How Will CRM Facilitate the Shift of Customer Centricity in 2021: New Insights From Tinyclues Study


New data from Tinyclues identifies key challenges marketers face in being customer-centric.

Customer centricity emerged as a key theme in 2020 as customer expectations and journeys underwent a significant transformation. The 2021 State of CRM report by Tinyclues found that even the most advanced CRM teams face challenges that prevent them from being truly customer-centric.

It is interesting to see that, more than tools and access to data, what is missing in the CRM industry appears to be advice on strategies to follow. The report found that while most marketers wanted to become customer-centric, they seldom know where to start. While the Martech ecosystem is booming, budget cuts and a lack of engagement from the c-suite may pose a key challenge.

Also read: Pushing the Envelope in Customer Centricity: SAS Debuts New Analytical Offerings for Marketers

According to the survey by Tinyclues, 82% of the marketers indicated that their biggest objective is active customer retention. Simultaneously, over one-third of the respondents listed loyalty, retention, segmentation, and targeting as the top challenges they are facing in the upcoming year.

Interestingly, the report revealed that 47% of the respondents said they lack “clear advice on strategy.” Given this is such a common challenge among CRM teams, it is surprising to see that only half of the respondents list customer satisfaction KPIs as a measure of success. Nearly every respondent listed email and revenue KPIs as a measure of success, though.

As more channels become available for CRM teams to operate on and increased amounts of personal information are stored on each user, companies are managing enormous amounts of data across more and more platforms. This is complicated – data storage, normalization, and cleaning have become known as a costly and painstaking hurdle to overcome. However, it is not controversial to say that it is a non-negotiable.

Also read: CRM and the Concept of Customer Centricity

Integration of new tools will help CRM teams take their strategy to the next level and deliver a stronger customer experience. But they can be slow to integrate as there are internal challenges to face with process, strategy, and adoption.

The report also identified automation as a key challenge. Streamlining processes so that manual tasks can become automated usually pose a significant level of effort up front. But it is the payoff over the long run and the saving of time and effort that make this a worthy investment.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

Customer centricity is about improving the customer experience with a brand. Marketers plan activities such as improving communication, strengthening relationships, and specific product offerings or services that cater to the needs of customers to do this.

It seems inevitable that being over contacted by a brand will become less acceptable from a customer’s perspective. Companies that have not taken the critical steps toward becoming customer-centric will observe customer dissatisfaction and its consequences. At the same time, customers will reward the companies that are sending them relevant communications and have the right marketing pressure. They will do this by being more loyal and becoming true ambassadors to their network or simply moving their emails from the promotions tab to the inbox.

Also read: Customer Centricity: Do we need to Refocus?

From a technological perspective, we have already observed that Google or Apple have the ability to curate and filter the communication that a customer receives, thus managing marketing pressure at a global level. As a result, marketers’ access to customers will continue to evolve as well on all channels as these platforms work to improve customer experience too