Cloud services top important CRM trends

    CIO recently named the top 8 customer relationship management trends for the new year - a list that includes flexibility, crowdsourcing and social networks among the most important developments affecting the practice. But according to the news provider, the No. 1 trend to watch in 2012 will be cloud-based services.

    According to the article, Peter Coffee of said the most important information that affects CRM today is in conversations on social networking websites and sources external to a company. Coffee states that the best way to utilize this information and convert it into usable data is through cloud applications. Additionally, companies can access the cloud directly, rather than invest in physical hardware that costs more for the same result.

    The other big trend in CRM to watch for, according to CIO, is the importance of interface. Usability should be both universal - able to function equally well on a tablet, laptop or desktop - and customizable. Users want to be able to set up their workspaces physically, as well as digitally, for optimal workflow.

    CRM can provide useful solutions for building a stronger customer base, but it has to be utilized properly in order to provide optimal service and obtain the best results. Cloud-based services are the best way to collect and analyze client data, and do it in a cost-effective manner.

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