2 CRM Surveys, 2 Different Opinions

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Two customer relationship management studies released yesterday, and each offers a different perspective on CRM.


"Global Market Size and Trends for CRM in 2001," released by the UK-based Hewson Consulting Group, found that spending in the international CRM market in 2001 has slowed abruptly from 100 percent in 2000 to 6 percent, and will be worth $8.6 billion (US) this year.


However, according to Hewson, a much stronger market will return by the end of the year and will show a growth rate of 40 percent in 2002. In addition, the report said growth in Europe would outpace that of North America in 2002, and by the end of 2001, would increase by 15 percent, to $1.92 billion.


Another study found that CRM revenues ballooned as companies -- searching for answers to retain clients and attract new customers -- scrambled through the collapse of the dot-com industry. This market will still experience steady growth, the report found.


According to San Jose-based Frost & Sullivan, during the last half of 2000, contact centers increasingly accepted the concept of CRM. In response, end-user companies progressively recognized that call centers accomplish multiple goals and are a valuable resource for satisfying and retaining clients.


"CRM software and strategies allow enterprises the crucial ability to cut costs and enhance revenues, enabling technology investments in these areas to remain high on the list of corporate priorities," said Katrina Howell, Frost & Sullivan contact center program leader.


Overall, the study found the market for customer service applications would be less affected by the economic downturn than other CRM applications, as growing numbers of businesses recognize that client retention is more economical than customer acquisition.


In addition, the study found that enterprise-wide CRM analytics markets would also perform well. Analytics conduct the customer segmentation and personalization that allow contact center agents to effectively conduct cross-sell and up-sell campaigns. Although analytics used in the contact venture are emerging applications, Howell also said that installations will grow significantly over the next several years.


"Analytics provide one of the keys to the much vaunted transformation of contact centers from cost centers to profit centers," she said.


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