With the New Year here, so are the latest CRM and technology predications for the year ahead. Business Software reseller Xperience Group, shares their opinions on Forrester’s CRM predictions, outlining what they believe to be the most important CRM trends, for 2013.

Many of the predictions for 2013 centralise around a strong advancement from 2012 – the Cloud. Mike Ramsay, Managing Director at Xperience Group, commented on the trends mentioned for 2013, stating “It’s always interesting to see which predictions surface every January. Over the last few years a major trend has been the Cloud, and this theme continues into 2013, gaining momentum with increased adoption. Trend predictions are not only insightful for vendors in the industry but for CRM users and prospective CRM users, as they can provide a guide to business process improvements to remain competitive in the forthcoming year.”

One key prediction for 2013 is the rise of the customer driven environment. Businesses will start to work towards a customer-defined management style, where the needs of the customer outline how the company makes future decisions. 2013 will also see the rise in businesses improving their customer understanding, aiming to eliminate problems, and enhance their experience. Advancements in the investigation of customers can also help a business cut costs, and boost profits.

A common theme running through this year’s predictions is mobile and Cloud technology. Ideally, 2013 will see progression in the use of mobile CRM technology, benefiting both the user and the customer. Constant access to customer data, through mobile apps and Smartphone’s, can further empower front-line employees, whilst also improving the customer’s experience, too. Another prediction around the Cloud includes the idea that in order for businesses to capitalise on SaaS, they must adopt flexible CRM management practices. However, in order for businesses to take advantage of entirely flexible SaaS solutions, an entire organisation must fully embrace any new innovation.

From these predictions, it appears the businesses have changed objectives from customer acquisition, following the recession, to a move towards nurturing, and retaining their existing customer base. In addition, the needs of the customer have changed too. So, in order to meet the more advanced needs of the modern customer, companies are starting to go where there customers are – online, through social media, in the Cloud, and on Mobile.

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