Looking to the future: The blockchain and CRMs
The blockchain, most famous for the role it plays in crypto currencies, is an ever-expanding collection of records, or blocks, that interlink with one another. Each block is cryptographically secure and cannot be tampered with. Alongside this, and ensuring transparency, is blockchain’s decentralized public ledger that tracks every transaction between parties, the ledger and its records are permanent and can be verified.
But, how will all this affect the future of CRMs?
Here, we’re going to dive into how blockchain technology can benefit CRMs, starting with the obvious: security.
Each block in the chain contains transaction records and each block is connected to its neighboring blocks. Users must have access to verified network keys relating to the blocks that concern their own data, ensuring that they can access their own data, but not the data held in other blocks.
Currently, the majority of the databases used in CRMs are held on cloud servers. Cloud servers, while increasingly secure, are centralized systems with inherent, clear points of potential failure.
In contrast to cloud servers, the blockchain is comparatively decentralized and is distributed across synchronizing peer-to-peer networks. The vast scale of these networks means that it would require incredible levels of computing power to tamper with the entire system. As a result, fraud and other crimes can be almost entirely eliminated.
As mentioned in our introduction, the blockchain is decentralized and allows companies to deal directly with their client without the need of an intermediary, like a bank or broker. As a result, there are no filters between the business and the client, allowing for faster, less convoluted deals.
Data security and privacy
With cybercrime rising around the world and the emergence of increasingly sophisticated attacks, data security and the ensuring of client privacy is of paramount importance. The blockchain is decentralized and secure and stores and encrypts data as a matter of course. However, specific details of the data it holds are never shared with the parties to any deal. As a result, an individual’s privacy is maintained at all times. Added to that, as companies expand to deal with more clients, the amount of data they handle increases at an incredible rate, the blockchain can eliminate the associated difficulties from both a security standpoint and in terms of keeping the data ‘clean’.
Inaccurate data is a fact of life when it comes to CRM management. Human error or imperfect data import tools, duplications and more can all lead to an excess of information, incorrect information and general confusion as data is shared, and accessed, by different departments. The blockchain allows customers to hold a personal key that they can use to give companies a complete, accurate picture of their personal data, free of the need to introduce third parties or to make use of import tools. This information could include almost anything, from past transactions to current holdings and more. The result is a clean, direct presentation of information and the absence of incorrect, or obsolete data.
At their core, loyalty programs are designed to drive productivity and engagement and add value to your clients’ experiences. Blockchain technology could potentially take loyalty programs to another level. A centralized “wallet” would allow customers to accrue points from a wide range of brands that could be placed into a centralized pool. Free of the constraints placed upon them by traditional loyalty programs, clients could redeem their points wherever they chose, forcing brands to compete and offer ever better rewards.
The blockchain offers incredible opportunities across a range of areas when it comes to CRMs. Some are obvious, such as security and privacy, but others, for example loyalty programs, will require an entrepreneurial mindset if companies are to reap the rewards. Whatever happens, we’re rapidly entering a new phase of CRM development and we’re confident that we’ll be able to leverage the power of the blockchain for the benefit of all our clients.
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