Sales professionals know very well that technology can enhance the overall customer service experience. That’s why sales and marketing departments across the globe are using customer relationship management (CRM) software and communication tools like interactive voice response, or IVR.
Anyone who has worked in sales in the last couple years has likely worked with Salesforce or Marketo or one of the other new apps out today for CRM. They’ve also likely worked with some of the new communication avenues, such as social media, blogging and mobile-oriented tools such as IVR.
But what effect do these new technologies have on customer satisfaction overall, including business-to-business (B2B) customers? New research affirms what many in the industry already know: that these new technologies are helping sales efforts.
“According to Ranchhod and Gurau (2004), in the twenty-first century, real progress will be made by customer-centric organizations that can truly understand how and why consumers or customers behave in the ways that they do,” writes Daniella Ryding of the University of Central Lancashire in Britain.
In her paper (The Impact of New Technologies on Customer Satisfaction and Business-to-Business Customer Relationships: Evidence from the Software Industry), Ryding investigates the impact of sales technologies on relationship building between vendor and customer.
“The aim of this paper is to examine the relative impact of new technologies on improving customer relations and overall customer satisfaction with the sales industry,” she writes.
Ryding says people have been touting sales technology, but no one has really studied its effect when implemented at a firm. So Ryding studied the effect on a small research group.
“The analysis reveals that technology is both beneficial and essential within the sales force industry for both the sales representative and their customers,” Ryding concluded. “And [it] provides an insight into the impact of technology on the sales force/customer relationship.”