"CRM has truly become a strategic tool"
Angelique Bemelmans, blogger at Archie CRM, had an exclusive interview with Lieke Lamb about the trends in the field of CRM in 2015. Lieke Lamb and Richard Lamb have been predicting trends since 2005 with their agency Trendwatcher.com. Lieke Lamb reveals the trends for 2015, and trends in CRM are discussed in detail.
Rest. Space. Self-reliance. According to the trend-watcher duo Lieke and Richard Lamb, these are the key words for 2015. Dealing with the new reality in which we live. The search for new core values and the revaluation of the small. The New Enjoyment. And 2015 offers room to think outside established frameworks. Room for creativity and innovation.
The Transition Economy
“Since 2008, we've been in an economically fierce period. We call it the Transition Economy. We are going from a Growth Economy to a Balanced Economy. We are currently in a transition. Accepting the economic situation in which we find ourselves. Searching for new core values. Looking for a renewed balance and accepting that all isn't exactly as it was economically. Acceptance. But not passive acceptance. The Crisis Consumer is more empowered than ever and that only makes the need for sincere and genuine customer contact greater. And that goes for both B2B and B2C. We see (in B2B) that awarding of contracts takes longer for many companies, especially in cases of large investment. Building a bond with the customer is essential. It's important to be a real sparring partner,” says Lieke Lamb.
CRM in the Transition Economy
“Customer Relationship Management is becoming ever more strategic. That development has been going on since before the start of the 2008 economic crisis, but through the crisis, CRM has become even more important. Especially in certain industries (such as ICT), selling kind of took care of itself in 2008, and then these companies suddenly had to start doing something about marketing and sales. CRM has become a strategic tool. You create extra value within a business through the sound and strategic deployment of Customer Relationship Management. Both as a strategy and as a tool. CRM (as a tool) and modern technology help you build and maintain genuine customer relationships.”
Technology and CRM
“A good CRM system is of course an indispensable tool, and, in conjunction with (mobile) technology, helps build and maintain customer relationships. Smartphones and tablets are clearly leading, but the smartwatch as well is increasingly being used in a fun way. Technology makes it possible for a colleague at the office to give the seller sitting at the table with a customer a quick update on the latest news. For example, suppose a merger in the industry was announced that morning; with the help of a CRM system and mobile technology, a colleague at the office can share this information with his colleague. At the same time, it gives the seller a nice subject to chat about with the customer. And if the customer hasn't heard the news yet, it's nice to be able to share this with the customer and to show that you're informed about the industry. Of course, the dilemma is always one's own opinion regarding the latest news, but this example clearly shows how CRM and mobile technology can contribute to lasting customer relationships. On the other hand, technology also provides accessibility for the CRM system. It is important that the CRM system is available, always and everywhere. Make sure that the information can be easily updated. People working in sales especially don't want to spend a lot of time entering and updating information, but do want to always have access to up-to-date information from wherever they are. Technologies like voice control will definitely play a role in this.”
CRM as a strategic tool
“CRM has truly become a strategic tool. And yet, not all the information from the CRM system should be directly copied into conversations with customers. A CRM system is a tool that provides leads for a conversation and sends convenient reminders when events take place that are important to the customer, such as the introduction of a new product. You don't want to give the impression that the customer is in a fully automated system. It is the balance between automation and a personal touch. The search for a balance between the investment and the proceeds of a CRM system. Looking for balance in the amount of information that is entered into the CRM and the amount of results that ensue.”
“Social CRM is really just another manifestation of CRM, and the link between Social CRM and CRM is actually quite logical. Integration with social media is really a must. It is still only minimally applied in practice. It's clear that there are many opportunities waiting to be exploited.”
And finally, one last tip...
“Make sure you familiarize yourself with social media and understand the link to CRM. Ensure that it is a single whole. No loose systems! You won't keep that up. It doesn't work. Use CRM as a valuable tool to build genuine, sustainable customer relationships.”
Of course, TrendsVerwachting 2015 can also be read online.