Despite uncertain economic conditions over the next year, business CRM budgets are expected to main strong.
A recent survey by research firm Gartner found surprising results, with 52 of 102 respondents planning to increase CRM spending throughout 2014. This survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013, with respondents split between those focused on traditional business operations and those focused on IT. A smaller number decided to keep CRM spending at current levels.
The reasons for expansion could vary, but main factors are an increase in new technology support and increased integration with current platforms such as social media for marketing. In addition to this, CRM systems will likely see a push due to an increased customer support focus.
“We are observing an increasing number of large, transformational projects being undertaken as organisations look to embrace social and mobile interactions for sales, marketing and customer support,” said Jim Davies, research director at Gartner.
Continued benefits for customers form an additional reason, and likely a main driver for many businesses. Focusing on the customer experience could see increased retention rates stemming from improved customer experience.
“Organisational commitment to the customer experience continues to rise, as business leaders appreciate the benefits of providing differentiated and consistent cross-channel experiences,” he said.
As well as improving efforts in the customer experience space, a new goal was factored in.
“A new objective added to the list of options this year was “increase customer engagement,” which jumped into the number two position,” said Mr. Davies.
Customer engagement can be vastly improved thanks to advances in social media technologies, which provide a platform for businesses and customers to convene at any time in an extremely fast manor. Social media provides a panel for discussion and interaction with substantial improvements over traditional emails and feedback forms.
CRM growth is likely to mean many businesses will increase investments in the technologies throughout the next year.