Top CRM Trends for 2014

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) experts are predicting significant changes for the CRM market. Let’s take a look at some of the top CRM trends for 2014 and beyond.

Social CRM. Where do potential customers go when they want to learn more about a product or service? Where do existing customers go when they want to share a product experience or communicate in real-time? The answer is social media and it’s hot right now. Many companies are recognizing the value of social media and are looking to integrate it into their CRM efforts. This means they are using social media channels to identify leads, and then integrating them into CRM for further action.

More “human” call centers. There is a growing dissatisfaction among customers in regards to their call center experience, and companies are acting. In order to enhance the customer experience, many companies are trading their traditional approach to the call center for a more human approach. By thinking more like a customer and less like a machine, agents are able to become advocates of the customer instead of just the company. For many companies, this also means emphasizing training call center agents to view interactions from the customer’s perspective in order to improve problem solving and enrich customer relationships.

New methods of interacting with customers. It’s no longer just phone and email these days. Customers – especially younger ones – are growing increasingly dissatisfied with traditional forms of communication. Many companies are looking to alternative modes of interaction. Use of web chat, smartphone applications and social media are all expected to rise substantially.

Google integration. We’re seeing more and more demand for Google integration into CRM software. Many CRM developers are still behind on this CRM trend, but there’s no denying the prospect of bringing Gmail, Google AdWords and Google Apps into your CRM solution is very appealing.

CRM data clean-up projects. Outdated, incorrect and duplicative data remains a stubborn flaw in many CRM systems, ultimately leading to missed opportunities and more work for CRM users. Many companies will be implementing data clean-up projects this year, including the purchase of data-cleansing tools.

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