Customer relationship management (CRM) has become one of the most important strategic areas in business today. The pandemic, challenging economic conditions, and an increased focus on digital solutions mean organisations are rethinking their approach to these systems.

“COVID-19 has overwhelmed lives and livelihoods around the globe. For vulnerable individuals and the customer teams that serve them, it has also forced a rethink of what customer care means. Suddenly, examinations of customer journeys and satisfaction metrics to inform product and service direction have given way to an acute urgency to address what the immediate needs are,” says Nishie Sewpersadh, Product Manager: Microsoft CSP at Braintree, the consulting and integration division of Vox.

For instance, digital sales have grown by 18% in the first quarter of 2020 over the comparative period the year before. Furthermore, the share of traffic coming from social media increased to 8% in Q1 2020 as opposed to the 6% of 2019. This is highlighting the importance of being able to serve customers better in newer, more agile ways than pre-pandemic.

As such, there has been a spate of CRM solutions that use existing enterprise-level technology that has been repurposed in a rapid deployment methodology. Typically associated with a template-based approach, these are designed to be rolled out quickly and ‘plug in’ to existing processes with the least amount of disruption.

However, product differentiation is virtually non-existent with little to choose from between what is available. As such, Braintree has taken a different approach with its CRM24 cloud-based solution.

Coming from 25 years’ experience as a Microsoft partner, Braintree has injected the traditional rapid deployment approach with a focus on customer experience to ensure the solution is built around the needs of the client and not the other way around.

“The template is just a component of what CRM24 delivers. Affordability is a key focus and, as such, we have made the offering available on a 24-month subscription basis. This means that instead of making a significant upfront financial investment, our customers can more affordably implement a high-level solution that unlocks the high-performance computing capabilities of the cloud,” adds Sewpersadh.

Additionally, Braintree has included 12 support incidents as part of the monthly subscription fee which can be used over the 24-month period as the customer sees fit. Whether the problem resolution takes five minutes or five days, it will still count as one support incident further differentiating it from competitor solutions.

Although CRM24 is cloud-based, Braintree has bundled an independent 250GB off-site backup as a further value-add. This gives the customer complete control and flexibility over their business continuity and how quickly they can restore data without going the cloud route.

“For us, it is about delivering intrinsic value to the customer beyond just giving them an off-the-shelf application. In our experience, companies limit the amount of new functionality they explore in their cloud-based solutions. To this end, after six months, we will optimise the CRM24 environment for free to ensure they get the most value out of the system. This helps deliver a richer customer experience,” concludes Sewpersadh.