Smarter. Slicker. More human. More secure. In 2016, technology, understanding and the law will combine to make it one big year for CRM.
Here’s what’s coming our way…
Rise of the machines
You’re familiar with the Internet of Things, that interconnected world where everything is online?
Well, prepare for the CRM of Things, because if your wearables, vehicles and household appliances are connected, they can do more than let you put the heating on from your smartphone or remind you to empty your Dyson. By submitting data against specific IP addresses, the CRM of Things will support triggered communications and re-targeting, directed to the registered owner.
We’ll be invited to authorise upgrades and buy refills and accessories. And that process will be driven by engagement/transaction metrics that are cycled back into the database, creating real time data for more refined contact strategies.
Ditch the templates
We’re naturally predisposed to react against messages we know have come from the cold heart of an algorithm. But in 2016, the tech is getting smarter and should be able to make complex conversational decisions, rather than simply sending template A or B.
So next year, you might just start to see automated email and social responses that you can’t immediately spot as being automated.
Keep it secret, keep it safe
In 2012, the European Commission published its proposals for a new regulation to give greater protection to individuals and counter the ever constant threat of digital terrorism. The new law, expected to come into force in 2017, will add further complexity to data protection issues.
Changes are expected to include an extension of the definition of ‘personal information’, an obligation to track consents, and pro-active searches for violations. All of which means that 2016 will see the start of the scramble to comply.
Chatting with, not talking at
With every passing year, digital interaction becomes that bit more sophisticated, and that bit more human. 2016 will be no exception, with better and more interesting ways to engage, and cross-channel conversations that feel, well… like actual conversations.
One vision – the SCV matures
If you think of your business as a farm, then customers are those strange, unpredictable animals who just can’t help finding new ways to escape the pens you try to keep them in. You want to keep your Twitter feed as a nice, clean space for new product releases. But customers wander in and start asking service questions or sharing opinions.
Or they have the cheek to call you when you clearly directed them towards an online help facility. And they expect the same experience however they engage with you. Tch.
The thing is, of course, those customer expectations are entirely reasonable. It’s just that, until the emergence of the single customer view (SCV) a couple of years back, a single customer experience was a nice idea with little grounding in reality. Truth be told, the reality is still a bit hazy, with technology, strategy and understanding racing to catch up with the potential a true SCV offers. But in 2016 we should reach the point where the SCV delivers:
- The true relative value of a contact in terms of retention and acquisition
- Strategies that blend online and offline data, so the website experience, instore conversation and helpline call all feel as though they’re part of the same organisation
- Data capture improvements – and robust gap analysis to correlate the data we have, the data we need and the missing bits in the middle
- Deeper understanding of individual user lifecycles – both behavioural and transactional
The development of the SCV should also lead to growth in the actual (as opposed to theoretical) use of omni-channel communications. For the first time, we’ll have smooth comms plans that flow through email, social and other platforms, actively connecting, rather than separating, points of contact.
What’s your big prediction for CRM in 2016? Tell us about it @AmazeOnenews