Gone are the days when customer relationships and personalization tactics ended at first name salutations and merely addressing queries on time. People have evolved and so have their needs.
The need of the hour is to be proactive with customer services. With the advent of interactive social media tools and other means of communication for customers to get in touch with their favorite brands, people expect companies to be more transparent and open about their operations. Research also shows that customers expect brands to know about them, with a good majority of them expecting consistent customer services across channels.
The question is – “who will be the first to delight customers”, and not just satisfy customers.
To that end, companies have revamped their entire CRM departments starting with improved processes to the right CRM solutions. And the right solutions extend more than simply facilitating better customer services. The equation seems to be getting more complicated, but in effect, it is actually being simplified by integrating sales and marketing efforts into a single platform.
Today CRM solutions are more comprehensive and extensive in functionality covering customer relationships as well as internal workflows leading up to strong customer relationships. This means CRM solutions have evolved to benefit everyone in an organization, over and above the end customers.
Industry Today spells out an interesting list of CRM system market trends and forecasts for the next few years in this post.
Growth and usage of CRM solutions
According to the latest statistics, the CRM software market has grown to become one of the biggest and fastest-growing software markets in the world. By 2025, the global revenue accruing from CRM software is expected to reach $80 Billion.
In terms of technology adoption as a whole, almost 60% of organizations are planning to increase their spending on IT in where CRM technology holds the most relevance.
The number one factor affecting this level of rapid positive growth in the realm of CRM software is the fact that it provides access to insightful customer data, which can be leveraged in different ways by marketers to offer more personalized content, create segmented marketing campaigns and establish better customer relationships.
Companies are increasingly looking to connect different elements, platforms, and technologies with customer data in order to provide a more personalized top-notch customer experience encompassing multiple channels.
This means that software integrations are an important requirement for businesses in this day and age. It allows marketers to combine and sync data collected at different points of customer contact and use it to craft the best strategies to induce favorable action.
Sales teams are looking to offer proactive customer services to address customer concerns and queries as well. This necessitates the need for an efficient customer service CRM tool.
Apart from that here are a few important features to look for in a good CRM solution.
• Flexibility and customizability – Scalable custom features to facilitate growth and fine-tune the system to organizational needs
• Workflow management – Intelligent automation features to speed up mundane tasks
• Contact management – smart features to segment and manage customers or leads
• Social CRM – integration features with social networks for enhanced services
• Analytics – insightful data to establish KPIs, measure and improve performance
• Customer services – efficient customer service management features with ticketing to promptly address customer concerns
• Ease of use and installation – an easy to install user-friendly solution
Agile CRM is one of the most popular and advanced CRM solutions available in the market today offering excellent features for scalability and functionality. It comes loaded with customer service CRM features on top of all the above mentioned powerful features, along with additional tools for social listening, AI-based analytics, etc. From helpdesk ticketing to support analytics, smart views, and service level agreement capabilities, Agile CRM offers everything needed to offer smooth and seamless customer services. It allows you to set expectations from each side clearly, set necessary KPIs, and measure performance to ensure utmost customer satisfaction.
In addition to CRM, the solution also offers email marketing integrations, social CRM tools, web engagement tools, and an informative knowledge base.
On that note, here are 10 of the top trends and features to look for in customer service CRM in 2021.
Customer service CRM: what to look for in 2021?
AI reigns supreme
AI-based features and capabilities are increasing in the sector of customer service CRM technology. Smart tools are being used in automation, service responses, predictive analysis, etc. It allows marketers to effectively analyze and understand customer behavior, with data-driven predictions on customer purchase decisions. It allows marketers to intelligently assign and schedule tasks to attain more efficient workflows. It also offers data-driven predictions on the revenue likely to be generated in a given future timeline, based on the activity levels in the pipeline.
According to a survey conducted by Gartner, 14% of global CIOs have already deployed AI. It is also estimated that AI associated with CRM activities will increase global business revenue by up to $1.1 Trillion by the end of the year 2021.
Social CRM gains momentum
The worldwide usage of mobile phones is at an all-time high. People are increasingly spending more time on their smartphones, out of which a fair share is being spent on social media, email, and text messaging services. Naturally, it makes sense for companies to invest more in social media and email marketing venues.
