Customer Relationship Management (CRM) began its journey in the 1980s with the introduction of database management on customer information by tech-leaders Robert and Kate Kestnbaum. This was followed by the initiation of revolutionary CRM software. The early CRM technology revolved around automated contact handling and by the end of 1990s, industry giants like Baan were entering the domain of CRM following the shift to mobile marketing. 2000s saw the resurrection of CRM to becoming a holistic matrix of tools that manages different types of relationships existent throughout the enterprise. With Gartner predicting that CRM market is to expand its wings weighing over $36.4 billion by 2017, it is time to see the probable trends that will dominate during 2016.
Prediction 1- SaaS will be the face of CRM and UX the voice
Software as a Service (SaaS) will rule the CRM market throughout 2016. Mid-2014, Gartner’s prophecy read that by 2025, over 80% of the CRM deployments would be SaaS. Enterprises will see the rise of SaaS to cater to multi-dimensional tasks like customer management, contact handling and analytics. However, SaaS will be faced with the need for strong yet sensitive security codes which would offer varied options for deployment (private, public or fusion) along with regulatory certificated.
In 2016, what will rank the enterprises will be the quality of their customer/user experience (UX). This implies not only the visual stimulation, but ability to intuit needs of the users and respond to them accordingly. Interfaces will reach a turning point where integration of social media and mobile customer information will occur. Providing a flawless customer experience will give the enterprise chance for smooth transition of visitors to clients.
Prediction 2- Comeback of Streamlined Automation, Vertical CRMs enter competition
Salesforce Automation was predecessor to CRMs. Automation will make a comeback in 2016 and will gestate towards more evolved versions where all-in-one packages will automate customer care and involvement.
Apart from the shift to classic ways, there will be tight competition between horizontal and vertical CRMs. While a horizontal CRM answers to the needs of enterprises across many industries, a vertical CRM is designed to respond to the enterprise based on its industry. Such vertical solutions have been a long tradition in industries like finance, health care and construction. Adopting a vertical CRM reduces the need for widespread customization, making it an attractive option for those companies that are looking to automate certain internal processes in their business. The end of 2015 saw the sowing of vertical-CRM seeds when Salesforce joined Oracle and SAP in offering industry-based CRM software.
Prediction 3- Life-Changing Technologies will arrive
It is time for businesses to prepare themselves for major technological progress in 2016. This will include the emergence of real-time video and Big Data. What will make technology life-changing is their emphasis on unity and compactness. In September 2015, Microsoft announced: “Dynamics CRM 2016 is designed from the ground up to deliver core capabilities all in a single system to eliminate distractions, to make it easier to get things done and to dramatically increase productivity so our customers can spend more time serving their customers”. Thus, businesses need to take into account human and technical resources that can inculcate these technologies within their CRM models. A coming together of marketing and sales platforms (as was successfully done in HubSpot) will make it a challenge for business to keep up their ideas with the technological advancement.
Prediction 4- Every visitor will receive attentive engagement
In the traditional CRM schemes, there is a stringent distinction between customer and contacts. However, with the coming of sales and marketing automation, such a distinction is irrelevant. Why? Because machines are today capable of showering visitor-specific attention without the need of leaving out any category of observers. Such attention could arrive in the form of monthly get-together campaigns or customized virtual experiences.
Prediction 5- Social CRM will shine through the year
The last decade was only the starting point for social media to influence CRM. While classic CRM models were cerebral in their methods with focus only on contact management, progressive CRM models bring forward platforms where at least the following come together: Outlook, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail and Twitter. In 2016, Facebook and Twitter would only be A and B to the Shakespeare of social CRM. Enterprises will need to go full-fledged social through social CRM solutions that will discover potential customers and bring them to the virtual doors in few steps. Customer retention can also be practiced by continually tracking and responding to client’s needs. The age of omni-CRM will begin where enterprises will find in social media a professionally intimate way of discovering and preserving customer relationships.
Prediction 6- Mobile CRM will expand and Predictive Analytics will revamp the CRM stage
Mobile CRM will be the center of attention in 2016 as it amplifies the ability of companies to effectively organize their customer interactions. By possessing a mobile CRM app, the company will be able to stream live information and respond to customers immediately. The gap between customer query and company response will shrink with the rise of powerful mobile CRM where data will transform into action-oriented insight.
While predictive analytics took a surge with Big Data, it will also enter into the space of marketing and sales departments providing predications about the influence of their activities. This will permit the personalization of actions to suit particular customer-sets. Big Data will be used to retrieve relevant information and eventually, churned into concise insights with great potential of visitor-to-buyer trend.
How BIG can 2016 be for CRM? The CRM of Things (CoT)
The emergence of intelligent devices will transform the way in which companies communicate with their customers. The internet of things will unite with CRM to give birth to unimaginable smoothness in use and rescue of products. While the Internet of Things has reached out to impact not only cities (through noise urban maps, smart lighting and smartphone detection) and environment (forest fire detection, earthquake early detection and air pollution), the CRM will bring human touch to its growth with companies having the capacity to answer to their customer’s needs before they even demand for it.
How do you look forward to keep abreast with these evolving and dynamic CRM trends? Do share your thoughts with us.
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