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The Changing Face of CRM: Understanding a New Generation

by Katie Morell
Special Writer,

“The people we do business with are changing,” said Christian Pedersen, senior director for Microsoft Dynamics CRM during his keynote address at the CRM User Group Summit Wednesday in St. Charles, Ill.

During his address, titled “Are you Ready for What’s Next? Navigating the Future of CRM”, Pedersen delivered some food for thought on the new generation of customers and employees: the Millennial Generation.

“They are very, very different,” he said of the group, consisting of individuals born after 1980. “These are kids that grew up with a completely different day to day life than any of us. This generation grew up with computers in every room.” In lieu of this, what is the new face of CRM? “Social networking,” Pedersen said, accentuating the importance of companies breaching the social networking space and how the closeness and immediacy of networks can be a positive for corporations. “They don’t want to be sold to, but when they buy from you, their friends buy from you too.”

Holding a comfort associated with a lifetime of technology integration, Pedersen said the age group relies heavily on their online communities—almost more than work place communities. “It is almost more important to be part of these communities than it is your colleagues at work,” he said, adding that the concept of work/life balance has almost become obsolete because everything is blended.

“They blend work, family and friends. The problem is when people start playing at work.” This comment was met with rapid head-nods from most of the crowd. “On average, people spend one hour or more every week communicating on private social networks at the office,” he said. “But how much time do you think these ...

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About Katie Morell
As a writer for more than 10 years, Katie Morell has written on topics ranging from travel and technology to crime and politics. She has worked as an editor for a business travel publication out of San Francisco and has also contributed to Bay Area Business Woman, Naperville Sun, Aurora Beacon News, Livingston County Press & Argus, and Michigan Citizen.
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