CRM has evolved. CRM is about managing the relationship between a company that is offering products or services and their customers. Operational CRM involves marketing the company’s offerings, selling them, providing customer service and technical support, and up-selling and cross-selling further products or services to the existing customer.
There have been a number of significant trends and milestones in the evolution of CRM. One of them is analytics, especially predictive and self-learning adaptive models increasingly mined from Big Data and leveraged in marketing and sales, and as well as service and support. With the ability to learn from the market as well as customer behavior during a specific customer interaction, analytics is a useful tool to strategize the Next-Best-Action for a specific customer, taking into consideration the individual’s background as well as transaction and/or interaction history.
Social networking has also had a profound effect on CRM, as it has given customers a powerful voice, allowing them to instantly provide feedback (good and bad) and share ideas about products, services, and companies. Mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) have become a significant channel for CRM. With evolved CRM, companies can leverage both the analytics and social networking to deliver targeted marketing promotions, optimized and automated sales processes, and guided service interactions.
But there are other even more powerful trends contributing to the significant evolution and transformation of CRM. As discussed in a recent PEX Webinar titled “4 Steps to Reconnect with Customers in a Digital World,” important phases in the evolution of CRM include:
- Digitization of the Value Stream allows customers to be heard and responded to through holistic and dynamic cases involving all participants who are needed to resolve the case.
- Model-driven innovation for CRM: digitized decisioning, processes, dynamic cases, and optimized User Experiences
- Internet of Things/Internet of Everything to Process of Everything for CRM
In conjunction with mobile devices, Smart Devices and Things are increasingly becoming new channels for digital marketing; up-sell/cross-sell of goods or services; as well as customer service and support. From Internet connected kiosks, smart watches, wearables, connected vehicles, interactive retail goods, or Things such as appliances connected to the Internet – to name a few - IoT is providing tremendous new opportunities for the customer relationship management in the digital era. IoT is the most important digitization trend. All major enterprise initiatives – especially CRM – are being transformed through the availability of increasingly ubiquitous and intelligent connected devices.
IoT as an increasingly significant channel combined with the end-to-end digitization of the value stream that optimizes the connection of the customer to the rest of the digital enterprise is transformational for CRM!