According to Dr. Nils Hafner, professor for CRM at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland, who is at the same time head of the Customer Competence Institute in Switzerland and Germany, the most important worldwide CRM Future Trends are:

1. Collecting Customer Information has to be Give and Take

Social media has transformed the interaction between companies and their customers in that sense that customers are no longer passive recipients of marketing messages - they actively communicate with companies via internet, and they are becoming more and more aware of the value of their personal data and thus more careful about offering the same. It is still possible to collect this data systematically on several levels, but it is important for companies to understand that they have to offer the customer something in return.

2. Touchpoint Management for B2B CRM

It is important to focus on the decision maker's tasks and environment in B2B CRM: decisions are made by employees, and it is important to collect data about the employee's tasks and position in the company - about political issues within the customer company in order to provide the best possible customer experience, and possibly influence the customer's decision.

3. Integrated Customer Experience Strategies

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is one of today's great marketing challenges. It's all about the emotional impression made on the customer. Studies have shown that an emotional connection between a customer and a company is much stronger than a contractual or technical relationship, and this makes the customer experience so important. Experiences have to be planned according to the decision making behavior of the customer. It is important to know what customers want to experience, and it is necessary to have tools for evaluating the experience.

4. Loyalty Management and Payment Systems are going mobile

Most smartphone users use their phones for shopping. In Germany about half of all internet shops have a mobile platform and send specific information to their customers. Smartphones will be used as a means of paying even in stores (ewallet). The same goes for loyalty cards - customers won't carry plastic cards, but will show a barcode or a number on their smartphone in the store instead.

5. Gamification, Incentives and collecting Points

Consumers seem to be more motivated in disclosing their location on foursquare as compared to facebook. They can collect points on foursquare and they are in a sort of competition with others. The game character seems to work, giving marketers the opportunity of almost controlling their customers behavior.

by Anjum Siddiqi