CRM Trends: Should You Stop Waiting for Technology Innovation?
For many, the word “trend” brings at least two concepts. The first one is connected with fashion styles that celebrities or commoners wear today. The second one are the themes popular and widely discussed on social media. Thus, there are many other ways to treat this word, and one of them is CRM trends.
Trends in CRM: New or Existing Things
All wait for new and disruptive to traditional approaches. However, not so long ago the listing of CRM trends was considered as tools or tactics already used to advance company performance and handle customers.
Contrary to popular belief, the perception of trends as failures is going into the past. Today’s entrepreneurs re-evaluate and implement the proven best practices in their initiatives. The CRM trends spur the continually changes in sales and marketing to adjust to upcoming customers’ behavior and requests. Regardless of technology advancement, your customer relationship management in terms of ‘strategy’ and ‘solution’ should undergo the ongoing improvements.
Brief Flashback in CRM Evolution
CRM has many definitions, yet usually, it refers to software used to record, manage and store all customer interactions. The key point is to replace manual documentation run by sales and marketing, and create captivating, intuitive, and usable experiences. In the 80s this application becomes itself a CRM trend for enhancing customer connection.
Another trend of this period was database marketing. It delivered the personalization in the interactions with clients, yet it stayed one-way - businesses were a lack of customer responses regulation.
In 90s CRM added the key piece of functionality that we needed. Now, the technology allowed to interact with clients instead of a mere information delivery. For signing up and leaving some details, the customers received special offers and rewards.
On the edge of the new millennium, businesses were ready for the changes and thought their work with CRM would go back to the school board. This period was a kind of a downfall, and everything started to transform with the advent of new CRM trend - cloud technology.
It’s important for companies to retain a dynamic approach, and CRM kept advancing during the last decades. Along with automation and analytics, it provoked new approaches and tactics of business running and customer interactions.
Nowadays technologies are more accessible, and people are more tech-savvy. There’s no need to get back home and order a product, mobile phones facilitated information search, communication, and shopping habits.
The simple example shown in Mobile Commerce Daily - in 2015 holiday shoppers spent $12.7B on mobile and tablet devices - affirms the efficiency of mobility for companies. Here agility and continuous adaptation overrides crafting one single process to perfection, businesses rethink the value of their existing CRMs and lean to migrate to a more advanced solutions.
Aiming to comply with the entrepreneurs’ requests, CRM vendors developed their platforms more intuitive, mobile-friendly, and feature-rich. All that for the sake of business advancement, automation of workflow, analytics, and monitoring everything on-the-go.
CRM Trends Business Tackling Issues of Recent Years
Achieving the full feature set is another race CRM vendors are holding as of late. The improvements in CRM have changed, but some of them were kept relevant during several years. Such CRM trends as social media, cloud technology, social CRM, centralized database, and mobility had greatly increased success rates for businesses applying CRM.
Having become a simply technological invention from which we can disconnect, social media enables entrepreneurs to get customer feedback within arm’s reach. Once the sales start monitoring the comments and responses on the network, it resulted in
- richer experience for the clients (they were closer to their wants and requests),
- brands found a new channel that affects the business, and
- turned it into a communication medium.
If we look under the hood of your business, the on-premise CRM takes additional budget and employees to manage it and keep every process alive. This is where cloud-based CRM came to rescue. With the up-and-coming trend, companies reduce expenses on the software monitoring and regulation. Besides, your employees have access to the data at one place and need only the Internet connection and any device to work with records.
While this can be a wildly successful strategy, only few companies communicate with their existing and future customers using social networks. Social media marketing keeps its position of CRM trends and can solve some of your business goals. The key is to embrace the opportunities given by customer feedbacks to improve weak aspects of yours and gain more positive opinions. However, many companies question this approach and doubt acceleration of growth with social media.
Data represents a tremendous opportunity to know better, understand and connect with your customers. Yet, facing a myriad of issues on a daily basis, the team struggles with switching between multiple apps. To avoid losing vital records, you can use a centralized database - which saves everything from files, to conversation records. So, the platforms are themselves a CRM trend that promotes collaboration and the overall productivity.
Business that want to succeed in mobile need to make sure that they build an experience that matches customers’ high expectations. Being a vital component, entrepreneurs check the company’s progress and sales run their deals on-the-go, just by opening the app on their device. Mobility is one of the CRM trends that brings value to the customer service and empowers your team with better clients’ perception and enhanced workflows.
There are tons of innovation techniques, tools, and tricks out there for getting teams to work better. If you pick one CRM trend, it’s tough to tell whether it’s better than another. Each approach or tool has at the core different principles and focuses on some specific area. Of course, we all want to watch the sales climb and provide value to the clients: it takes a lot of work on business strategy and its integration into everyday processes.