CRM Necessary for Success, Study Says

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Nonintegrated business processes and associated technologies contribute significantly to the failure of customer relationship management implementations, according to a report released yesterday by the META Group, a research and consulting firm.

The report, titled "Integration: Critical Issues for Implementation of CRM Solutions," said failure to integrate CRM business processes and technologies will have "significant ramifications" for a business.

These ramifications include longer time-to-market; slower implementations; increased management burdens; increased investment costs; lack of synchronization across customer touch points; inconsistent and inaccurate data to manage the company; and lack of synchronization between demand and supply chains.

The report said companies that do undertake integrated CRM initiatives coupled with careful architecture and business planning will bring increased operational efficiencies and will improve customer satisfaction and retention.

META Group said a successful CRM initiative has to be based on a holistic view of the customer life cycle, from initial engagement to transaction, fulfillment and service.

The report also said the challenge for most companies will be to integrate not only technology across the life cycle, but also a company's business practices.


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