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CRM Trends Heading Your Way in 2012

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December 08, 2011

CRM Trends Heading Your Way in 2012

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

End customers are increasingly aware of what CRM systems are capable of. So says industry observer Ian Whiting, who adds that in 2012, customers “will be even more insistent that businesses deal with them as they expect.”

Writing in CIO magazine, Whiting offers some CRM trends CIOs should watch for in 2012.

Anywhere, anytime. Anywhere/anytime computing offers benefits in the CRM space, Whiting says: “In 2012, mobility and the cloud will continue to create opportunities for businesses to engage with customers in intelligent ways across all touch points.” This doesn’t mean they need to go hand-in-hand -- Whiting predicts some businesses will be too concerned about the cloud’s security issues. But customers expect you to be able to check what’s in the pipeline and for any outstanding issues before speaking with them, especially since they’ll expect services via mobile and tablet devices as well.

Any insight. CRM systems generate and collect a great deal of data -- as those tasked with administering them realize -- and the majority of it always goes to waste. It’s a CIO’s job to improve the value their businesses can extract from their CRM data, especially for marketing, market insight and customer engagement opportunities. Whiting sees CIOs “driving” this in 2012, and thinks CRM vendors “will also have a role to play in educating businesses about what’s possible.” As any good CRM vendor should be doing already.

Customer-ization. Customers are demanding better, faster and more integrated experiences -- “many of the businesses we deal with are reporting an increasing impatience on the part of customers who feel that ‘the system should know’” all kinds of things, Whiting says, predicting that 2012 will see “savvy end customers who are increasingly aware about the capabilities of CRM, and who will know when they’re not being treated with it.

Social networks. Social CRM has matured since its rather bumpy efforts in the past. In 2012, Whiting expects to see much better social monitoring and engagement tools integrated into CRMs. Specifically, he thinks monitoring for commentary on social networks will be easier, and that social CRM allows for faster community-building and management, across sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (News - Alert).

More for less. Look, you have the cloud. Your customers know this. That means the excuses for CRM vendors offering less than complete feature sets and capabilities in their CRM offerings are fast vanishing. So in 2012 your customers don’t want to be hearing them anymore. Got it?

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny
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