Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become the premier technology for business and the fastest growing software industry. While their popularity continues to grow — roughly 91% of companies with 11 or more employees now use CRM technology — so do the features and functions of the platforms. Their reach expands far past sales and customer relations into marketing automation, advertising, support, and there’s no end in sight.

The breadth of CRM is expanding, and XTIVIA wants to highlight some of the most critical CRM trends to watch for in 2020.

Customer Experience

Although customer experience has been a focal point for many CRM strategies for years, its relevance continues to grow year after year. According to Salesforce research, 84% percent of customers claim their experience with a company is as important as its products/services. In response, many sales teams have diverted their focus to consistently tracking satisfaction metrics and measuring customer engagement.

Making the customer experience a focal point of your CRM is not just a trend for 2020, but an innovation that your business plans for the future. Leveraging the most impactful elements of customer experience — convenience, customer support, personalized engagement, etc. — lends itself to customer loyalty and trust, which are rewards that cannot be reaped solely from products or services.

Take the time to fine-tune your CRM to place the customer experience at the forefront of your plans; there’s no telling how important it’ll be to your brand this year and years to come.

Mobile CRM

To no one’s surprise, CRM mobility continues to be an area of innovation and implementation with salespeople. Almost half of today’s consumers prefer to communicate with companies via a mobile device. We don’t just send emails from our computers. We don’t just have meetings in the office. And we certainly don’t make sales on a laptop alone; the modern enterprise is on the move (literally), and so is CRM.

Platforms offer incredible interfaces for secure automation, cross-platform applications, and concise communication between team members on the go. Companies using mobile CRM applications are experiencing productivity like never before and hitting their sales quota more than companies not on a mobile CRM. The ability to do business from anywhere at any time plays into the demands of modern consumers, which is why mobile CRM is becoming a must-have aspect of customer relations.

Social Media (SocialCRM)

By offering a more personal channel for business-to-customer communication, social media plays a huge role in customer experience and engagement, which is why CRM will continue to become more closely tied to social channels. Using social media to encourage stronger communication with your clients offers more potential for customer satisfaction, loyalty, and recommendation to other buyers. Ultimately, giving buyers various channels of communication empowers them to connect with your business in a way that aligns with their needs.

One way CRM has intertwined with social media has been through customer service. Someone tweets to the company about the quality (or lack thereof) of a product, and within minutes they’re in a direct conversation with a sales rep or customer service agent to help solve the problem. It’s all about making the buying experience as convenient and fluid as possible, which is what a social CRM does.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Every part of today’s enterprise is turning to AI as the answer to business growth and development. Weaving AI into CRM solutions has been on the map for many companies, but recent research shows that the use cases in CRM and marketing will skyrocket over the next two years. In some cases, more than 50 percent of consumers expect that AI will influence their experience with a brand.

Whether you’re talking about segmentation, advertising, personalization, or support, AI will soon be making its way into your CRM environment. From automated customer support and predictive analytics to enhancing customer engagement and buyer experience, AI is a vital component of any CRM platform/strategy.

User-friendly CRM Software

Although many companies want the benefits of AI or mobile CRM, their internal resources may not support the extensive backend processes to leverage these up-and-coming features. Advancements in CRM are mapping out a complex system of new technology and workflows; however, one of the most significant aims of CRM providers is optimizing their interface for users. CRMs are making it possible for anyone — admin or not — to easily leverage the latest technology.

Looking Forward

Every additional CRM function aims to satisfy the most essential piece of your business: your customers. CRM features that improve customer engagement lend themselves to positive experiences with your brand, leading to brand loyalty. In both capability and accessibility, these areas will continue to grow and expand the breadth of what CRM can do for customer experience and your business.

If your business is looking to leverage the latest in CRM, feel free to reach out to XTIVIA via the comments below or contact us here.

This post was originally published here.

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