In the 4th edition of Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Research Report, they found that 90% of customers say companies reveal how trustworthy they are by how they act during a crisis.
During the pandemic — the most consequential crisis most of us have experienced in our lifetimes — companies have had the opportunity to either build trust or lose it entirely. While this pandemic-induced environment presents an opportunity to strengthen existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones, it’s also produced a continually transforming landscape in which customers interact with brands.
Digitally Connecting with Customers
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, the “new normal” is in many ways just an ever-evolving shift in expectations and demands. Most of these changing customer needs trend towards digital experiences. Connecting with customers is no longer bound to the relationship between the decision-maker and salesperson. It’s happening digitally across several channels and platforms.
According to the Salesforce report, 88% of customers expect businesses to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19.
To build these positive, trusting relationships over the internet, you not only need to be digitally present but also equipped to capture customer information, analyze how customers are interacting with your products and services, and make decisions based on the data available.
The Customer Experience is a Digital Experience
Eighty-five percent of B2B buyers say that their experience with a company is equally important as the quality of the product or service.
For many buyers, the point of connection with your company won’t be an interaction with a human, but an experience on your website, app, or social media. Customer experience isn’t encapsulated in the conversations had with sales and customer service. It’s now primarily driven by the interactions customers have with you on a given digital platform.
In other words, customer experience is now primarily a digital experience. The goal should be to make that digital experience as human as possible.
The Role of the CRM in Connecting With Customers
This entire digital ecosystem revolves around your customer relationship management software (CRM). To provide that human, digital experience — you need a healthy, vibrant, and accurate CRM.
The pandemic has changed almost everything about our lives, and your CRM is where you can track and measure how it’s altering the relationship between your business and your customers.
Your CRM, in short, is what empowers you to keep up with the shifting realm of customer expectations. It gives you the information and the tools you need to connect with customers and thrive in the “new normal.”
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