What is CRM Digital Transformation?
The CRM digital transformation is one of the key developments of the last decade and is continuing with new frontiers like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and IOT (Internet of Things) influencing the direction of CRM platforms and technologies. The impact of transformative digital technologies on CRM space is palpable.
What are the digital concepts and technologies that have and are influencing the CRM space?
CRM Digital Transformation is being driven by the following digital technologies and concepts
- Cloud:One can safely argue that SalesForce.com is one of the pioneers of the cloud-based SAAS (Software as a Service) revolution. The cloud is not about “a server elsewhere” but a fundamental shift in how modern systems are conceptualized, developed, deployed and delivered, upgraded and accessed. Furthermore, the SAAS models, being a new generation of solutions, have focused on design and user experience, thus making the hitherto complex software solutions into easy to use solutions. The anytime, anywhere and from any device access has allowed the sales and service teams to be productive and effective and serve the customers better. The advent and dominance of the cloud and SAAS CRM solutions are the drivers of CRM digital transformation.
- Portals:The concept of self-service portals has been another digital revolution that has impacted the CRM realm. Provision of customer, partner, agent/reseller portals have allowed companies to not only consolidate functionality and offer self-service capabilities, but also helped integrate customers/partners’ activities into CRM systems along with one-click access to company personnel. The evolving portal technologies is more than a microsite with ability to segment customers and offer specific functionality, customize content based on profile as well as click stream behavior, and consolidate communications in one place.
- Social Media:Social media venues and channels are no longer about a page with a picture and a profile. Enterprises the world over are leveraging social media for marketing, advertising, customer engagement, customer service, enrollment of ambassadors and advocates, among many other functions. The social media has been a singular influence on CRM digital transformation. SocialCRM systems are integrated with social media channels and are servicing as a single repository of all client communications and postings. This treasure trove of data allows sales and service teams to engage with customers where they are, how they want and whenever they want.
- Mobile:The launch of iPhone and other touch-based mobile devices has heralded the advent of a new era. We are no longer tethered to our computers. Business, entertainment and life happens on the move on our mobile devices. Mobility has accelerated the CRM digital transformation by way of allowing customers access to sales and service channels, and provisioning of seamless functionality of CRM functions on mobile devices.
- Analytics:Today, we live in an information age and the clutter of data is overwhelming, making it difficult to make sense of the data. That is where analytics come in. Sophisticated analytics are changing the CRM platforms from dumb repositories of data into powerful systems that facilitate insight driven interactions.
- Artificial Intelligence:Artificial intelligence, machine learning and other related technologies are no longer sci-fi fantasies. Companies like SalesForce.com and others of its ilk are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to make sales teams more productive, and customer engagement more fruitful. There is no telling where this will go and how far it will evolve.
- Chatbots:Chatbots, another manifestation of intelligent systems, are all the rage these days. While the technology is in its early stages, the premise and promise are exciting. Chatbots, as a part of overall CRM, can engage with prospects and customers intelligently and engage in context driven conversations. When needed, the human touch can be seamlessly integrated with the chatbot functionality.
- IoT (Internet of Things):As the concept of a connected world where physical meets the virtual is becoming a reality, the opportunity from IOT (Internet of Things) on CRM is palpable. For example, leveraging beacons one can know where a customer is located and there can be specific and personalized offers. Whether it is data from cars or wrist wear or appliances, the IoT is a realm that offers real opportunities.
These are but some of the digital influences on CRM, and how digital technologies are transforming the CRM space. As technologies advance, shift and become more mainstream, there is no telling how the CRM digital transformation will look like, and how far it will go.
Please share with us your ideas on what technologies are fostering and driving the digital transformation of CRM?