The three biggest trends in CRM are:
- The adoption of CRM in new industries, which is driving CRM growth of ERP vendors such as SAP and JD Edwards. CRM in manufacturing industries often depends on whether you shipped the right product at the right price (not just whether you remember the customer), and that means supply chain integration, design collaboration, etc. We're also watching the government sector to see who takes the lead there. We don't think CRM is a one size fits all problem and believe the ERP vendors will do very well in their install bases.
- The focus on business processes, not just customer data. Customer interactions should be the beginning of longer dialogs, not an end point. Vendors like Pegasystems and Chordiant are being joined by Amdocs as well as EAI vendors, dialog marketing vendors, workflow vendors and others with solutions that connect CRM to the rest of the enterprise. Universal Application Network is another interesting development here that could help drive process standards.
- The incorporation (finally) of customer analytics in the call center, Web, and branch/store. CRM is finally getting smarter rather than just trying to more efficiently treat everyone the same. We're seeing value indicators, propensity scores,and retention alerts change CRM from a reactive operational system to a strategic tool. Planning and budgeting in marketing also helps develop the right strategy and measure results.
Speech recognition is one of the hottest new technologies in the contact center, improving the number of calls handled by 15 - 50% and doubling call completion rates over touchtone IVRs. Our contact center analyst, Elizabeth Herrell, estimates that the market for speech products and services will grow from $600M this year to $2.1B by 2007 with early adopters now in hospitality, airlines, and financial services.
For more information, check out SearchCRM.com's Best Web Links on CRM Technology.