CRM is an essential business tool for your organization, especially, if it offers business-to-consumer (B2C) services. Customer relationship management software automates customer contact management system and your sales process. CRM helps in making the customer the core of your business by offering useful insight on their buying behavior. The emerging trends in this area are therefore crucial determinants of your future business performance.
Rise of social CRM: The growing popularity of social media has made it important for businesses to study its trends in order to understand the changing mindset of customers. Many organizations have already adopted policies to monitor and maintain their social profiles. Integration of social media to customer management application is therefore an important trend to follow. Social CRM (SCRM) is to help with:
- Monitoring customer reactions
- Generating leads
- Improving customer relationship with brand
- Improving customer interaction and therefore, loyalty
- Brand promotion and management
- Quick and timely customer service
Customer experience: Too much automation of sales process has alienated many businesses from their customers. Though online commerce is convenience customers are increasingly missing the human touch of brick and mortar establishments. The changing trends are showing that once again businesses are looking for solutions to improving peer-to-peer relationships with their customers.
Delivering the goods or service no longer ends the transaction with customer. Rather, it starts a long term relationship with the client that will ensure their loyalty and create scopes for up-selling and cross-selling.
Mobile CRM: In the growing tablet market driven by Apple, Android, Windows and a myriad of other operating systems there is a robust demand for creating portable mobile device applications. Further, cloud computing has facilitated availability and accessibility of data across time zones and geographical locations. You can now constantly stay in touch with your clients from any part of the world.
Growth of SaaS solutions: Software-as-a-service or business process-as-a-service (BPaaS) is offering a healthy challenge to proprietary CRM products. According to a study by Gartner 35% of customer software implementations in 2012 had used SaaS services.
The growing popularity of SaaS CRM is mainly due to:
- Elimination of hardware and software requirements
- Easy CRM customization solutions
- Cost advantages over on-premise products
- Quick and timely deployment
- Accessibility, agility and portability
- Integration solutions with other BI applications
Data governance in SaaS CRM: Organizations, adopting SaaS solutions will also recognize that it is not only an alternative to traditional, on-premise solutions. Rather, a complete new set of policies need to be devised for the unique characteristics of SaaS services. The areas that would demand attention are:
- Vendor selection
- Risk tolerance
- Data backup & disaster recovery
- Organizational skill and IT maturity
- Cross-border data portability governance
Marketing tool integration: An increasing number of companies demand their CRMs to perform as a complete sales tool and therefore, the vendors have integrated the marketing platform with the customer management application. Services like email collaboration, voice/text integrations, email campaigns now can be operated from the CRM interface.
CRM market is evolving very rapidly with changing customer requirements. Failing to spot the changing trends would result in losing competitive advantages and suboptimal performance of your customer management application.
Author Bio: Paul Anderson is a CRM software consultant based out in California. For over five years he is offering CRM consulting services to a wide market vertical. During this period he has observed what works and what doesn’t work for companies. He brings in his wealth of experience on CRM customization and solutions to his writings on webs and blogs. He is an avid reader and enthusiast blogger and engaged with many online communities. He also loves outdoor sports and often goes fly fishing with fellow enthusiasts.