At Valenta we serve clients in the area of CRM and ERP consulting and implementation. Based on this activity we are able to discern future trends in CRM. There are several key trends taking place with Customer Relationship Management that businesses need to be aware of in order to stay competitive and meet customer needs. We thought we would write this article to discuss what 5 key trends are taking place with CRM that we believe matter the most.
In this piece we will cover key trends in CRM, future trends in CRM, CRM use of AI and ML, CRM focus on customer experience, CRM use of automation, and also CRM data privacy and security. Everybody loves a good list, right? We thought we would start with a list, and then elaborate on those points.
Here is our list of What 5 key trends are taking place with CRM.
- Greater and increased focus on the customer experience
- The use of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning)
- Integration with other business systems and applications
- The increased use of automation and chatbots
- An emphasis on data privacy and security
CRM Focus on Customer Experience.
One of the biggest trends in CRM today is an increased emphasis on customer experience. Customer journeys matter and are being mapped. A company that does not pay attention to how a customer interacts with them and whether that is easy or hard will not stay competitive for long. This customer focus is a current trend and also one of the key future trends in CRM. Companies are recognizing that building strong relationships with their customers is essential to driving growth and retaining customers. CRM systems are being designed to provide a more holistic view of the customer, allowing companies to better understand their needs and preferences. This includes capturing data on customer interactions across multiple channels, such as email, social media, and phone, and using that data to personalize communications and offerings.
CRM Use of AI and ML
Another one of the key trends in CRM is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies are being used to automate routine tasks, such as lead scoring and customer segmentation. They are also used to provide predictive analytics to help companies better understand customer behavior. This predictive ability allows companies to better anticipate customer needs. As our Canadian Managing Partners and clients understand well … this helps companies “skate to where the puck will be”. AI and machine learning are also being used to power chatbots and other virtual assistants, which can improve customer service by providing faster and more accurate responses to customer inquiries. When done well, AI chatbots can be additive. Younger customers actually prefer to interact with AI whenever and wherever they are.
Integration with Systems and Applications
As companies look to obtain a more comprehensive view of the customer, they are increasingly integrating their CRM systems with other applications and systems. They are doing the same when they want to provide more comprehensive service for their customers too. This includes integrating with marketing automation systems, ecommerce platforms, and customer service applications. It also means exporting data to analytics platforms and integrating business intelligence into CRM. By integrating these systems, companies can more easily track customer interactions across multiple touchpoints and provide a more seamless customer experience. They can identify both threats and opportunities early. One of the future trends in CRM will be the proliferation of more and more business systems and applications with CRM.
Increased Use of Automation and Chatbots
As far as key trends in CRM go, this one is closely aligned with CRM use of AI and ML. However, since automation and chatbots in CRM is one of the biggest current and future trends in CRM it deserves a spot of its own. Automation is becoming increasingly prevalent in CRM, particularly with the use of chatbots and virtual assistants. These tools can help companies automate routine tasks, such as data entry and lead qualification, and can provide faster and more efficient customer service. Chatbots can work by themselves to take care of customers or as an assistant to people in sales or support functions. They can be used to provide personalized recommendations to customers based on their browsing and purchasing history. At Valenta we believe AI chatbots are at their best when they are used in conjunction with human workers in a human in the loop mode. A skilled salesperson or support person can be hyper efficient when armed with a bot to assist them in serving customers and clients.
Emphasis on Data Privacy and Security
With the increasing amount of customer data being collected and analyzed, data privacy and security have become top priorities for companies. This includes complying with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, as well as implementing strong security protocols to protect customer data from breaches and cyber-attacks. CRM systems are being designed to provide greater transparency into data collection and usage, and to provide customers with greater control over their personal data. Data Privacy and Security is one of the emerging key trends in CRM. As far as future trends in CRM go, we suspect it will stay on the top of the list based on the rapid growth of data collection and the continued threat of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Conclusions on Current and Future Trends in CRM
CRM is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of businesses and customers. By focusing on customer experience, using AI and machine learning, integrating with other systems and applications, increasing automation and chatbots, and prioritizing data privacy and security, companies can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately drive growth. Many large companies have staff on board to help them manage their CRM platforms and leverage them to their full capabilities. Many of the SME and SMB clients Valenta serves do not have these people on board, and that is where we come in. Valenta and service providers like us can help all sized companies fully leverage the value of CRM and also be aware of and take advantage of key trends in CRM.
Want to Learn More?
Our main page on CRM and CRM consulting and implementation is a great place to learn more about how CRM can help your business.
Because of our work in the ERP and CRM space we are writing about both topics often. To read more of our blogs and articles about CRM please click on the highlighted link.
Valenta has Managing Partners located in cities around the world. Many of them have practices focused on CRM solutions. To schedule a free consultation about CRM or anything else, please reach out to our Managing Partners here anytime.