The Value of a Centralized System that Combines both CRM and ERP
We recently polled a group of individuals (both consultants and clients) on why they use, or think people use, a Customer Relationship Management system such as Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement. The results were varied. Some people implement CRM to manage their sales force, some use CRM for customer service, some to send out marketing newsletters, but all of the uses of CRM really revolve around one desire - to have a 360-degree view of the customer. This can only be achieved through one centralized system which would combine ERP and CRM.
I'm sure you have been on a customer service call with a company who has to ask you questions they should already know the answer to. That used to be acceptable years ago but in today's fast-paced world, consumers don't have the patience for it anymore. A good customer service experience is one that solves the issue as quickly as possible. It's also advantageous to have the ability to self-serve, so you can achieve an outcome quickly, without having to wait on hold or get transferred between departments.
Get a 360-degree view
So how do you create a true 360-degree view of your customer? In many cases, a CRM system is no longer enough to give you the full information about your customer that you need. The best way to get the full picture is to integrate your systems and information. For example, if you take your system where you track customer activities, your sales process, marketing campaigns and customer service and combined it with the ERP system you use to take orders, review collection activity, make shipments, process returns, and manage balances, you’d have a much clearer view and understanding of your customer.
With the vast majority of information about your clients in one place, you would have the ability to improve the service you provide and speed up customer service response times.
If your core customer systems are disconnected, you're not going to be able to provide a view into everything that's going on with them. You may not be able to answer a question your customer asks. You might have to put them on hold while you look things up and, worst of all, your data could be out of sync between the system, resulting in sharing inaccurate information.
One other major benefit of integrated ERP and CRM systems is consolidated reporting. As you map out the connections between the systems, you can build easy-to-read and up-to-date reports that show a dashboard with all your customer’s information in one place.
With these systems connected and reports available, leaders will have a better sense of how well the team is providing customer service, if there are missed opportunities, and if your lead management strategies are working.
If you value being able to see all your customer interactions in one place, you're going to want to seek a system or an integration that combines your ERP and CRM data. I've never heard a company tell me they want to be less customer focused, so if a better customer focus is important to you, give your customer-facing customers the integrated system they need to succeed in their roles.
If you’re ready to talk to one of our ERP and CRM integration professionals at Stoneridge Software, reach out to us. We’re ready to help you achieve your business goals with a 360-degree view of your customers.