Do you recall life without a smartphone? It is becoming difficult to remember those days. With the ever-evolving digital transformation in the consumer world happening, it is easy to find an application that can manage every aspect of our lives. This is not only transforming our user experience at a personal level, it is also affecting the way manufacturers work.
Instead of being disrupted by this change, companies are investing in the digital transformation now, and many are starting that journey by looking at technology solutions that can support an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) framework. Companies leading the way for digital transformation are not only focusing on their customers’ experience, but also turning to their employees to empower them with the right tools and connectivity they need to be more effective. The workforce of the digital workplace not only wants the data they need to do their jobs, they want easy-to-use technology that has the familiar look and feel of the apps they use every day.
A report on this topic from Deloitte notes: “Technology enables the digital workplace. Each organization already has a digital workplace toolbox with different tools. Depending on your industry and business needs, the tools needed to support your digital workplace will vary. The key is to adopt the right tools for your employees to do their jobs.”
One of these tool areas still ripe for disruption in the IIoT era is customer relationship management (CRM). To keep customers at the focus of their business today and stay one step ahead of competitors, manufacturers need a CRM technology that enables them to respond to customer requests fast, from wherever they are and from whatever device they are using. Equally important—and here’s where IIoT comes into the CRM equation—they must also understand how inputs provided by both customers and their own machines can be leveraged in a CRM system.
How CRM and user experience can lead to growth
If you provide the right CRM solution loaded with the right data to your sales team, it can make a great difference to your business. A modern CRM interface will result in improved productivity and employee engagement because your sales team will be able to do business anytime and anywhere, and better understand your customers’ behaviors.
These are the key things you need to look for in an effective CRM solution ready for the IIoT:
- Great user interface—in both the front and back ends.When discussing user experiences, it’s widely accepted that the user is king. But CRM in the IIoT age needs an interface that is also friendly for the IT professionals managing it. With so many data inputs to consider and manage, the need for IT professionals to be able to manage and distill the CRM system’s information is just as important as its user friendliness.
- Full access to CRM data for all users.Your sales team needs to have full access to the CRM features and data on their mobile devices. Make the data transfer from your customers to your CRM as well as from your machines to your CRM as seamless as possible. Your sales staff should be able to use the mobile CRM to manage the entire sales cycle from lead to quote, as well as to dissect all the relevant information from anywhere they are.
- Broad compatibility.Until a common, open-source operating system for all your machines outputting data into an IIoT data repository arrives on the scene, be sure the CRM has a browser/operating system-agnostic application that works on the device of your choice.
- Easy to install and implement.The user experience should start with an installation process that’s as easy as going to your app store and downloading an app to your device. In addition, look for a simple licensing model that doesn´t increase your costs.
The digital transformation happening in the workplace is not just a trend, it´s here to stay. That’s why it’s important to understand what future technologies can look like so your business can stay ahead of the curve.
For more information, visit Epicor at www.epicor.com.