|CIOs, CEOs raise the priority of customer experience|
Chief information officers ranked customer relationship management as their No. 8 technology priority for 2012, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.'s Executive Programs. CRM moved up from the No. 18-ranked technology in 2011.
Additionally, Gartner’s 2012 CEO Survey found that CEOs cited CRM as their most important area of investment to improve their business over the next five years.
“The focus on the customer is increasingly important for business leaders, despite times of continued economic uncertainty and government austerity,” says Jim Davies, research director at Gartner. “Effective leaders use technology to strengthen the customer experience regardless of the economic environment, and they see customers as the key factor in helping their business deliver growth and operational efficiency in 2012. They also understand that a new strategy is needed to embrace social and media trends.”
“In 2012, CRM executives are faced with the challenge of taking ‘social’ more seriously not as ‘just another channel,’ but as a whole new way of doing business,” says Ed Thompson, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
Gartner predicts that by 2014, refusing to communicate with customers via social channels will be as harmful to the relationship as ignoring their emails or phone calls is today.
“Our discussions with service providers and end users indicate that CRM services are shifting from a focus on point solution deployment centered on application suites, to a ‘customer experience’ that brings together customer information, analytics, workflows, mobility, and social CRM disciplines into a richer, multichannel access to capture the entire customer journey,” Thompson says.
Gartner says worldwide CRM software revenue reached $12 billion in 2011, a 13.5% increase from 2010, and it is forecast to grow 7% in 2012. Gartner analysts add that a growing percentage of this revenue is accrued through software as a service and cloud computing. In 2011, SaaS accounted for 32% of the CRM software market and is expected to grow 16% in 2012.
As competition intensifies, service providers will either have to grow their own CRM practice to incorporate cloud computing, social CRM, digital media, and mobility—or they will have to form partnerships with specialist vendors. Service providers that are still focusing on traditional on-premises CRM solutions today will gradually lose out to the competition during the next one to two years.
“We recommend organizations view 2012 as a year to revisit their CRM strategy. The potentially disruptive impact of cloud, big data, social, and mobile cannot be overlooked,” says Davies.
[This article was posted on May 8, 2012, on the website of ABA Banking Journal, www.ababj.com.]
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