Global leader in strategic software applications announces Outlook 2016 in the CRM Space

Pegasystems which develops agile and strategic applications for sales, marketing, service and operations has come out with the predictions for 2016 in the CRM space. In a recently conducted survey in association with Accenture and The Economist Intelligence Unit, around 444 members of the C-Suite were asked to choose three reasons for their organization’s digital transformation, including 10% top Indian industry leaders. With a drive towards a more integrated world, organisations today are spread along a continuum of digitisation, thereby contributing a significant digital transformation within the working module of the enterprises. The findings revealed:

·         While 53% said that improving customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention was the primary aim behind their organisation’s digital transformation,

·         52% of the respondents mention improvisation of operational efficiency as the reason

·          48% stated maintenance and achieving market leadership

·         Only 19% said Enhancement or Demonstration of the ability to innovate as the reasons.

Digital transformation also implies to the way the companies would like to be affiliated to their customers, it means a substantial change in the way companies will offer services. Therefore, CRM will also witness a surge of change like mentioned in the bullets:

Trends expected in CRM Space in 2016:

Marketing takes the “creepy” out of customer experience – Marketing and sales tools are giving businesses unprecedented power to stay connected to their customers today. But they also need to be smart about how they use that power. Taken too far, businesses give off a “creepy” factor that can backfire. With technologies such as predictive analytics and event-triggered actions, marketers will be able engage with customers with just the right tone, context and cadence without crossing the line.

CRM focuses less on visualizing, more on doing – While many CRM players tout their advanced analytics, these capabilities are often nothing more than glorified reporting. Analytics will move beyond visualization in 2016 by automating the process of turning insights into specific actions. Front line service reps will no long have to wade through charts and graphs to figure out what to do next to make the sale – the next best action will be served up to them on a platter specific to each and every customer or prospect. (Closet analogy: CRM can’t just give you a pretty closet full of clothes and accessories, they need to be able to recommend you take an umbrella because there’s a 90 percent chance of rain.)

Assisted channels get a modernized makeover – The instore experience in 2016 will get a face lift thanks to enhanced assisted channels that digitize how shoppers buy in store.  This will go beyond self-service kiosks by leveraging engagement channels such as video chat, co-browsing and contact centers to change the way store associate assist their customer.

The ‘Leasing Economy’ forces businesses to redefine customer service – New economy companies are famously leasing their most important assets. In the ‘Buy Economy,’ businesses worked toward one big Moment of Truth when a sale is made. But in the ‘Leasing Economy,’ there is a constant stream of moments where the consumer hold the threat of walking away at any time.  This is a different business model that puts increased pressure on customer service to keep customer happier over a longer period of time in order to maintain revenue streams. Business will need to adapt to this trend and rethink the role customer service plays in the customer lifecycle. (Examples: ZipCar, healthcare).

Customer Journey maps move from static to active process - This year, businesses will be able to not only model their customer journeys but also engage with that model to gain better insights into where the customer’s pain points lie. Using advanced analytics, companies can automatically understand these issues and have suggestions presented to them on how to fix them. This will turn Customer Journey from a static document into an active tool that can help them run and manage their business.

Customer Experience Teams expand their bench – New skills are required from specialized disciplines to meet rising customer expectations – from a User Experience (UX) expert, data scientists, IT architect, Customer Journey experts and more. As more businesses try do differentiate themselves with customer experience, we will see new roles added to the CRM team – lead by the CMO or Chief Customer Officer – to help them gain a competitive advantage.  

The end of hold music – This year, we will see companies find new ways to ensure customer are continually made to feel their time spent with them is a continuous positive experience. (Example: Callbacks to customer instead of waiting on hold in a queue.)

Moving with your customer in context – Customer are constantly on the move, and businesses need to be able to move with them – whether they are in store, on their mobile device, or back on their desktop. Thanks to services like digital TV, consumers are now trained to expect that they can stop a shopping activity and seamlessly start it again on any channel. This makes it critical for businesses to preserve customer context on any channel and know customer context at all times.