For the past several years, I’ve been writing annual predictions for the CRM industry. It’s all been good fun and forces me to sit down once a year and think about important developments.
How did I do last year? Judge for yourself by reading my CRM Industry Predictions for 2005.
It’s far easier to write about predictions for the CRM technology industry than for the business strategy of CRM. So this year, for a change of pace, I’m going to present my five-year vision of CRM, from both a business and technology perspective. Here are seven trends that I believe will define CRM for the second half of this decade.
Trend No. 1: Customers Rule!
Sure, we all say that already, but if you think customers are in charge now, you ain’t seen nothing, yet. Over the next five years, customers will gain even more power because of the convergence of three forces: globalization, the Internet and the development of China and India.
Globalization is an unstoppable force. Short-term, some countries will attempt to slow progress with trade barriers to protect jobs and local economies. But there’s no doubt that global trade will continue to grow, with help from trade initiatives like the EU, NAFTA, the WTO and three acronyms to be named later.
OK, so it’s not much of a stretch to say the Internet will reshape our buying habits. But think past Googling suppliers. That’s so 2005. The new news will be integrated supply chains where Web Services standards will help link organizations more seamlessly than they do today. Information will flow faster, and high prices will have nowhere to hide.
Finally, China and India will have an enormous impact, first as suppliers and then as consumers. Today, nearly 2.4 billion people combine to take an ever-growing role as the world’s manufacturing (China) and service (India) suppliers. In addition, their growth of affluent local consumers will mean that CRM will become a critical strategy within these countries, too.
Wherever you live, your customers will have more choices for products and services. Companies with lean, responsive and customer-friendly business models will prosper.
Continue reading “A Five-Year Vision for CRM: Seven Key Trends”