Customer-relationship management is one of the most essential tasks that any company must perform on a regular basis.
An optimized CRM strategy is the difference between astounding success and well-documented failure.
That’s why it’s crucial for companies to learn about the latest CRM trends and use that knowledge to supercharge their customer-relationship management strategies.
By reading this article, digital agency marketers will be able to get to know what are the most important trends in CRM that will have a tremendous impact come 2019.
What is CRM?
Before diving into the latest CRM trends for businesses, it’s important that readers get to understand what customer-relationship management is all about.
CRM is the management of a company’s group of interactions with either current or prospective clients.
It’s all about leveraging specific sets of analytical data pertaining to customer history, getting to radically improve all business relationships and interactions with clients.
The main objective?
To make sure companies can effectively devise successful strategies that allow for greater customer retention, guaranteeing a revenue increase in the process.
Types of CRM
In the world of CRM, there are three main types that must be broached:
- Analytical CRM
- Operational CRM
- Collaborative CRM
Analytical CRM is all about using analytical data to better serve all clients.
This brand of CRM application effectively allows the top brass to analyze customer data, devise several strategic touch points, and ultimately gather an array of different insights regarding a specific company.
Analytical CRM is crucial because it can really help an organization become more effective.
For example, it can lead to a potential increase in personnel to guarantee a better customer relationship.
By analyzing specific reliable data, businesses can understand what is lacking and improve their CRM efforts.
Operational CRM pertains to service, sales, and marketing automation.
To become able to generate as many leads as possible, later converting them into prospective clients, effectively getting to provide top-notch customer services.
Service automation allows businesses to actually retain customers by ensuring companies can gauge what is lacking, build a stronger customer relationship, and provide a high-quality experience.
Sales automation helps companies all over the world to efficiently automate all the sales processes.
This makes sure organizations get to come up with a group of standards that allow them to not only increase client acquisition but also improve the customer relationship with current clients.
As for marketing automation, it is essential to allow companies to find the best (proven) method to approach clients and offer services, products, etc.
Campaign management is a crucial part of marketing automation, and it lets business leaders ascertain what are the best communication and marketing channels to address current customers and reach new clients.
Collaborative CRM (also known as Strategic CRM) allows businesses to be able to share information regarding clients across several units such as support teams, technical teams, marketing teams, or sales teams.
How does collaborative CRM work?
Let’s say that the marketing team receives invaluable feedback regarding a specific aspect.
That feedback could also be valuable for the support team to know about, since it can allow the support squad to be able to correctly approach certain clients, offering them products and services that they want (based on the feedback received by the marketing team.)
Collaborative CRM is basically the ability that teams have of working together, coming up with solutions that can effectively be offered by several teams, always taking the customer’s needs into consideration.
This makes it impossible for business units to work as completely independent sectors.
In fact, business units must form a gestalt, sharing the data of all customers, and making sure each team can offer the right solutions taking the knowledge of all the different teams into account.
The ultimate goal?
To ensure greater customer loyalty and improve services.
Now that we know what CRM is all about and what the different types of CRM are, it is time to understand which are the current trends of CRM that digital agencies need to explore.
Top CRM Trends for Digital Agencies
1. The Omnichannel Approach Lives
In the world of marketing, there is a truth which is more than widely recognized: it will take more than five touch points for the average business sale to become a reality.
Typically, that involves an array of diverse channels such as landing pages, automated marketing campaigns, social media, etc.
However, giving traction to touch points on several channels isn’t going to be the whole story: it is important that marketers understand that they should also be able to provide a consistent customer experience.
What does that mean?
It means that - the fewer touch points utilized in the customer journey - the more improved the sales process will effectively be.
This means that the trend of CRM is to leverage certain API integration algorithms which will aim at getting an optimal integration with different tools and specific services.
Today, there are many companies which already nail this aspect of CRM.
Indeed, they are able to effectively manage the whole customer experience through a wealth of strategic channels.
This means that CRM systems will evolve quite rapidly, ensuring they can function as the nerve center of the omnichannel technique.
This will ultimately lead to a CRM streamlined process that includes social media marketing, sales calls, customer support, mobile marketing, landing pages, etc.
