According to research firm Gartner, customer relationship management (CRM) revenue tops $20 billion and is on track to exceed that mark this year.
Along with substantial growth, however, the market is undergoing an evolution as power shifts from companies back to consumers.
In large part, it’s thanks to the rise of social media. Customers now expect businesses to respond in the same way as friends or family using social sites — without delay and on-topic. Gone are the days where general answers to specific inquiries or lengthy delays are acceptable: Companies that want to engage consumers and get ahead of the game are turning to much-hyped “social CRM” alternatives. What does this technology really hold for the future of consumer interaction?