In the early days of customer relationship management, the first set of CRM software might have had features that were just suited for contact management and a little bit of some other minute features, however as of now, that isn’t the case. As of now, CRM software offers quite a lot of features to businesses. In fact, there’s almost about something to make the work of everyone easier, faster, and automated.
The reason for this beneficial evolution is not far-fetched. As of today, running a business has gone way past just having the best products and services, in fact, it can be argued that any business can offer quality goods and services. Hence, to ensure business profitability, Building relationships with customers to foster loyalty and retention is a key factor. This puts Customer Relationship management at the center of things as it is very instrumental in achieving these business goals.
With continuous evolution and advancement in technology as well as human behavior, the coming years will definitely require matching innovations as well as changes in the ways of interacting with customers using CRM software.
Find out some of the popular CRM software trends to look out for in 2021 in this article.
Common CRM trends to look out for
- Customer Experience is a major factor: Salesforce has it that “84% of customers feel that
the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services”. It is predicted that companies will have better, more personalized customer support with CRM platforms being easier to use after all The customer may not always be right, but it never hurts to cultivate positive relationships with customers. While also trying to shed more light on some CRM trends, Victoria Wallace, digital marketing and CRM expert Tweeted explaining the need to exceed our customer’s expectations we should start by trying to understand them explaining the need to preserve customer satisfaction.The stats further backs up this point. Now, in terms of customer experience, ease of use is very vital. In the coming years, usability is expected to improve drastically thus making data easier to access and analyze. Furthermore, CRM features that make it easy for sales and customer service agents to initiate contact with customers are expected to be common in most CRM software. All these projections point to the fact that technological advancements are always geared towards simpler use for all users, the year 2021 is no exception.
- Optimizations For Mobile: With most CRM systems now going digital to match the latest trends and evolving customer needs, more CRM features on portable devices are needed by the growing communication need of customers. Advancements in mobile technology and customers’ increasing need for constant connectivity indicate a push for CRM platforms to provide more mobile functionalities. Mobile phones have grown to become a huge part of our lives. It is becoming a somewhat basic necessity of life in the modern era. Considering the fact that most activities are on mobile devices, it makes sense for CRM software to be optimized for mobile. In the future, more CRM systems will provide the full experience on smartphones, tablets, and other devices that can be connected to the Internet. This will enable
- Artificial intelligence is king: According to Forbes, through Easier data ingestion and retrieval, Sentiment analysis capabilities, Better data integrity, Predictive lead scoring, and Personalized solutions/recommendations, AI is revolutionizing different aspects of sales and marketing. CRM is tending towards ease of use and customer experience; achieving this is highly dependent on automation, self-service, and ease of communication.As a result, Artificial Intelligence sits right into the vision of CRM in that one of the most significant changes AI can bring to CRM involves automation and the improvement of existing conversational tools as AI makes it very easy to automate time-consuming manual tasks. For ease of conversation, CRM is already tending towards making use of chatbots. Although, as of now the bots are capable of more or less basic inquiries.Come 2021 however, the CRM space is expected to experience a push in the capabilities of the bots so much so that with the help of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing, it might be hard to tell if one is chatting with a human or a bot.
- Social CRM is very important: The integration of social media channels into CRM platforms gives companies a more powerful overview of what people feel about the brand generally. This is a very important factor for social media in the coming years.There is a prevalence of social media in the modern-day. Individuals, businesses, and organizations are all on social for the purpose of connectivity. It is via this social connection that all other benefits of social connection such as business promotion, entertainment, etc stem from. Now, since CRM aims to help businesses better manage their customers for the ultimate purpose of increasing sales and business growth, it’s understandable why social CRM poses widespread adoption in the future. The attention of CRM software will shift towards integration with social media and this is beginning to become evident in that. Many CRM systems today offer integrations with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And, future platforms are expected to offer integrations with more social media platforms and networks.
