The Evolution of Customer Relationship Management
retailciooutlook

The Evolution of Customer Relationship Management

By Retail CIO Outlook | Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Progressive customer relationships are vital for the growth and success of an organization. Customer loyalty is a key driver of profitability and understanding customers' requirements is fundamental to business success. For years, the relationship that businesses shared with their customers was personal and organizations knew the preferences of each of their customers, understood what they wanted, and did their best to satisfy the customers’ needs through personalized service and solutions.

However, as time progressed and online markets started to emerge, personalization and customer relationships experienced massive transformations. Today's scenario is shaped by declining market shares, incited by various factors such as deregulations, heavy price competition, and smarter and more demanding customers, who are armed with more information than before. CRM has now become an essential tool that is changing the way businesses manage, store, and utilize their customer data. And, as companies are starting to invest more toward improving customer experiences, a lot of innovative technologies are being developed to emulate similar kind of personalization as earlier. Gartner predicts that in 2018, the revenue of the CRM market will experience a growth rate of 16 percent.

Today, there are hundreds of robust, standalone applications that can be classified as CRM tools that businesses depend on. Starting from database marketing and call centers software to the present day social and mobile CRM software that has a significant level of automation; technological advancements are completely changing customer relationships. With the support of technology, organizations are able to achieve a 360-degree view of the customer that enables them to improve the quality and satisfaction of each customer interaction and maximize the profitability of the customer relationships—a win/win for both businesses and customers.

One CRM solution that is expected to take customer experience to new heights is omnichannel customer experience (omnichannel CX). Omnichannel provides customers with a seamless experience by gathering information across all the engagement channels throughout the customer lifecycle.

CRM’s goal is to move the customer from a transactional interaction to an emotional, personal relationship. Hence, organizations that continuously assess the ever-changing business landscape and accordingly focus on unifying sales and marketing, customer-oriented processes, and understand the value of customer referrals are likely to create a sustainable competitive advantage.

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