What Will 2019 Bring for CRM?

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Technology entrepreneur and billionaire investor Elon Musk sounded the alarm again, telling Axios in late November that humans must merge with machines or risk becoming an endangered species. Luckily, most other people’s predictions about businesses and technology for the year ahead aren’t quite so ominous. What follows is just a sample of what some of your peers are thinking.

“As account-based marketing becomes more mainstream and more tools become available, larger marketing automation software vendors will roll ABM features into their platforms. Adoption of ABM will increase overall as more companies will turn to the tailored, personalized approach to their messaging due to the General Data Protection Regulation and other privacy regulations, which dampen the effectiveness of spray-and-pray demand-generation activities.”

Umberto Milletti, founder and CEO of InsideView

The questions customer service representatives will receive in 2019 will be much more technical and difficult, since bots and self-service technologies can answer the simple questions. As a result, the role of the customer service representative will require a higher skill set. There will be a need for a universal customer service representative who has the whole package, with a willingness for development and lifelong learning.” 

Fara Haron, CEO of Global BPS at Arvato

In 2019, society will push for the demystification of AI and demand a better understanding of what technology is being built and greater transparency into how it is being used. Technology creators will have to embrace full transparency and responsibility to ensure privacy rights are respected and that the technology is being used in a valuable and ethical way.” 

Joshua Feast, CEO and founder of Cogito 

In the year ahead, we’ll see more brands commit to creating experiences that engage and excite people, understanding their target customers’ values and how their brand promise aligns to those values. Armed with that deep understanding of customer expectations, brands will be able to design integrated experiences that entertain, educate, and empower shoppers in a way that will keep them coming back.” 

Dave Bruno, marketing director at Aptos 

Contextual awareness will redefine the customer experience. As companies show no slowdown in collecting data from consumers, customers are increasingly expecting brands to use this data to create a more personalized, streamlined experience, demanding timely, proactive responses and suggestions. Providing insights based on a customer context and previous activity will become the new normal, and brands are only starting to scratch the surface of what is possible.”

—Philip Say, vice president of innovation product management at Sutherland Labs

Within the next five years, we expect over half of back-end processes to be fully automated, and user analytics will be a key ingredient for intelligent automation. In the CRM space, [machine learning/artificial intelligence] algorithms will be augmented with real-time user data as a way to make applications more responsive to human interactions.” 

Brian Berns, CEO of Knoa

The conversational UX trend will continue, and voice command will play a larger role in how customers engage with enterprises. We will also see a wider adoption of machine learning applied to analytics in real time. This will all be part of an industry trend toward more holistic digital customer management.” 

Audelia Boker, global vice president of marketing at Glassbox

2019 will see companies finally learn the art of listening by developing a strategy that engages customers in the right way, at the right time, and on the right channel. Leveraging analytics, smart companies will monitor the entire customer journey across channels to ensure a consistent experience that drives loyalty.” 

Rebecca Martin, chief marketing officer at Calabrio

Companies will begin to treat customer support and communication as an integral part of the product, brand, and service. Companies are beginning to take notice that you can create a cult-like following if you take care of your customers and don’t treat customer support as a checkbox or a cost center. It’s long overdue.” 

Anand Janefalkar, CEO and founder of UJET

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