- Integration of conversational UI with CRM: According to Adobe’s research, “Almost all users (94%) consider voice technology easy to use and say it does more than save time – it improves their quality of life.” Voice search, the conversational search will be a major aspect of CRM in 2021 as there are about 1 billion voice searches per month as of January 2018.voice technology is expected to make bigger waves for CRM systems as most leading CRM software are beginning to invest quite a lot of money into the emerging voice search technology. Microsoft had just provided funding to tact.ai, a company that owns smart voice assistant technology for B2B enterprises. This points to the fact that in the coming years there’s bound to be a normalization of Voice search and conversational UI as a whole in most CRM software. Voice technology is critical for the evolution of SaaS tools. It’s a key factor for accessibility, but it also simply makes tech easier and more enjoyable to use.
- Automation: CRM software is incorporating a lot of automated processes to ensure efficiency. It is expected that the CRM space will be seeing a lot of lead generation automation, marketing, and sales automation in the year 2021. More so, there’s an upsurge in the amount of tech-savvy customers in the marketing space; most of which appreciate getting things done faster and in a more efficient way. Hence, to attract and fully satisfy this growing community of customers, offering high-level automation is a must. The speculation in the coming years is that at some point in time CRM becomes somewhat synonymous with the automation of customer relationship processes.In the long run, automation is expected to allow businesses to offer high-quality customer services while optimizing running costs. This saves time and effort making work easier and faster and thus fulfilling the aim of technology in the first place.
- Self-service is important now more than ever: In this age, automation is a highly-promising technological trend. This is implemented with the help of bots that ask questions, gather information, provide personalized content and experiences, plus anything else that a customer might need. This is time-saving and stress-free, and budget-friendly for the company.Also, for the purpose of creating a wonderful experience and ease of use for the customer, it is highly imperative for customers to be able to sort certain issues on their own using the platform rather than having to wait on contact customer service agents to attend to all their needs. Waiting on customer service agents is often very stressful and time-consuming and consequently leads to a poor experience for the customer.In the coming year, we expect most CRM software to incorporate lots of self-service options into the platform. Agile CRM for one as a top CRM software already has a couple of self-service options in place and is expected to add more options in 2021 for the purpose of ease of use and improved customer experience.
- Integration of CRM software with the Internet of things:
IoT simply refers to the phenomenon of gadgets embedded with sensors that are constantly connected to a network or “things connected to the internet”. Via this connection, there’s continuous transfer and exchange of data and information between devices. IoT serves as a more reliable means of getting valuable information relevant for implementing efficient customer relationships. As a result, IoT makes self-service better, helps to automatically change the price as demand changes, helps establish a high degree of personalization, and promote customer retention amongst other numerous benefits.Most companies are expected to use data generated from IoT solutions is to enhance the customer experience. By adding connections to IoT feeds from computers, advanced CRM systems will take advantage of this trend. CRM systems thrive on information; information from customers and users. Hence what IoT means for CRM systems is a constant stream of data from the customers into their databases. The more information you have about the habits of your customers, the better you can plan your campaigns and interaction.
- Augmented and Virtual Reality: AR and VR are bound to change the way companies engage their customer. BRP consulting has projected that about 48% are likely to patronize retailers who use AR and 32% of retailers are likely to integrate AR and VR into their marketing plans.Technological advancements continue to change the way we approach various concepts and processes in marketing as a whole and more specifically in Customer Relationship Management. AR and VR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality respectively) avail companies and small businesses with more advanced tools that can greatly enhance buyer experience and consequently boost conversion success for marketing and sales.
The efficiency of sales training and coaching can also be improved using Augmented Reality. In general, we speculate that AR, VR, and CRM will work hand-in-hand com 2021 and the coming years. The expected results will be an increased conversion rate and better customer experience. The future looks bright for CRM!
Optimizations continuously tend towards ease of use. In the year 2021, CRM software will become better and more tilted towards a higher level of automation and increased customer satisfaction for efficiency. Furthermore, CRM is a huge part of the software market is expected to only grow bigger especially because of the emerging technologies being infused into CRM.
The CRM trends discussed above are obviously tilting towards the quality of service. Agile CRM our own CRM software has incorporated most of them thus staying ahead of the curve and will continue to do so as other emerging technologies will be incorporated as they emerge.
Also, these trends help businesses gain insights on what to expect from customers and vice versa.
Integration and more efficient use of technological resources is expected to help increase revenues and overall business growth.