How SAP is reinventing CRM to enrich the customer experience with SAP C/4HANA?

Paul Smitherman |

At this year’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference SAP announced its plans to modernise CRM with SAP C/4HANA that will tie together solutions to support all front-office functions, such as consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, sales and customer service.

SAP’s CEO Bill McDermott said “SAP was the last to accept the status quo of CRM and is now the first to change it.” The new SAP C/4HANA suite is designed to modernise the legacy of a sales-only CRM focus and offer full integration with SAP’s business applications portfolio, headed up by its flagship SAP S/4HANA ERP suite.

The challenges of legacy CRM

According to INSEE only 26% of companies are currently equipped with a CRM. And while SAP C/4HANA is all about the consumer experience, giving you a single view by connecting all your SAP applications together in an intelligent cloud suite, legacy CRM systems are all about sales.

Many companies have a multitude of sources of information located in the back office or ERP which do not always communicate with each other, such as Excel, Outlook, Lotus Notes, various reporting or e-commerce tools, together with a marketing team using their own solutions. As a result sales people often spend a lot of time looking for information across different sources for answers, wasting valuable time. Likewise in customer services, where this often long winded information retrieval process puts the brakes on business-critical development. 

At the same time consumers today have high expectations of their own customer experience, but statistics show that we lose on average 50% of our customer base over five years. More surprising is that 68% of customers who leave their suppliers do so because of a lack of communication, rather than any other reason. This means that often customers do not leave because they are dissatisfied with the products or services, but because they did not receive adequate marketing communications or customer service. 

Changing attitudes – CRM transformation

You may be asking yourself how you can optimise your relationship exchanges to bring a quality service to your customers, creating business leads and driving conversion rates. Or if you already have dissatisfied customers, how can you generate satisfaction by providing an experience that is relevant to this customer, and then capitalise on this and give them the satisfaction of buying with you?

Creating this continuous process is a real challenge. You may have a brilliant and powerful product or service, but as soon as your customer wants information on delivery, invoicing or other something else, and you are unable to provide the answers, then the process fall short and there is a break in the whole customer life cycle.

The power of SAP C/4HANA?

SAP C/4HANA combines new machine learning capabilities from SAP Leonardo, a set of intelligent technologies with the new SAP HANA Data Management Suite, which enables you to gain visibility and control of your highly distributed data. SAP S/4HANA brings all this information together via the SAP Cloud Platform and with SAP C/4HANA you can enable powerful interactions with the whole ecosystem. The solution orchestrates all the data you need into a trusted, unified landscape, with the SAP HANA Data Management Suite as the foundation for building agile, data-driven applications that tap into your live data.

One of the challenges for SMEs is that they often have a limited budget for a CRM solution, needing an easy solution that is quick to implement, intuitive and that requires as little support as possible to enable them to become autonomous. The usability and ease of use of this solution means that people can start using it almost without training and understand how it works in just a few clicks. It provides the ability to work quickly to access and appropriate data as well as offering offline mobility to enable staff to work offline with the same ergonomics as their pc, smartphones or tablets.

Why choose SAP C/4HANA for your evolving Customer Experience needs?

Everything is fast, digital and consumed via social networks and ecommerce sites. It’s becoming harder to conquer new customers and maintain them for life. Companies are constantly striving to enrich the customer experience, exploiting new opportunities such as subscription services and add-ons for preventive maintenance and services.

This in-memory customer experience (CX) suite ensures your data is instantly useable – real time. Not only can you reach your customers and satisfy them, but you can capitalise on cross- and up- selling opportunities. It also enables shared content and manages your GDPR requirements. Furthermore social networking gives us a sense of our customers’ commitment to us and lets us come up with other ways to bring further satisfaction.

Positioning your customer at the centre of your business means really knowing your customer, having complete visibility and for this you need relevant data at your disposal. You need to know all the visits, phone calls, social messages and other interactions that have taken place to help analyse what motivates your customer. The machine learning capability enables us to analyse all this customer behaviour so you can bring the right answers and wider context to your customer. In turn, if they are happy they are more likely to talk about their experience more widely, becoming a brand ambassador.

Learn more from the experts

As SAP experts for over 10 years, SOA People has been helping companies of all sizes and industries to adapt and work more efficiently by using business insight to stay ahead of the competition. Call us to find out how you can modernise your CRM and put your customers at the heart of your business.

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