Customer relationship management (CRM) is among the top ten priorities for investment to improve business prospects in the next five years.
A survey conducted by Gartner among chief information officers (CIO) indicated that CRM has moved 10 positions to become 8th technology priority, while CEOs view CRM as a key area for business improvement.
Despite continued economic ambiguity and government austerity, the spotlight is on customers as corporations believe CRM is an important factor to drive their business not only to deliver growth but also provide operational efficiencies in 2012. The social media could be tapped as part of a new strategy, Gartner believes.
The current year will throw more challenges for CRM executives due to the popularity of social media, and they are expected to see this media more seriously than just treat as another channel and doing business differently, comments analyst Ed Thomson of Gartner.
In 2011, CRM software advanced 13.5 percent to generate revenues of $12 billion. This is expected to witness 7 percent upside in 2012. Significantly, major portion of the revenue is generated from software as a service or SaaS besides cloud computing. Revenue from SaaS represented 32 percent in 2011 and the expectation is that it can witness 16 percent upside in 2012.
As the competition heats up, services providers will have to develop their own CRM software to add cloud computing, digital media, social CRM and mobility. In the absence of such practice, they will have to find suitable specialist vendors. Those, who follow traditional CRM solutions, may face the going tough during the next couple of years as rivals are bent on taking advantage of any loophole in the CRM.
The research firm analyst urged corporations to revisit their strategy towards CRM in 2012 and not to take the impact lightly from big data, social, cloud and mobile.
Like the current practice of ignoring phone calls and emails by customers, organizations could feel the worst of it by if they refuse to correspond through social media.