Effective customer data collection and management is integral to the success of any modern business. Most firms today rely on this data to enable and augment their business, as well as explore new opportunities. However, to make the best use of data, having proper practices in place for its storage, transmission, analysis, and retention is also vital. Joshua Melick mentions that even with the high importance of data, not all businesses manage to handle it properly. In fact, the number of companies being proficient in data handling and management is lesser than the ones incompetent in this regard.
Both big and small companies struggle when it comes to data handling. Though comparatively big organizations do fare a bit better, their ways of collecting and managing data usually are extremely complicated. Joshua Melick says that due to these problems, the solutions of Oracle, Salesforce, as well as various consulting companies, has become extremely popular.
Having customer data that is readily available is among the core priorities of most businesses. This data can be used to train AI systems, build reports, prepare business strategies and so on. Diverse channels used for connecting to customers, such as advertisements and coupons, also require access to consumer data to deliver the needed results.
To meet their varying range of business concerns, a company must proactively search for ways to handle and optimize data. This may sound easy, but in reality, doing so is quite complicated. The data of several businesses tend to be collected in a range of disparate systems. A host of such systems might additionally have quite minimal export options or APIs, making matching data across system pretty difficult. To make this process smoother for businesses, tools like Zapier, MuleSoft and Snowflake have cropped up in the market. The latter two are especially good for the enterprise world.
Speaking from personal experiences, Joshua Melick mentions that some of the companies he had worked for used Salesforce. He says that is both the worst and the best solution one might use. To elaborate, Salesforce has a number of disadvantages associated with it, such as the difficulties involved in using it are quite high if one is forced to work manually. This tool is especially not good for use cases like high touch relationships, concierge-level services, etc. Salesforce UI is also not impressive enough and does not have proper ways to create simplified flows for regular users. However, if a business functions in a manner that allows one to create solid integration paths and uses the Salesforce ecosystem as a connector, then it is a great tool to have.
Joshua Melick had previously founded Broadly.com, which acts as a CRM for small businesses, but is mostly disguised as a messaging app. With this tool, he had tried to solve issues prevalent in the domain of data handling on a local scale. He also mentions that usage of tools like HubSpot, Pipedrive and Airtable can also be good for small scale organizations.