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Trends in consumer applications impact CRM considerations

by Employee on ‎09-18-2012 02:29 PM

The internet has changed the way we interact with technology and with each other. The social media tools and web applications developed for personal use are also driving the adoption and usability of CRM systems. Your employees expect tools that are intuitive to learn and productive to use. Your customers expect interactions with your company to be as easy as the applications they are using in their personal lives.

 

Social media

Though it started as a clever way to keep in touch with family and friends, social media has rapidly evolved into an effective way to engage customers, prospects, and business partners. Social media is not a trend anymore; it is an integral part of how we will interact and communicate on a professional level.  Consider these recent statistics:

 

  • There are more than 175 million members on LinkedIn, on pace to perform more than five billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform this year. 
  • The number of tweets posted on daily on Twitter has reached 175 million, and there are over 465 million Twitter accounts.
  • 42% of marketers say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business, according to the 2012 Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing survey.
  • Facebook activity has resulted in new customers for 77% of business-to-consumer companies and 43% of business-to-business companies. (Hubspot)

 

Social media marketing is expanding and commanding an increasing share of the marketing budget. To ensure a return on that investment, social media activity needs to be measured and monitored to improve success. CRM systems that are not integrated with social media sites miss opportunities to engage with customers and monitor the public perception of your company’s products, services, and customer service.

 

Within your business, if your CRM system can connect quickly and easily with social media, you’ll make it much easier for your sales, marketing, and customer service professionals to use these important tools effectively.

 

Personalized, targeted applications

As a result of the vast amount of information that companies gather about consumers, we’ve come to expect a more personalized touch. We expect our experience with online applications to be useful and to-the-point. For example, if you request an automobile insurance quote online—you want to receive an accurate price based on your personal information (not a generic quote) in as little time as possible.

 

The same concepts also drive the development of CRM systems. Sales, marketing, and customer support professionals must be able to find the information they need in as few steps as possible, so that they can help customers quickly and efficiently. This ultimately can lead to higher profitability and customer satisfaction.

 

To accomplish optimum efficiency, it’s important to have a CRM system that:

  • Automates common tasks for simplicity and speed.
  • Enables your company to customize workflows to your own established processes.
  • Allows for customization of the user experience based on an individual’s role in the organization.

 

As we look to the future of CRM, you can expect to see trends in consumer applications continue to spill over into the development of better, easier-to-use CRM systems. Features like social tools and personalization will make it easier for your organization to encourage the adoption and use of your CRM system by all employees.

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