Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM Trends to Watch: Four Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore

Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM Trends to Watch: Four Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore

Article excerpt

With the beginning of a new year, your organization may be assessing its strategy for emerging industry trends. What can you expect in 2016? Here are four trends that are poised to make an impact on how you do business.

1. DIGITAL DISRUPTION INTENSIFIES THE FOCUS ON PERSONALIZATION

Digital technologies have empowered consumers in unprecedented ways--and are disrupting customer service methodologies that have been in place since the dawn of the call center some 40 years ago.

Since technology will continue to evolve and carry customer expectations along with it, digital disruption will intensify. There's much more at stake than being able to conduct sales and service over multiple channels. The rules of customer engagement are changing quickly, and the challenge will be creating service environments in which the customer interactions you deliver are more engaging, relevant, personalized, and targeted than those delivered by your competitors. Expect self-service, online communities, and social customer service to gain strength as preferred pathways for customer service. The goal will be making it easier for customers--and the employees who support them--to get things done.

Engaging customers and providing them with rich and satisfying experiences means being able to deliver personalized, contextual service. You'll need the ability to collect, analyze, and present data efficiently from various systems, channels, and sources in a meaningful way--either to customer service staff as they deliver assistance, or to customers in self-service channels. This is the realm of customer engagement optimization solutions, which can reach across customer journeys, systems, and applications to deliver insight into the complete cycle of customer engagement. Look for customer engagement optimization to become the Next Big Thing for enriching customer interactions, improving business processes, and optimizing the workforce.

2. SECURITY AND PRIVACY REMAIN FRONT AND CENTER

The rise of cybercrime and the penalties associated with noncompliance continue to make risk assessment and mitigation critical. Expect a steady increase in regulatory requirements, especially those pertaining to the safeguarding and use of personally identifiable information.

Although the financial services industry in particular faces formidable regulations concerning data security, all industries have similar concerns. This can pose a dilemma for CRM initiatives: As the need to deliver personalized service intensifies, so does the requirement to protect consumer privacy and security.

Customer engagement centers are understandably "ground zero" for potential consumer security issues. Voice biometrics can help centers screen large numbers of calls, detect fraudulent callers, and authenticate customers without impeding the flow of the interaction at hand. …

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