2. Mobility 2.0
One of the most difficult struggles of any CRM specialist is the following: how to improve the sales approach on tablets, mobile phones, and any unknown devices which might pop up in the next 5 years?
This is where mobility will be remarkably important and a certified CRM trend that all leaders must bear in mind.
Since there is an increasing need for CRM experts to use mobile devices, voice technology, and incorporate them in their CRM strategy, there is a clear trend for optimized integrations.
This means companies must pay attention to the advent of language processing technologies, which will help CRMs add specific functionalities such as voice-activated interactions, meeting records, or record updates.
Mobility is all about ensuring CRMs maintain a consistent power across all channels, communicating through the use of technology’s most advanced innovations.
3. The Dawn of Social CRM
All brands are looking for ways to increasingly optimize their social media game.
Businesses want to use social networks to get closer to their preferred target audiences, and that’s why the trend for using social media is clear and will be a major reality in 2019.
In fact, CRM specialists will use bots to interact with customers, and also allow businesses to gain access to important data related to the opinions and behavioral patterns of clients.
This means that there are certain minor issues that may be fixed by a helpful bot.
Social CRM will also come along with a predictive bent.
This will allow businesses to use social media CRM to predict the behavior of their customers, anticipating possible needs and warranted expectations.
4. A New Messaging Technique
One of the most crucial CRM trends for 2019?
Personalization is a huge trend that is noticeable across multiple businesses and it will obviously enter the CRM arena.
This will effectively allow CRMs to use advanced technology to reach customers at optimal times of the day, using strategically compelling messages which are crafted taking both Data Science and Big Data into account.
There already are tools that allow for a remarkably thorough Artificial Intelligence analysis.
Indeed, these highly-advanced tools will allow robots to actually recognize the specific moments and times of the day in which messages should be sent, and to whom.
We already knew that user demographics were the talk of the town, but now we will see CRM take all sorts of data to a whole new level, leveraging it to find new market segments, niche solutions, track customer traffic, ascertain specific sales patterns, etc.
This mix of data-driven results will obviously contribute to a major change in the realm of CRM solutions.
5. The Artificial Intelligence Ideal
Just like every other business or solution, CRM will be impacted by AI.
We may not yet know how and when, but we’re seeing a number of new features and solutions come about because of the power AI has been able to unleash.
This automated world will allow CRM systems to quell any inefficient aspects and optimize workflows to ensure reduced costs and improved CRM strategies all around.
Both predictive analytics and language processing will now be driven by the formidable power of deep learning and machine learning, allowing AI to radically shift and shape CRM in the future.
Concurrently, AI will also foster new ideas in the realm of customer interactions, delivering personalized actions that take intelligence and robot-led thoughtfulness into account.
By being able to learn customer relationship patterns, AI will allow all businesses to improve their CRM game in 2019 and gain thorough customer knowledge.
6. Self-Service Solutions
One of the biggest problems of any company looking to sell a product is the following: there are many customers who simply leave an online purchase when they aren’t able to get effective answers to their pressing questions.
This means IT departments from all over the world must be able to supercharge self-service solutions, making sure clients get the answers they need as quickly as possible.
CRM self-service solutions will be able to both customize and optimize interactions, provide immediate feedback to customers, and acquire customer data that businesses will later be able to analyze and use to their benefit.
This promises to be a game-changing solution which all marketers must watch out for in 2019.
7. Integration with the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has allowed for some major contributions to many diverse sectors in the past years.
But how will it be leveraged by CRM masters?
It will allow CRM connoisseurs to integrate input processing from phones, cars, wearable gadgets, and other awesome platforms and devices.
This will ensure experts will get to create a precisely tailor-made experience that is able to integrate large sets of actionable data.
From self-service solutions that will customize and optimize user interactions, to an improved messaging strategy that reaches customers at data-driven optimal times, the world of CRM will be subjected to some solid major changes in the years to come.
In order for business leaders and digital agencies to be able to get the CRM strategy they deserve, they must bear these pithy trends in mind, taking customer relationship management to a new level of competent expertise and optimized performance.