CRM BI – What You Need to Know

Every business today is turning to technologies like CRM BI to help them gain a competitive edge. Such technologies and analytical applications are gaining importance because of their capability of providing businesses the much-needed critical insights. These insights when acted upon takes any business to the next level in such a competitive business environment.

CRM BI Overview

Stiff competition in the business environment has forced business organisation to set their focus to go beyond sales and towards customer retention. This brought the need to understand every aspect of the customer experience; from marketing, sales, services and support.

Customer satisfaction and customer service are key factors in customer relationship. Organizations that constantly monitor and accurately measure customer service factors and customer satisfaction levels can easily carry out customer relationship management. This means that they will be able to make necessary correction, improve customer retention, gain meaning full customer references and increase their customer acquisition.

An effective customer relationship management is crucial in determining the profit or loss the organisation will make. This is so because customer relationship directly relates to important factors such as marketing and sales. It is therefore important the an organisation to have their CRM tool integrated with the BI (Business Intelligence) tool to ensure that they gain meaning full insights that can be acted upon to increase sales and the company’s profit generally.

The CRM tool provides data on customer experience and the BI tool manipulates the data to provide intelligence that will be used to inform strategic business decisions. Therefore, CRM BI becomes an effective business tool that enables the organisation to achieve customer retention, gain meaningful references and enchant more customers while at the same time ensuring their continued loyalty.

What it takes to have an actionable CRM intelligence

For any business to be able to fully benefit from their CRM intelligence and unlock insights that will influence better decision making, there are some key factors that the organisation has to consider. The following are key factors to consider in order to establish a remarkable CRM BI system for your organisation:

1. Access to accurate data

For the intelligence system to be effective, it is fundamental that it has access to up-to-date accurate data from the CRM system. Many are the times when only a subset of the CRM data is provided to the BI system, making the CRM intelligence system unable to provide meaningful insights due to lack of detail.

2. Provide data from other relevant sources

Obtaining data from relevant external sources such as the market data, third party data, survey results and the IT system is crucial for the success of your business intelligence system. It will act on a more informed all-round platform in coming up with insights that will be useful in making critical business decisions.

3. Optimize for performance

The volume of data in your intelligence system is significant. So, to meet the demands of the BI system for computer resources, the system needs to be optimized for performance. For instance, the response time should be timely in order to be able to effectively accommodate users navigating around the data.

4. Ease of access

An effective CRM BI system should be easy to access from wherever and whenever it is needed. The system should be able to handle a number of mobile devices in different places at different times. Access should be allowed to the system through these mobile devices being used by sales representatives in the field.

5. Utilize Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KIPs is a useful tool in the building of an effective CRM system. They are a set of metrics that are used in the managing of improvements –key performance. For a business to effectively utilize KIPs in the intelligence system, it should be flexible and be able to be configured with the system. This way improvements will be calculated periodically and a history kept from which future trends can be forecast.

6. Utilize dashboards

Dashboards are important navigational elements that will help make KIPs and key charts readily available for use. They combine navigational features such as task lists and calendar summaries with informational feature to enhance the intelligence system. Real-time access to tools, data and other essential elements makes your BI more agile and the information obtained more marketable.

7. Utilize analytics

Analytics is an important tool of your BI system. This tool will enable you to perform necessary analysis and evaluation of data to uncover critical detail within it. When working with a large data volume, you will need a comprehensive user-interface mechanism that will be able to filter for contexts, highlight exceptional and generally summarize the data to make it easily ‘digestible’. Variously, you will have to create segments and clusters to be able to extract important detail from significantly large volumes of data.

You may find it necessary to automate some decision-making levels if the data proves to be too large to handle. Presenting data in form of charts, graphs and tables will make it much easier to explore and extract critical detail from it.

8. Actionable analytics

Actionable analytics provides a continuous cycle of investigation, review and action. It involves presenting a set of actions to be undertaken in the event a crucial discovery is made within the BI system. It allows for the identification and correction of anomalies. It includes actions that schedule follow-ups and coaching as well as other important repeated actions.

Increased competition in the business environment has made it necessary for businesses to strive to better understand customer, product and service related issues in order to make appropriate improvements and corrections. Organisations must constantly monitor customer profiles, accurately measure customer service and predict customer trends like changes in buying behaviour.

Forecast can be based on such data as from demographics, psychographics, geographies and behavioural buying patterns. For this to be achievable, customer service and customer satisfaction have to be able to be monitored and accurately measured. This requires a comprehensive integrated data mini process that will provide up-to-date customer service and customer satisfaction metrics that will enable a view of customer groups and regions. This will ensure that data obtained is meaningful and actionable. Thus is how CRM BI makes available meaningful insights upon which critical business decisions can be made and viable business action taken.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.
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