With over 30 years of existence, the customer relationship management (CRM) industry has seen many changes with the way it is interacting with and providing quality service to its clients. According to an article entitled “CRM: The Past & The Future” by Barton Goldenberg, the 80s signaled software developments in sales force automation (SFA) and contact management. The 90s saw the implementation of service-and-support functionality in the early years and towards the end, e-customer functionality, due to the rise of the Internet as a technological powerhouse.
The decade of the naughties (2000-2009) marked an increase and focus on the Internet not just as a repository of information, but also as a realm to better connect with their customers. That is why customer care call centers are now looking to maximize social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The traditional method of contacting clients via telephone is now a very outdated method because people of today prefer communicating with each other through mobile devices (because of and apps like Skype and Viber.
With that being said, is the use of social media the plateau of the CRM industry? Has CRM reached its highest potential, or are there more barriers to be broken this year?
The answer is – there are. Today, we’ll take a closer look at where CRM is headed in 2014.
Portability via apps
Portability does not yet mean the ability to carry an entire person’s worth of tasks in his/her mobile devices (although that doesn’t seem too far down the road), but the means to present documents such as memorandum of agreements, monthly reports, and presentations to customers through the power of apps.
The utilization of apps could also mean in-house documents can be immediately updated, eliminating the need to re-send notifications via e-mail, mobile, or social media. Efficiency is further boosted by the use of electronic applications.
Social media analytics
Where it was once much simpler to rate the performance of sales agents through online surveys and track the number of calls made per day, future CRM processes on social media will now have to be documented, since companies are now interacting with their customer base on Facebook and Twitter. Analytics concerning the number of Facebook visitors per day, satisfied/unsatisfied customers, ‘Like’ increases and decreases, and customer mortality rates will be very important in the long run.
Further implementation of social media interaction
Aside from managing their telephones, call center agents will now have the added responsibility of managing accounts through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Direct and private messages will be their new means of connecting, and hopefully, retaining their customer base and increasing brand loyalty.
Portability, analytics, and social media interaction: These are just some speculations on where CRM will further find itself as an industry in 2014. If you’d like to share your opinions or add even more interesting developments related to the topic discussed, feel free to post your ideas at the comments section below.