The growth of CRM and CX – 3 trends according to Gartner
Engaging successfully with customers is central to business success today. Therefore it is not a surprise that research from Gartner shows that the market for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software grew by 13.7% globally last year, hitting $20.7 billion. Western Europe was the fastest growing region, with spending expanding by 15.2% between 2012 and 2013.
Gartner highlighted three trends driving CRM growth, which chime with what we’re also seeing in the market:
1. The move to digital
New digital channels and expansion in online marketing efforts are critical for businesses as they attempt to reach their customers and build strong relationships. These initiatives rely on personalised targeting to succeed. CRM systems provide the backbone for these digital marketing programmes, creating a single view of the customer across multiple channels.
2. The growing importance of the customer experience
Customers have never been more demanding, expecting a superior experience whichever channel they choose to contact you through. Loyalty cannot be taken for granted, so companies are focusing on delivering a seamless customer journey that builds a relationship with consumers, quickly and efficiently deals with any queries they may have, and drives sales. Organisations, whatever industry they are in, are now investing heavily in CRM to drive an improved multichannel customer experience.
3. Technology moves to the cloud
Gartner’s research found that 41% of CRM spend was on Software as a Service (SaaS) deployments as companies increasingly moved operations to the cloud. Flexibility, scalability, ease of deployment and the ability to quickly access new functionality are amongst the reasons for the shift to SaaS.
As part of the growing importance of CRM, Gartner has identified that traditional contact centres are evolving into Customer Engagement Centers (CEC). These extend CRM to reflect new multichannel and increasingly digital forms of customer engagement.
In its recent Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center, Gartner analyst Michael Maoz set out this definition, “The CRM customer engagement center refers to a logical set of business applications and technologies that are engineered to provide customer service and support, regardless of the interaction (or engagement) channel. The goal of the CEC is not only to provide reactive service to customers as they move among communications channels — including social media — while retaining the customers' context, but also to deliver the appropriate business rule to determine the next best action, information or process with which to engage the customers.”
At Eptica we see ourselves at the heart of this shift to customer engagement and were delighted to be included in the latest Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. Eptica was one of only two vendors to transition with the same product to this report from the retired Magic Quadrant for CRM Web Customer Service (WCS) Applications and this marks the fourth consecutive year that Eptica has appeared in a Gartner Magic Quadrant. You can read more about our inclusion here.
The CRM market is growing strongly as it embraces a multichannel, digital future, driven by a combination of market demand and innovative solutions from vendors. Given the importance of the customer relationship, we expect growth to accelerate during 2014, and have already seen record revenues in Q1. This is all good news for consumers as new technology improves their experience, whatever channel they are using.