The past decade has seen the launch of a flurry of start-ups that have helped businesses avoid paperwork and instead rely on faster cloud-based solutions. According to a study published by the market research firm MarketsandMarkets, the next area of disruption is happening with business process management, which includes process modeling, automation, integration and optimization. The study predicts Business Process Management to become a $10.73 billion market by 2019.
So what does all of this mean for customer management? One of the biggest changes we will see is in the way the customer lifecycle works. Automation is already a big part of the sales cycle at many organizations and this is only going to grow over the next few years. As a business, process automation can not only directly impact your customer acquisition, but can also directly impact the way your customers engage with your business. To put this another way, by being an early adopter to automation in your industry, you can take the lead in setting the benchmarks and customer experience standards that the rest of market is liable to follow. Here are a few recommendations.
Fast track sales cycle: A typical sales process in a B2B segment can take anywhere between a few weeks to months to complete. These cycles are further protracted due to weekends, delays in getting back from either end and failure to follow up on time. Sales cycles can be brought down dramatically with the cloud by automating the sales process of setting appointments, sharing presentations and following up with customers. By bringing down the time it takes for sales executives to respond, businesses can enable an on-demand sales system that gives the customers what they want as soon as they request them. This increases their engagement rate and subsequently conversions.
Automate support requests: It is true that no amount of automation can ever substitute a human response to a customer’s request for help. But having said that, customer support teams require a certain turnaround time to read and respond to support requests. This can be made worse during lean periods of support during weekends, nights or holidays. Such delays in support when a customer desperately needs help can impact their experience with your business. This can however be avoided through ‘first aid’ helpdesk tools that use Natural Language Processing to interpret incoming requests and provide appropriate support.
Automating incoming sales enquiry: Studies have shown that inbound sales enquiries convert at a whopping 750% higher than outbound or interruption based marketing techniques. Given the stakes here, it is extremely important to seize the opportunity and convert every sales enquiry that comes your way. One of the main reasons for businesses to miss such leads is because of the delay in getting back. This can happen due to a number of reasons – the sales team member not responding to requests on time, enquiries getting stuck in spam, etc. Drop in conversions due to such delays can be greatly reduced by automating the response which includes a request to set up an appointment. This way, inbound sales enquiries can be directly channeled towards an appointment which can drastically improve customer conversion as well as experience.