The world of tech doesn’t stand still, and customer relationship management (CRM) software is no exception. In fact, many of the biggest innovations and ideas that are being pioneered in today’s hottest gadgets also have applications for key business software.
Tools like Amazon Alexa, predictive text and smartwatches are often based around the same underlying technologies that make their way into the next generation of CRM tools. So what’s currently emerging that will make CRM more powerful and easier to use than ever before?
AI set to take centre stage
One of the most exciting prospects for the technology sector as a whole right now is the vast progress being made in artificial intelligence (AI). This is something we’ve been promised for decades, but it’s finally starting to become a practical reality.
In the CRM space, there are a few key use cases for this technology that can help companies improve their processes and enhance their relationships with customers. One of the most common may be AI-powered chatbots, which can step in as a first point of contact for customers when they have an enquiry, using natural language processing to determine what an individual is looking for, then hooking up with back-office CRM systems to find the answers and responding in the same natural language.
AI and machine learning technology can also be used to analyse large amounts of data in order to spot patterns, identify trends and enable companies to become more proactive and deliver more personalised services.
Automation, automation, automation
One of the benefits of utilising AI is that employees needn’t waste time looking for information or answering simple queries, freeing up more of their day to focus on more important tasks that can add value to the business. But this is far from the only innovation that’s set to help workers regain control of their day-to-day work.
Automation will be one of the biggest trends for the CRM market in the coming years, as smarter technology solutions become more capable of handling repetitive tasks such as data entry, reporting, lead generation and more. As well as taking much of the tedium out of what is often essential work – thereby improving the morale of employees – this automation also helps greatly cut errors and boost overall performance and productivity.
More devices, more opportunities
Mobile capabilities have been one of the biggest requests from employees for almost every software solution in the last few years, including CRM.
Remote and flexible working has become an everyday part of business for many firms, thanks to ubiquitous Wi-Fi and 4G mobile connectivity, as well as more powerful smartphones and tablets that can handle anything a PC can take on. But this is set to be just the tip of the iceberg for the impact of new devices on the CRM sector.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another exciting new technology that could be set to revolutionise CRM in the next year or two.
This could see CRM systems integrated with a wide range of external sensors from cars to home devices, giving businesses much more information than ever before on their operations, their customers and the wider market. If done correctly, the data captured through IoT devices can be used to build a detailed, personal picture of a customer that enables companies to better serve them as individuals.