Customer Relationship Management - The Secret Ingredient for a Brand's Success

Customer Relationship Management - The Secret Ingredient for a Brand's Success

Having completed his MS from the University of Texas and MBA in Technical Management from the University of Phoenix, Deepak boasts of 28 years long career during which he has handled key roles across an array of companies that include Adobe, LSI Logic Corporation, PharmQuest Corporation, i2 Technologies, EMC Corporation and NetApp, prior to joining Pegasystems in 2020. Additionally, he is also a Board Member at the Indo American Chamber of Commerce, Karnataka.

Siliconindia recently got a chance to interact with Deepak about the current Customer Relationship Management solutions landscape, latest trends and various other aspects about the industry. Below are the excerpts of the exclusive interview

What are your thoughts on the current Customer Relationship Management solutions market in India?

The CRM solutions market in India has been growing steadily in recent times, mainly due to the increased adoption of cloud-based solutions and as-a-service solutions among customers. Thus, the CRM solutions market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 18 percent and be worth $140 billion by 2027. The CRM platforms, too, have put-in a lot of effort to evolve and be more robust as compared to their previous iterations to be able to address the as-a-service models that are in great demand. Thus, it is no surprise that we are among the top markets in this space among the likes of China and Japan.

What are some of the latest technologies that reshaping the way businesses approach CRM today?

Yet another factor that is driving the market currently is the ever-increasing focus on customer experience, wherein customization and seamless experience have become paramount for every business. This has led to the adoption of latest technologies like AI-powered decision-making in CRM solutions that enable businesses to not only analyze customer data, but also gather meaningful insights from it pertaining to customers’ behavior, preferences, and trends. Also, integrating modern technologies like AI, ML and NLP within the CRM solutions is opening up a plethora of opportunities for businesses.

Chatbots are another technology that has been gaining a lot of traction in recent times due to their ability to offer instant customer support services. These can further be integrated with social media platforms for messaging and solving customer queries. There are various ways in which these chatbots can be built – be it voice, interactive, or email chatbots.

Despite being in the evolving phase, AR/VR technology has a lot of promising use cases when it comes to offering an immersive customer experience. Businesses can use VR to offer their customers a 360-degree view of their products, thus enabling the customers to be able to experience that product virtually without the necessity to be physically present.

Lastly, IoT is being used to collect a lot of data from various devices and sensors to better understand customer behavior and preferences. This data can be used to personalize customer interactions and improve customer service exponentially.

How can brands leverage technology to build strong relationships with their customers?

Gone are those days where you had a set of marketing campaigns that you would send to a list of people through a specific channel or medium. The use of AI in CRM along with data analytics and chatbots can enable brands to tailor-make communication with customers based on past conversations with them. For example, we at Pegasystems leverage these technologies to understand and build suitable marketing campaigns using predictive analytics for every customer segment. This is one of most effective ways of converting a potential lead into a customer. This has enabled us to make our customer support as customized as possible for each customer, that too through the medium of their choice.

In today’s hypercompetitive market scenario, what is the importance of CRM for a brand?

In terms of CRM or how businesses build their brands, the success of a business depends largely on its ability to attract, retain, and satisfy its customers. CRM enables brands to interact with their customers and simultaneously understand their needs & preferences. Also, a CRM solution also offers valuable insights such as conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and campaign ROIs for a business pertaining to sales and marketing data. Thus, CRM today is not just an option, but a necessity for every brand to thrive and be successful in this dynamic business environment. However, one must also be aware that business, marketing, and sales must come together for a CRM solution to be successful.

In your opinion, how will the CRM solutions market evolve in the near future?

The use of AI in CRM systems will bring about a huge disruption in the days to come. AI-integrated chatbot market size is expected to be worth $1.25 billion in the next few years. Thus, Generative AI, AI-integrated chatbots, and conversational AI will drive significant adoption of CRM solutions. Secondly, there will be a greater emphasis laid on omnichannel engagement, which is a very critical aspect of any CRM solution. Also, predictive analytics and NLP will impact the way brands go about their CRM efforts in unimaginable ways going forward.

Customer data security is another area that will witness a revolution in the future. Given the massive amount of customer data that is generated and stored in a CRM system, there has been a lot of focus on the safety of customer data in recent times. As a result, CRM solution providers will lay more emphasis on building solutions that are secure and compliant with all necessary cybersecurity guidelines.