it makes it easier for them to deliver or prepare and make adjustments accordingly.
Dynamics CRM provides your Services team with the tools to successfully deliver. A service agent will be able to view pertinent information regarding the account such as service entitlements, case history, customer service scripts, and context-based information. The context based information is pretty interesting because it uses machine learning to recommend information that would be most useful based on similar past experiences. Great time saver! Besides the information that is provided some of the tools include a Service Level Agreement (SLA) timer, a guided resolution process flow, and resource management/dispatch. What I love about the resource management/dispatch function is the ability to easily find the person with the correct skillset that is closest to the service destination. Another great time saver and a way to improve customer satisfaction.
Speaking of customer satisfaction, Microsoft Dynamics CRM will help make your customer your greatest advocate. As times change so have the ways customers prefer to interact with their chosen partner. Did you know the average customer uses 3 or more different channels of engagement with a company today? Dynamics CRM is able to provide a consistent customer experience whether your client chooses to communication through web, chat, social, email, or phone. Giving the client the option to interact the way they feel most comfortable promotes a stronger dialogue.
Social media has given businesses a new level of insight as to how they are doing as an organization and how they are perceived. This is important because it allows you to rectify an error before it becomes “big news” and pinpoint areas of improvement. On the flipside, it also lets you know what you are doing great and why your clients appreciate you.
One of the most popular methods of customer support today is self-service. It makes complete sense as to why it has become the trend. With the increased popularity and use of internet search engines over the past 20 years, most people are more comfortable searching for an answer themselves vs asking for assistance. Microsoft has recognized this trend and recently incorporated a solution into Dynamics CRM. Clients now have access to the answers they are seeking regarding your product or service through a company branded online portal. Once again, it leverages machine learning so it provides recommended context based topics to assist as you type in your query. If you are unable to find the answer to your questions, you can easily create a new case in the same portal. It will then be answered, saved, and available for future use for others with the same question.
The last topic I would like to touch on is engagement experience and brand loyalty. A platform like Microsoft Dynamics CRM will help streamline how your internal teams work together and hopefully improve employee satisfaction and retention but that’s only half the story when it comes to Services. Having the ability to effectively assist your clients and for them to easily be assisted is the beginning of the story around brand loyalty. The more they enjoy interacting with your organization, the greater chance there is of them becoming not only a loyalist but an evangelist for your brand. This will often lead to new leads, opportunities, and sales generated by your clients!
There is much more to discuss when it comes to the Services portion of Dynamics CRM but I like to keep these articles short and to the point. As always, I encourage you to reach out to me to discuss these topics in deeper detail. I hope you enjoyed and found this week’s article informative. If you’re interested in some how-to related CRM material, check out blogs by my colleague Ben Ward here. Till next time…
About the author:
Will has over 16 years of experience in business development, team management, and project management. Will has worked at Managed Solution for over four years and is currently advising businesses on best CRM practices and implementations. Will’s focus is on process improvement and analytics specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Will is a Microsoft Certified Professional, with certifications in Presales Technical Specialist – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Sales Specialist- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Application, Sales Specialist- Office 365, Sales Specialist- SMB Infrastructure and Sales Specialist- Datacenter.
Other articles by Will Marchesano:
For information on deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in your organization, please call us at 800-257-0691.

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