What Is the Next Big Thing In CRM?
Modern customers expect top-notch, personalized experiences from businesses, and customer relationship management (CRM) software addresses this need for many organizations. CRM software allows companies to record customer data, buying behavior, and usage patterns so they can discover actionable insights that can improve their services. CRM solutions are constantly growing more sophisticated in its capabilities to meet these business needs.
So what will be the next big thing in CRM? While nothing is certain yet, some trends that are expected to make an impact on customer relationship management are artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, mobile CRM, voice technology and wearable tech. Read on as we discuss each of these possible areas moving forward.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to machine technology that is programmed to think, act, and solve problems with unparalleled efficiency. While artificial intelligence is frequently depicted in science fiction as human-like computers or robots, real-life AI technology is a far cry from these fictional depictions. Existing AI have incredible data processing and problem-solving capabilities that can perform both simple and complex functions.
Think AI is limited to the future? AI is already at work whenever Netflix recommends shows based on your watching patterns and preferences, or when Facebook identifies locations and people’s faces in your photographs.
For CRM, AI technology can enable company decision makers to create better client experiences in four ways:
- Product usage: AI automation will allow data to be streamlined into your platform in real-time as clients interact with certain platforms or apps. Data such as the content customers spend time on or the products they view can be collected and harnessed by a company, without their sales team intruding on clients’ lives.
- Data analytics: While data analytics is already a feature present in most CRM software, AI will take it a step further. Aside from cleansing and sorting through data, AI will be able to recognize patterns, predict possible outcomes, and recommend optimal steps to take. AI can also automate the engagement process so they can present a 1-on-1 real-time experience for each customer, no matter how large the scale is.
- Automated data capturing: Through AI, you can collect customer data from various touch points: physical stores, websites, social media, exhibits, and more with minimal or no human intervention. This reduces omission or duplication of information, which keeps your database clean, accessible, and easy to use for your sales team.
- Conversational tools: Chatbots are currently only limited to answering basic inquiries. As AI advances, chatbots will be able to execute the best actions while handling multiple queries. Natural language processing will also improve chatbots so that they sound more and more human.
2. Machine Learning
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that focuses on extracting knowledge from observations. It looks at previous decisions and data to see which actions led to better results, helping you make better decisions based on customer interactions. It continually adapts itself to the strategies and outcomes of the decisions you have made.
Here’s how machine learning can transform the CRM experience:
- Predictive lead scoring: Predictive lead scoring means sifting through the data collected in your CRM and external data to determine which leads are qualified or unqualified. You will be able to qualify your leads much faster than you would do manually. You can use what the predictive models give, then sort through the results manually. This will improve the results presented in the future.
- Connecting customer data points: Some customer decisions are difficult to understand, but you can take disparate client behavior points to help paint a clearer picture. This means your system can identify pain points and alert you, so you can be more proactive towards certain customers.
- Maximizing unstructured qualitative data: Most CRMs allow you to record notes about individual clients so you have a reference point whenever you contact them. While this is good for some personalization, machine learning can take this data and other interactions to improve your understanding of the customer’s identity. This will provide more meaningful conclusions for your business.
3. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is a software’s capability to predict trends and outcomes based on the current or historical data extracted from CRM or external sources. For example, there are strong data indicators that can be used to detect and predict if credit card fraud will occur. In sales, predictive analytics can examine the entire customer life cycle to predict how they will behave.
Predictive analytics can also solve the following problems:
- Determining good sales opportunities: Based on factors such as revenue, past deals, geographic proximity, and other factors, predictive analytics can guide your sales team on which leads they should pursue next.
- Managing delays in sales cycles: Not only can predictive analytics help a company externally, but it can also identify internal gaps. Delays in sourcing materials, manufacturing products, or scheduling follow-ups can be prevented using past data.
- Understanding customer attrition: While there are many reasons why clients suddenly decide to withdraw their support from your business, it’s usually impossible to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. Predictive analytics can build models that will determine what may be causing the problem, so you can fix them and ultimately boost your retention rates.
4. Mobile CRM
Mobile CRMs are a new technology but they will continue to gain momentum moving forward. Customers expect constant connectivity, so more and more CRM systems will be developed for smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Salespeople will be able to manage their sales process anywhere and at any time, which is more crucial now during the current pandemic.
Whether they are on-the-go or working from home, a mobile CRM will allow your sales force to update leads, access dashboards, and speed-up interactions without sacrificing the security of user data.
5. Voice Technology
Most sales representatives spend a lot of time on data entry and administrative tasks such as sending emails and organizing data. This causes them to lose time that could be spent actually engaging clients. Voice technology is a rising, time-saving function that can address this problem.
You can soon enlist the help of a smart voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri for your operational needs. Instead of manually typing information into your database, speech-to-text software can record information three times faster than you would be able to. Finding data will also be much easier, since a simple voice command will allow you to bypass irrelevant data in your platform.
6. Wearable Technology
One of CRM’s primary concerns is collecting data from customer interactions. The best kind of data is one that is collected from customer behavior since it reveals a trove of information regarding their activity and buying habits.
Wearable technology is an emerging technology with limitless data collection potential. With it, brands can collect data from the daily lives of their clients, allowing companies to hardness data in real time.
One promising sector for wearable technology is healthcare. Patient vitals such as blood pressure and body temperature can automatically be uploaded to the patient’s records. This reduces possible transcription mistakes and the time spent in collecting data.
While more development is required to make wearable technology a staple in every industry, its promising potential remains. With wearable technology, sales reps will have an unbiased and unfiltered insight to a customer’s experiences and needs.
Future-Proofing Your CRM Strategy
Regardless of whatever “next big thing” in CRM software becomes popular in the coming years, it’s important to future-proof your strategy and make it customer-adaptive. The priority of your CRM should be to harvest data and convert this into something relevant for your customers.
Here are some tips to keep your CRM continually useful for your business:
1) Keep it customer-centric
Some legacy CRMs approach businesses in silos, which result in the software being department-centric rather than customer-centric. If the “next big thing” isn’t useful for every department in your company, then it won’t be able to serve clients effectively. When mapping your business strategy, consider the needs of each department. As the technology evolves, your company must evolve with it.
2) Don’t think of it as a magic bullet
Your CRM was built to help you adapt to changing consumer needs – it’s not a magic solution for fixing your business strategy. While CRM is a tool that provides you with information on how to keep your business relevant or refine your organization’s strategy, the challenge is adapting the way you use the data you tap into.
3) Approach the technology as evolution
Instead of thinking that CRM is a revolution that will radically change every process in your organization at once, it’s better to imagine it as a natural progression of things. You should incorporate CRM software in stages, so you will always have resources and room to react to any changes that come your way.
Upgrade Your Business With Commence Cloud CRM
Trends come and go, and the “next big thing” always changes. What you need is a flexible, simple platform that helps gain your customers’ trust. Commence Cloud CRM is the ideal solution for your customer relationship management goals.
Our award-winning software offers the functionality you need in your organization, without the added cost or complexity of other products on the market. Our technology is intuitive and easy to use, but can also provide the unique features your business needs. Try Commence today.