North American Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Developments to 2022

Omnichannel Customer Experience (CX), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) Creating Opportunities
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Published: 24 Aug 2017

Customers are becoming more reliant on computer hardware, software, and services in their lives and work. And while customers have had to become more knowledgeable about the technologies they own, use, and access, there also have been critical changes to the customer support landscape. Meanwhile, today’s customers are more anxious and demanding of companies when their applications, products, and tools do not work. Solving problems for customers is therefore central to successful CRM strategies and providing a quality Customer Experience. Customers will stay loyal to brands and promote them on social media only if products work well and service is superb. But effective customer support can be expensive. Companies have to find solutions that will help not only retain customers, but ideally turn them into “raving fans”, while also keeping costs down. Providing excellent support has never been more critical for customers and companies. New products, technologies, and channels are improving the Customer Experience but they also create their own issues that require swift and effective resolution. Consequently companies must find innovative ways to provide customer support. The next-gen mobile-first context-aware AI-driven applications automatically and affordably enable for companies and organizations the “true CRM” of the successful smallest businesses. And not a moment too soon. These CRM tools have become necessities as businesses fight harder to grow market share in a slowly expanding North American economy. The widening income divide makes careful customer segmentation and offering high value/low cost service make it imperative for businesses to ensure profitability without losing business to competitors. Ongoing cost cutting pressures, whether to lower taxes and, or deliver more services, require government departments to demonstrate high public satisfaction and productivity to justify their budgets. Select Key Findings • The CRM market is expected to grow strongly to 2022, driven by a growing and competitive economy, even with a widening income divide. Companies are tightening their focus on Customer Experience (CX) and productivity to maximize customer value and profits. • CRM is becoming a relationship management, as opposed to only a case or a deal management application. The next generation solutions use artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools for Omnichannel knowledge-driven contextual personalized customer engagements. • Cloud deployment, mobile-first excellent user experiences (UXs), and solution modularity/simplification are keys to obtaining return on investment (ROI) and buyer loyalty. • There is a growing range of applications that are being integrated and offered with CRM systems. They cover digital channels, configure, price, quote (CPQ), accounting and marketing automation, enterprise resource planning (ERP), mobile sales force automation (SFA), mobile workforce management (MWM), sales intelligence (SI), sales enablement, and supply chain management (SCM). • The Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) promises to add significant value to CRM investments, with new rich data for targeted sales and service. • Small midsized businesses (SMBs), manufacturing, healthcare, education, legal and other professional services, present growth markets. • A vendor’s ability to deliver compelling next-gen solutions will determine its future in the CRM market.

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