CRM Trends to watch out for in 2018

Customer Relationship Management 101

When it comes to delivering one -of-a-kind customer experiences, studying trends is one of the ways brands and businesses use to get and stay ahead of the game.

Since the world is constantly evolving, you as a business also need to stay on your toes. No worries though, we’ve got you covered; by giving you insight into new and efficient ways to ensure customer success.

After all, the odds of retaining old customers far beat those of acquiring new ones

Early last year, we published CRM trends that will impact your business in 2017. Gartner predicted CRM will become a $36.5B worldwide market. So what should you look out for in 2018?

Social CRM continues

Customers are influencing brand perception like never before. Plus we are seeing more of them voicing their concerns and seeking clarifications on Social Media Channels like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Gone are the days when customers solely relied on calling customer care agents to answer queries.

Hence efficient Social CRM is invaluable to your organization. It will enable you to monitor customer reactions, generate leads and improve customer relationships and loyalty.

Using social media influence and sentiment analysis to harness the power of social media is just the beginning.

A simple plugin in Social Media platforms for Customer Support can boost the Customer Support Services of any business.

Mobile first, soon it may be Mobile only

Over 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphones after waking up!

Penetration of mobile devices is unstoppable. Smartphones are now a firm establishment of our lives, and that is not changing anytime soon.

According to Statista, the global number of mobile phone users reached 4.43 billion in 2015 and was estimated to grow to 4.77 billion in 2017.

So stay ahead by providing mobile friendly CRM solutions. In fact some brands will soon be solely available via mobile apps.

Predictive Analytics

Advanced predictive analytics capabilities allow businesses to act on customer data and gain insights on among other things their customer journeys.

With predictive analytics, CRMs are able to offer the ability to forecast sales accurately. Making the sales and marketing teams ready for busy times and creative for slow times.

As Yuping Liu-Thompkins, chair of the marketing department at the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University in Virginia says, the question of why is not easy to answer. Because it goes beyond tracking typical behavior. “You might need to bring additional insights from social media, from traditional marketing research. There’s more of that qualitative insight that needs to come into the CRM system.”

Liu-Thompkins emphasizes that there’s a growing need to integrate customer service phone records with transactional data and marketing campaign analysis information.

“Without understanding the why, customization can only go so far.”
Have you checked out the new Ongair Reports?

More Vertical Solutions

We are starting to see more and more highly specialized CRM solutions for specific industries.

As users come to expect more from brands and CRM managers require more bespoke customization, customer marketing platforms will offer different solutions for ecommerce, gaming, financial services and other verticals.

These systems will cater to the radically different business and monetization models of each vertical, with more product-and cart-centric methods for ecommerce, longer time horizons for financial services customers and so forth.

Take for instance Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Multiple Integrations

CRM cannot afford to operate in silos since there’s much valuable data being generated across multiple platforms and sources. Hence the need for systems flexible enough to integrate and gather data from related software applications such as e-commerce platforms, accounting systems and analytics software.

Which is what other products like Zoho also offer businesses.

More Chat Bots (Bots)

The appeal of chat bots is obvious, they provide a personalized experience and reduce business cost.

While previously chat bots were not advanced enough to replace humans, advanced technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are opening the door for an explosion of new capabilities for the CRM market.

In essence, they optimize business costs and build more effective processes.

Instant Messaging Apps

Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and WeChat which were initially solely intended for personal communication now offer more efficient and personalized customer engagement opportunities for businesses.

Today, messaging apps are the most used apps globally as they offer a continuous conversation thread with your customers which creates stronger brand-customer relationships. Through these apps you make yourself available to your customers with very little effort needed on their part.

Omnichannel CRM continues

The average adult is connected to the web by 4.5 devices. Hence the need for customer communications to be conducted through orchestrated multi channel campaigns. As more traffic is directed to mobile, CRM on mobile will overtake other CRM channels.

The ever-connected user leaves marketers no option but to be always on. Robust mobile CRM backed by powerful multi channel capabilities will be the name of the game.

What’s a given is mobile will continue to dominate and grow as a preferred channel.

A host of predictive technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) will assist professionals in completing tasks more quickly and efficiently.

The transition from on-premises solutions to cloud computing will continue, albeit gradually, in spite of security concerns.

Companies will increase their use of software that helps them better understand the journeys customers take with them.

And tools that alter our reality will start to gain legitimate affiliation with CRM.

Overall, embracing these trends will definitely give your business a competitive edge.

What do you think about these trends? Share your thoughts with us.

#LetsOngair or email us directly

We are here to help you rethink your goals and drive simplification efforts through our solutions.

Originally published at on March 27, 2017.

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