The worldwide customer relationship management CRM
(CRM) software revenue rose by 13.5 per cent to USD 12 billion in 2011, making it No.8 technology priority for companies this year, says a survey by research firm Gartner. Gartner's '2012 CEO Survey' revealed that the CRM sector is forecast to grow 7 per cent in 2012 and CRM has moved up from the No 18-ranked technology in 2011. CEOs cited CRM as their most important area of investment to improve their business over the next five years, it said.
Gartner predicts that by 2014, refusing to communicate with customers via social channels will be as harmful to the relationship as ignoring their emails or phone calls is today. "The focus on the customer is increasingly important for business leaders, despite times of continued economic uncertainty and government austerity," said Jim Davies, research director at Gartner. He said effective leaders use technology to strengthen the customer experience regardless of the economic environment, and understand that a new strategy is needed to embrace social and media trends.
Service providers that are still focusing on traditional on-premises CRM solutions today will gradually lose out to the competition during the next one to two years. "In 2012, CRM executives are faced with the challenge of taking 'social' more seriously ¿ not as 'just another channel', but as a whole new way of doing business," said Ed Thompson, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.