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Customer Interaction Management or commonly abbreviated in the industry as CIM is exactly what the term implies; the management of interactions between an organization and its customers. CIM came into existence after the rampant dependence on customer engagement, profitability and customer experience which predominantly came into the spotlight after the digital transformation.

However, there were vestiges of customer relationship and interaction management before this transformation. Customer interacts with organizations through different conduits, be it email, chat, phone, mobile application, text, social media, etc, and demands the organization to be available on the conduit they have chosen to interact. For companies to forge strong customer bonds, an omni-channel presence is no longer an option but a necessity. Companies from different industries have gradually accepted this transformation at how they serve customers, but a few are still unenthusiastic about the idea.

The ecommerce industry is probably the fastest growing industry in the globe with goods and services worth $1.5 Tn bought by shoppers via desktops, tablets, and smartphones in 2014. And with mobile shopping further maturing and consumer mindshare continuing to split across multiple devices, the demand for a customer interaction management intensifies in the industry. Many ecommerce companies struggle to align their customer interaction and business strategy, but many fail to do so.

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With a CIM solution in place, customer communications can be seamlessly streamlined across all channels easing companies to nurture loyalty and advocacy. Being in the internet industry, ecommerce companies are put at risk when it comes to customer rants and negative reviews posted online. And with the increasing penetration of Twitter and Facebook, customers are provided with a platform to rant their frustrations and aggravations. It’s surprising what a 140 character Tweet could do to a business. And many a times, the companies either are unaware about such a review or simply ignore them. This is just one facet of the myriad challenges an e-commerce company encounter in the customer service front.

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A CIM software integrates all points of customer interaction touch-points into one holistic platform, transforming itself to an omni-channel communication platform. An effective and intelligent CIM solution will not only help in retaining and expanding business, but it will also help businesses to gain insights into the behaviour of customers and modify operations customized to each customer. The primary factor in defining the success of an ecommerce business is the capability to manage the complete spectrum of customer interactions – from online product assistance to cross-selling, and to have a complete interaction history that spans all media.

In addition to becoming an omni-channel platform, CIM solution provides relevant customer context with the entire interaction history to customer service representatives to solve customer queries quickly as possible without further investigating the particulars of the order or customer. If effectively implemented, a CIM solution can be a company’s front line of defense in resolving customer complaints and queries. Resolving to each customer query is critical to an online company’s profitability. According to Forrester Research, 66% of web shopping carts are abandoned before purchases are completed simply because their queries go unnoticed.

How CIM Solutions Combat Customer Interaction Challenges

While choosing a CIM solution platform for your firm, make sure that they solve or provide you following benefits:

  1. Complete Interaction History: CIM solutions provide customer service agents with the complete interaction history of customers to quickly address their unique needs with a customized and streamlined experience. It revolutionizes the customer experience and enhances customer loyalty, thereby improving the profitability of the organization.
  2. Single Platform for All Channels: With CIM solution in place, companies can interact with customers through their preferred channel via a single platform. Every interaction will be updated in the system on real-time, providing agents the opportunity to quickly resolve or address customer requests. In addition, vendor/partner management is an opportunity capitalized by companies equipping CIM solutions by masking the communications between customers and vendors,
  3. Omni-channel Experience: Unlike multi-channel communication where companies offer multiple channels of communication to customers for reaching out, but fail to provide an option to hop channels, omni-channel presence tackles this setback by allowing customers and organizations the option to switch channels as they prefer without losing context.
  4. Customer Analytics: Gathers business intelligence through standard reporting measures by analyzing customer interactions. This helps companies to derive operational data to forecast resources required and understanding channel performance.

Any ecommerce company that wishes to establish a sustainable competitive advantage will want to invest in a CIM solution. It’s not just about telling customers that you care about them, it’s about showing them that you do.

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