Mobility, social media forcing enterprises to rethink CRM strategy

Increasing adoption of mobility and social media are forcing enterprises to rethink their approaches to customer relationship management (CRM) and develop new customer strategies, judges Jim Davies, research director at Gartner.

"During the past 10 years, customers' trust in big business has declined rapidly," says Davies. "Customers have become more willing to complain, more willing to switch suppliers after a poor experience and more likely to tell others about it. Social media and mobile adoption have caused fundamental shifts in how, when and why customers engage with each other and how they expect to be able to engage with organizations."

In fact, mobility and social media are behind major CRM projects being undertaken by European firms, which expect to increase their spending on CRM this year by an average of 2.5 percent, according to a survey of 102 European organizations conducted by Gartner.

"We are observing an increasing number of large, transformational projects being undertaken as organizations look to embrace social and mobile interactions for sales, marketing and customer support," says Davies.

The CRM software market in Western Europe is forecast by Gartner to increase more than 9.9 percent, reaching $5.5 billion by the end of 2014. Cloud-based CRM applications are expected to increase the fastest, with a 24 percent jump this year.

The top three objectives of the respondents' CRM spending this year are to increase customer satisfaction, to increase customer engagement, and to create a single view of the customer.

"Organizational commitment to the customer experience continues to rise, as business leaders appreciate the benefits of providing differentiated and consistent cross-channel experiences. A new objective added to the list of options this year was 'increase customer engagement,' which jumped into the No. 2 position and further demonstrates the growing desire of European organizations to get closer to their customers and have a more mutually beneficial relationship," observes Davies.

A report by the Yankee Group last year found that enterprise demand for mobile CRM and sales force automation apps had more than tripled since 2007. "Business should create a mobile app that cuts across an entire day in the life of an employee, integrating critical siloed, frequently used apps such as calendar and e-mail, customer contact info, case history, pricing, current opportunities, etc.," Sheryl Kingstone, director at the Yankee Group, advises enterprises.

For more:
- check out the Gartner release
- read the Yankee Group report (sub. req.)

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