The Top Twelve Customer Management Trends For 2011

As 2010 draws to a close, what are the key trends that customer management process professionals need to pay attention to as you finalize plans for next year?

Here are the top trends that I am tracking. My full report that spotlights our latest research will be published in January.

Trend 1: The Revenue Impact Of Poor Customer Experience Is Recognized
Our models
estimate that the revenue impact from a 10 percentage point improvement in a company's performance, as measured by Forrester’s Customer Experience Index Score (CxPi), could be in excess of a billion dollars. Poor performers are particularly weak in being able to orchestrate multichannel interactions.

Trend 2: Business Process Management Extends To The Front Office
By extending business process management (BPM) to the front office functions, customer service organizations will improve the consistency of service delivered, elevate agent efficiency, personalize service, and meet compliance goals — at a cost that makes sense to the business.

Trend 3: The Business Value Of Social Customer Engagement Becomes More Evident
Winners of Forrester’s annual Groundswell Award
spotlight how organizations are using Social Computing to innovate, such as: community-based marketing research techniques; engaging with customers through social media; energizing brand advocates; empowering communities to support customer self-service; and collaborating with customers during the product ideation and development process.

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Eight Ways You Can Increase User Adoption Of CRM Solutions

One of the most common questions I get is: How to we assure (or, improve) the adoption of a CRM solution in our organization?  

In the past, the clumsy user interfaces (UI) of CRM solutions have turned off users, causing them to reject the solutions offered by their IT departments. In response to these complaints, the leading CRM solution providers, such as Oracle Siebel CRM and SAP CRM, have invested heavily to improve the UIs in their most recent releases. The same is true for midmarket solutions like the Sage family of CRM products, CDC’s Pivotal, and Sugar CRM. salesforce.com has achieved great success with its pioneering UI that incorporates the ease-of-use characteristics of consumer-oriented solutions that employees are used to working with in their private lives. And Microsoft Dynamics CRM applies the vendor’s knowledge of the use patterns of desktop applications, and incorporates the familiar Outlook UI paradigm, with a focus on improving user productivity.

In addition to choosing a CRM solution with a modern user-friendly UI, what can you do to improve adoption? Here are eight tips that I picked up working with the CRM leader at major bank:

  1. Define your business processes before selecting technology. "One key to success was that we defined a standardized sales process before we purchased the technology to enable it. We had a team of users study our sales processes and define better ways of working for the future.”
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