Developing CRM systems is one of the key areas of expertise for Evercode Lab. Ever since 2013, we have developed a number of them (for example, our custom software for CADFEM), to give reasonable advice and summarize the most promising trends. In this piece, we would like to share some of our insights. They matter since in the wake of the CRM market growth – “the customer relationship management market is projected to grow from $58.04 bn in 2021 to $128.97 bn in 2028 at a CAGR of 12.1%” – this segment can’t help being palatable.
What Is CRM? And Who Is a Modern Customer?
Basically, customer relations management can be described as a process and practice of handling your interactions with the clients of your company. Hence, a proper CRM tool must be capable of helping you record, store, and analyze such interactions in their entirety. There are two important implications here. On the one hand, this system gives you leverage to maintain and improve individual relations with your customers so that you do not lose them. On the other hand, it enables you to aggregate all of these individual relations into a single coherent picture so that you can examine large volumes of data, segment your target audiences, make data-driven decisions, identify problems, and define areas for improvement.
The greatest challenge in this respect is the essence of a modern client. As Deloitte puts it a recent study, a typical modern client can be described as:
– Extremely knowledgeable and self-informed
– Self-aware and independent
– Fastidious and critical
– Having contradicting attitudes and volatile
– Tech-savvy and permanently connected online
With such a profile in the focus, it is obvious: handling even a single relation with such a customer seamlessly and successfully is a challenge. Handling and analyzing all of them simultaneously may become a nightmare unless you have a special tool for that. What kind of tool should it be?
A Truly Modern CRM: Some Directions to Consider
In the light of the above, it is clear that an effective CRM must meet the following requirements:
– It must offer an end-to-end coverage of every significant or potentially significant interaction with your customer
– It shall provide for a greater degree of personalization and customization when needed
The first aspect is the easiest one to cover. Based on our experience, we would recommend you the following checklist. Before purchasing a ready-to-use CRM, upgrading your already functioning one, or ordering a tailored-fit system (this is the best option), make sure that your future tool will enable your team to:
– Manage contacts, i.e. to gather, keep, and take actions based on the existing customers, potential leads, and prospects
– Track interactions with these three groups simply and expediently, ideally, with no need to spend too much time on it
– Automate your sales operations, i.e. to plan, schedule, be reminded of, and even automatically execute certain actions
– Manage and rearrange data as well as to easily integrate your CRM with other in-house and external solutions (e.g. marketing automation tools and BI)
– Manage, monitor, and motivate your own employees, i.e. to track and control their activities and performance.
These five features are the minimum nowadays.
As for the second aspect, i.e. greater personalization and customization making it easier to interact with heterogeneous target audiences, the following features are viewed as promising by experts in 2021:
– Integrate voice technology as it is likely to dominate the landscape very soon. As FinancesOnline puts it, ‘voice engagement is looking to be one of the next frontiers CRM platforms will be exploring’
– Absorbing IoT as a way to make your data collection more seamless and instant
– Gamification as a factor that both engages and motivates your employees, with “70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies apply gamification”.
– Mobile is never enough. As Forester reminds us, “50% of teams improved their productivity by using a mobile CRM”.
In fact, this list is not conclusive. The most promising trend is a transition from “omnichannel” CRM systems to “channeless” approaches fueled by AI and advanced recognition capacities. We are going to dedicate a special post to this opportunity. Anyway, whatever your CRM-related aspirations are, we invite you to discuss them with us. The team of Evercode Lab is ever-ready to examine and implement them!