Social media management tools and social CRM tools are being adopted extensively by companies. The social networking presence and analytics that these solutions offer give a more detailed insight into what customers think and feel about brands. Social listening tools offered by social CRM solutions help companies stay on top of network conversations, industry trends, etc., and in turn, helps them gain a competitive edge.
For all these reasons, social CRM is definitely gaining momentum.
Agile CRM comes with a full-blown social CRM tool with comprehensive features including social listening, social media management, leads and accounts management, customer service CRM, canned quick responses, etc.
Holistic CRM solutions are the way to go
Holistic and all-inclusive CRM solutions are widely gaining popularity such as Agile CRM and Hubspot. They effectively integrate sales, marketing, customer relationship, and customer service efforts. Their ability to combine social CRM, customer service CRM, email marketing analytics, etc. gives marketers an all-encompassing platform from which to manage different segments of a customer’s journey easier.
CRM workflow automation increases in adoption
More companies are adopting CRM workflow automation tools to boost their overall CRM efficiency. This means that marketers are starting to realize the importance of optimizing workflows with a perfect mix of automated and manual processes to attain the full benefits of CRM systems. Whether it in social CRM or customer service CRM, the use of automation tools to speed up redundant mundane tasks, is definitely the wise way to go moving forward.
360-degree view of customers is rising in demand
Perhaps one of the most popular features of customer service CRM solutions is the detailed 360-degree view it gives into customer behavior and preferences. It helps businesses gain more confidence in their overall CRM activities.
According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report of 2020, some of the highest performing sales executives apparently have a higher level of confidence in their garnered CRM data than their other counterparts. Almost 53% were reported to be “very confident” with respect to their ability to offer data-driven customer experiences.
Mobile-based CRM solutions are high in demand now, primarily because of the increased use of mobile phones by customers. Statistics by Forrester have revealed that as much as 50% of sales and marketing teams were able to improve their productivity by using a mobile CRM.
Mobile integration is undoubtedly the way to go to facilitate continuous and seamless conversations with customers online. It helps team members stay active and prompt to the receipt of customer queries, requests, comments, etc.
Especially when it comes to customer service CRM, the need for mobile-optimized solutions is paramount as a good majority of customers use social media to reach out to brands or submit queries. Adding these queries to an efficient ticketing system and following up effectively necessitates mobile integration.
Integration of customer service CRM with IoT
IoT is a phenomenon that has been evolving rapidly over the past few years. It simply refers to a network of devices embedded with sensors and connected to the internet. It involves a constant and continuous transfer or exchange of data and information between the devices. It facilitates real-time and effective communication across systems for seamless interaction.
Unsurprisingly, CRM is also becoming a part of the phenomenon as real-time customer service CRM incorporating prompt action requires real-time data. It enhances customer services in unimaginable ways, which brings about rapid adoption in companies.
More demand for cloud-based CRM solutions
A no-brainer in customer service CRM trends, there is an obvious increase in demand for cloud-based CRM solutions, as they are much easier to install and use. They do not require induction or training, and they do not need heavy-duty servers, which makes marketers prefer them over on-premise systems.
Voice-based and conversational UI integrations for customer service CRM
Voice-based and conversational UI integrations such as chatbots and voice searches are growing in demand in customer service CRM. According to research by Adobe, “Almost all users (94%) consider voice technology easy to use and say it does more than save time – it improves their quality of life.”
Indeed voice technology is one of the key factors facilitating accessibility for customers. It also makes interaction easier an
All-encompassing enhanced customer experience is the end goal
CRM solutions are increasingly being used with seamless integrations to provide an overall enhanced customer experience. It does not stop at merely providing a good social media customer experience or a prompt help desk system. It extends its effectiveness across channels and allows marketers to utilize relevant data to offer a unified enriched customer experience – which of course is the ultimate end goal of all businesses. From customer service CRM to social CRM and analytics, intelligent solutions are all about collaborative syncing and implementation.
“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh
From all of these upcoming trends and features, it is evident that companies need to get up to speed with the latest CRM technologies integrated with efficient CRM solutions to stay ahead in the game. It is also important to scale, evolve and grow with time as customers change. This necessitates the need for a customizable, flexible, and scalable customer service CRM solution.