Due to the proliferation of mentioning, some of the fundamental business concepts are gradually becoming ambiguous. Probably two of the most relevant ones among them are “digital transformation” and “customer relationship management (CRM).” But, given the extraordinary impact on sustainable development, these concepts must be demystified to prepare and implement the right strategies in these two strongly related business segments. So, what does “customer relationship management” or “managing relationships with customers” really mean? It should be obvious, but its complexity makes it quite hard to comprehend and even harder to implement efficiently.
CRM stands for customer relationship management, or the set of business processes and strategies of managing interactions with existing and prospective customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle, spanning marketing, sales, operations, customer service, and others. Many authors depict this lifecycle as a marketing/sales funnel.
As digital transformation is not primarily about technology – it is about strategy and new business models. The same is true for CRM – it is about defining the right approach to manage customer/prospect interactions to ensure excellent customer experience and profitable growth. CRM as a business strategy must incorporate a focus on recognizing and seizing emerging market opportunities and a constant search for a way to improve the value proposition for customers.
On the back-end side, organizations need to align operations across the entirety of their enterprise functions that is also an indispensable “ingredient” for improved customer experience. This integration further enables marketing, sales, customer service, and operations to be managed cohesively, providing connected insights, automated content exchange, and improving employee engagement.
Many organizations (mistakenly) consider CRM as a set of digital tools or, better yet, a digital magic wand that will align all their customer interactions to ensure the organization’s success. Therefore, not surprisingly, many of the CRM solutions’ investments fail or at least do not deliver planned value. Before looking for the right technology, organizations need to define a future strategy centered around their customers. After that, they need a suitable partner and a set of digital solutions to enable the strategy execution and delivery of business benefits.
Any solution that uses data to build, improve, and manage customer relationships in one or more segments of the entire customer lifecycle can fall under the ‘CRM solution’ description. The broader span of business areas is covered by a solution, the easier it is to integrate the solution within the entire landscape of IT architecture and business processes.
Every CRM solution should automate and integrate customer-facing activities and cover at least core CRM features:
Despite over 20 years of market presence, CRM solutions have undergone an impressive adoption and growth rate in the last couple of years. The increasing integration of emerging technologies like AI/ML with CRM solutions is anticipated to be the main driver of the market expansion over the forecast period. The global market size of CRM digital solutions was valued at USD 40.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 14.2% until 2027. The average return on investment for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent. But it is just an average – many CRM investments failed while many others delivered much better results than the average.
The growing demand for CRM solutions is particularly driven by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Due to this trend, by 2027.:
In business, relationships are everything – it's the primary source of your organization's value creation. Asseco's experts and its Live product family for customer and employee relationship management help organizations regardless of the industry or size to mature customer service processes, automate engagement, improve customer experience, and increase the scope of digital operations. High integrability enables an organization to smoothly integrate LIVE in their existing IT architecture and ensure full process automation.
For more information on how can Live product family can support the implementation of your digital CRM strategy, please contact us.