Customers’ needs are changing every day and it’s more important than ever for brands to keep up with these evolving needs and provide users with unified experiences. But only a handful of brands are able to provide a truly unified experience. If you look closely at how they are able to do this, it’s always because their customer-centric approach is deeply-rooted into their system, starting from the CX tech they use.
CX tech is only as good as different technological components (or layers) that make up an application. Think of it like the various moving parts of a car that all work together to give the driver a seamless driving experience. If you get one part wrong, like if the horsepower of the engine does not match the size of the car, you’ll still be able to drive the car, but it won’t be a smooth, enjoyable driving experience. What matters is the right mix of variables.
Just like the strength of a building lies in its foundation, the quality of customer experience you provide depends in large part on the CX tech you use. Your stack should include the right components that help you align customer data with your unique business process so your teams can function in unison.
As we celebrate seven years of Zoho CRM Plus, we’re taking you behind the scenes to show you what powers our unified platform and the different layers that come together to form a seamless CX platform, layers of personalization, and how all the components work together to help our customers deliver unified experiences.
The ideal CX tech
The ideal customer experience tech solution should bring not only your different teams together but also all the different tools they use to ensure seamless data flow from one department to another. AI should be incorporated into your core system rather than added on top of it, and it should work with other components to help you gather meaningful insights.
Here are some important factors that you should keep in mind while choosing CX technology for your business:
- Customization: It’s important that the tech you implement can be customized to meet your business needs. You should be able to add, remove, or modify features or functions as required.
- Scalability: There’s definitely no one-size-fits-all CX tech. The technology you implement should be able to evolve as your company grows as well as meeting your current needs.
- Integration: The tech you choose should work in harmony with your existing CX stack and integrate with third-party applications and open APIs to enable seamless cross-functional data flow.
- Security: Your CX tech should be based on a robust security framework to protect you from data breaches or data exposure and ensure data encryption.
Zoho customer experience tech
Back when businesses used to rely on traditional sales and marketing funnels with disjointed point solutions to shape their customer experience, we predicted that a more holistic and customer-centric approach to customer experience was the way forward. We envisaged unified tech solutions that aligned sales, marketing, and service and brought data, teams, and processes together in one platform.
With Zoho CRM Plus we unified sales, marketing, service, and field service tools on one platform ensuring a 360-degree view of the customer and seamless data flow from one department to another. With AI built right into the platform, businesses can transform customer data into actionable insights and deliver personalized experiences throughout the customer lifecycle.
Some highlights of the CRM Plus platform:
- Unified administration
- Unified setup and configuration
- Unified user provisioning
- Unified search
- Easy customization
- Enhanced scalability
- Simple integration
- Robust security features
The layers of our CX platform, starting with personalization
Customers want personalized experiences, and in today’s digital world, they can be the single most important difference between you and your competitors. To offer truly individual experiences, you must understand your customers’ online behavior and interactions with your business, so you can tailor their interactions with you at every touchpoint.
For example, you own an airline and have a customer who travels from point A to point B the same month every year and prefers an aisle seat. This should be enough information to allow you to offer this loyal customer a personalized reward, whether that means offering a discount on their trip or sending them an email about suitable flights with available aisle seats around the time they usually book. The right components in your tech stack can help you reach out with the right personalized incentive at exactly the right time.
The Data layer
The right data is key to delivering personalized experiences. In the airline example above, you need a system which captures information down to details like the customer’s seat preference to help deliver a truly tailored experience.
Data is the core component of the CRM Plus stack. This layer unifies and centralizes customer data from across mobile apps, websites, social media, and other touchpoints, empowering teams to view, manage, and use the data they need to deliver personalized experiences. This also eliminates data silos and ensures data consistency so you have a single source of truth for your customer information.
The Signals layer
It’s difficult to maintain consistent experiences across channels if you can’t respond to customer interactions in real time. Whether it’s a sales call or a support request, your teams need to be able to proactively engage with customers to foster healthy relationships.
Signals is the second layer in the CRM Plus stack, built on top of the data layer. This layer notifies you about key customer interactions across all your sales, marketing, and service channels so your teams can follow up and respond to them promptly from the same centralized place. Your sales teams are instantly notified of important customer interactions such as social media mentions, support tickets, or email responses in the platform, so they never miss out on a chance to engage.
The Intelligence layer
If you can’t interpret the data that you collect from various touchpoints, you won’t be able to intelligently personalize your engagements with the customer.
The third layer of the CRM Plus stack is intelligence, which does the heavy lifting for you by processing the data you collect and turning it into meaningful insights. It slices and dices data using powerful machine learning, big data, and sentiment analytics algorithms, making smarter predictions, serving as a sales assistant, and improving your organization’s overall productivity. For example, our capable AI categorizes incoming customer emails as positive, negative, or neutral, helping your teams prioritize and respond to important emails. It also offers intelligent recommendations such as the best time to contact a lead based on their activity.
The Orchestration layer
Your customers do not care about the different departments in your organization. To them, you are one brand, so it’s important that you maintain consistent, unified engagement on every channel. For example, pitching a new product to a customer who has recently had a bad experience with your service might not go well. Your teams need contextual data from every department and application to achieve a unified front.
The orchestration layer in CRM Plus interconnects all the components in your stack so that they function as a group. It also seamlessly connects your stack with third-party applications and controls data transmission between the components. If a customer visits your website or mentions your business on social media, you get all the relevant context such as the customers’ previous interactions and the agents they have talked to so that you can provide a unified experience.
Catalyst is our in-house serverless platform that makes it easy to customize the tech stack to meet every business’s unique requirements and deploy it at scale. It helps us rapidly develop applications and improve security and privacy features for all our products.
With all the components working together and driven by Catalyst, Zoho CRM Plus unifies all the touchpoints customers use to contact a business and the data that is gathered at each of them, helping businesses deliver personalized experiences across the customer journey.
Zoho CRM Plus offers the best of both worlds: Freedom at a departmental level and unification at a higher organizational level.
The platform allows customer-facing teams to operate independently at ground level, giving every department the features that they need to achieve their goals, while unifying all the components at an organizational level, avoiding silos. For example, a member of the service team may not be involved in sales or marketing processes, so they don’t need those features, but they still need to see some of the customer information gathered in those processes. CRM Plus lets you choose who gets to view what and to build and customize each department the way you want it, so your teams are not burdened with unnecessary information and notifications.
If you’d like to get instant access to Zoho CRM Plus, click here.
We offer a 30-day free trial, so why not try it now and start delivering personalized customer experiences?
If you’ve already used Zoho CRM Plus, we’d love for you to let us know what you think about the platform and how it has helped your business in the comments below. You can even share your experience on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn with the hashtag #7yearsofZohoCX.