Study Finds Low Satisfaction With Multi-Function CRM Systems

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An independent research report released yesterday found that CRM users and evaluators overall are not very satisfied with customer relationship management software.


The report, "Multi-function CRM Software: How Good Is It?" was sponsored by Dick Lee, principal of High-Yield Marketing; and Bob Thompson, president of Front Line Solutions and founder of CRMGuru.com. Market research expert David Mangen, founder of Mangen Research Associates, also partnered in the study.


The study was created to help executives learn from the experiences of other CRM software users and evaluators, according to the sponsors. It also was motivated by the high failure rates of CRM implementation -- reported by analyst firms and the media as reaching up to 70 percent -- coupled with the lack of objective third-party information about systems on the market.


For the study, members of CRMGuru.com, a worldwide community of business people interested in CRM, rated popular multi-function CRM software packages.


Data were gathered through an Internet-based survey conducted in June and


July, generating more than 2,200 software profiles from individuals who have used or evaluated CRM software. Vendors were rated on functionality, implementation, pricing, customer focus and support. GoldMine, Onyx, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Pivotal, SalesLogix, SAP and Siebel Systems garnered enough responses to allow vendor-specific ratings.


Contradicting CRM vendor marketing hype about high customer satisfaction, some of the key findings and conclusions were:


* Overall, CRM users and evaluators are not very satisfied with the software, giving an average customer satisfaction index (CSI) of 63.13, which is low compared with other industry CSI studies.


* Industry-wide, "ease of implementation" and "customer focus" were the top issues. Both scored below 60 in satisfaction ratings. Pricing fared only marginally better.


* SalesLogix achieved the best CSI rating of 65.99 due to relatively low prices, ease of implementation and no below-average ratings in other areas.


* Market leader Siebel Systems finished fifth, with strengths in functionality and support undercut by below-average ratings in pricing, implementation and customer focus.


* Oracle's CSI rating of 58.07 placed it last among the eight vendors, with below-average satisfaction ratings in every area except customer support.


* Contrary to some vendor strategies, most customers don't want standardized products offering less adaptation to their unique requirements.


* Based on these ratings, there is no dominant leader in customer satisfaction, which provides a growth opportunity for more innovative, customer-focused competitors.


The study is available in hard copy for $195. For more information, visit www.crmguru.com/crmstudy.


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