Providing exceptional customer experiences can be a massive contributor to the success of any business but building brand affinity among customers depends largely on gaining buy-in from employees of the business.
The key is creating a responsive workplace that empowers employees to do their best work, increasing job satisfaction and reducing turnover, says Francois Pienaar, business development executive of Mint Management Technologies, a technology consultancy and development company that specialises in customer relationship management (CRM).
“A CRM system, like Dynamics 365, enables businesses to foster employee engagement and growth across the organisation,” said Pienaar. “And engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, serve customers better, and retain more clients.”
Research supports this, and Demand Metric’s Employee Engagement Survey reveals that companies with over 50% employee engagement retain over 80% of their customers. Companies with engaged employees also outperform their competitors by 202%, according to Gallup’s Q12 Employee Engagement Assessment.
Providing the best tools
Dynamics 365 unifies enterprise resource planning (ERP) and CRM capabilities into applications that work together across sales, customer service, field service, operations, financials, marketing, and project service automation.
“The system helps organisations achieve a culture of customer-centricity by providing employees with the best tools to engage with clients,” said Pienaar. “Dynamics 365 provides a very rich history of interactions with each client, which assists employees in the customer engagement process – even for employees of large corporates with big customer bases.”
Dynamics 365 offers customer service representatives a unified view of service issues so that they can provide faster resolutions for customers. This includes a timeline that allows users to view previous interactions with a customer, helping the employee to better engage the customer.
“When customers phone in, employees are able to pull up information regarding their previous engagements with the company as well as detailed information on what products they’ve purchased, the online resources they’ve consulted, and even their interests,” said Pienaar.
This detailed database of information empowers customer service representatives to engage the customer in a fuller, more detailed conversation than would previously have been possible.
“Rather than a dead ‘Hi, I’m Francois, how can I help you?’ your customer service representatives can tap into key details about the customer and link their current query back to any previous interactions, regardless of what channel was used,” said Pienaar.
The introduction of AI to Dynamics 365 is further empowering employees, according to Pienaar. “Predictive analytics, chatbots, machine learning, and robotics are making it increasingly easier for people to interact with call centres and allows employees to service customers better and faster.”
When employees have the tools they need to fully engage with the clients, resolve issues effectively, and generally do their best work, organisations reap the benefits of that productivity and buy-in, Pienaar added.
When implementing a CRM system, such as Dynamics 365, into a business for the first time, however, Pienaar warns that change management is an important consideration.
“Introducing Dynamics 365 will change the way employees work, and businesses need to be very sensitive to the impact of that,” said Pienaar. “Measures need to be put in place to make employees understand that the change is going to be significant, but to ensure that they feel as though they are part of the process.”
Underestimating the effects of the change could result in resistance from employees who feel threatened by the new system or are finding it difficult to change their current habits, Pienaar warned. End-users need to clearly understand the benefits that a CRM system will afford them, and they require adequate training and involvement.
“Our approach is to employ change management continuously throughout the implementation process, as well as afterwards,” said Pienaar. “Rather than just a single day of training, for example, we do continuous enablement as part of an ongoing change management process.”
He adds that change management doesn’t need to be complicated and expensive to be effective. “We enable change champions within the business so that employees are continuously engaged throughout the process,” he said. “Technology is changing at a phenomenal rate, so change management and digital enablement need to be continuous.”
For more information, visit the Mint Management Technologies website.
About Francois Pienaar
Francois is the business development executive for global Microsoft Gold Partner, Mint Group.
He is responsible for merging technology and business requirements to shape and architect solutions that will digitally transform prospective customers operations and streamline business development.
He is also a father, cyclist, basketball fan and a lover of South African history.
This article was published in partnership with Mint Management Technologies.