UK Study: Poor Performance Slows CRM Investment

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Few companies regard their CRM systems as an unqualified success, and investment in this area is slowing, according to the latest end-user survey from PMP Research, a European independent analyst firm and part of PMP Group Services.

The survey found just 4 percent of those polled think their customer relationship management implementation has delivered all the benefits they anticipated -- the same proportion as in the previous year.

In contrast, 56 percent are lukewarm in their view of the benefits of CRM, claiming to have had only partial success. Moreover, 20 percent describe their CRM systems as "not particularly successful" and identified no major benefits from using them.

This lack of enthusiasm translates into declining investment in CRM, PMP Research said. While 12 percent expect to have spent 1 million pounds to 5 million pounds on CRM applications in the past three years, just 2 percent anticipate spending this much in the future.

Respondents also were asked to rate their motivations for implementing CRM systems. Aggregated scores show that improving customer satisfaction levels is the key aim, along with providing better strategic information to functional areas such as sales and marketing.

But only 53 percent have criteria for measuring whether benefits are achieved in those areas, while 38 percent have not. As well as financial gains, companies also use metrics such as customer satisfaction levels and the amount of new business generated to gauge the success of a CRM project.

However, only 34 percent have been able to analyze their efforts using such measures, while 17 percent have failed in this task and 41 percent maintain it is too early to assess.

Many companies still find it hard to create the "single view of a customer," which many CRM implementations promise. Only 5 percent feel they have merged all customer channels and interactions with complete success, while 40 percent feel they have been only moderately successful.

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