Customer Relationship Management software has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last 15 years.
What was once, to all intents and purposes, little more than glorified address books with the likes of Goldmine, have transformed into something far more useful. Today's current offerings, such as SugarCRM, now have integrations to all aspects of an organisation's processes and third-party solutions, meaning the way we store, use, and access information about our customers has changed for the better.
The improvements in the methods used to access the data contained in those solutions have significantly evolved, from the program software and data being installed and stored directly on the local machine, to the latest offerings utilising cloud-based solutions across multiple remote servers. This enables the CRM systems to access the data regardless of where the request is being made from, whether in the local company office, the coffee shop, or the comfort of the user's home.
However, the method of accessing the relevant information, predominantly, comes down to the same age-old way - namely a screen and keyboard with manually inputted search criteria to bring up a list of results which then get clicked on. Have we progressed as far as we think?
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice control become more commonplace in our everyday lives (think Siri and Alexa) surely we need to be able to interrogate our CRM systems even more interactively without the need to use a keyboard or mouse.
It is not going to be long before you find yourself able to ask a wireless device (which you may have positioned on the wall of your kitchen) "When did I last call the customer who spends most with my company?" Receiving a spoken response which gives not only the date and time of the last call to the name of the person and company in question, but also whether anyone in your organisation has already got a call scheduled to speak to them in the coming weeks, or asking whether you would like to schedule one yourself.
If you could ask your CRM any question, what would it be?
Let me know by emailing it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will use some of them in a future blog.