Customers say eCRM is a let down, according to Detica research

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73% of customers believe eCRM services have been introduced largely for the benefit of companies and not consumers

London, 06 March 2002 - Customers are not getting what they want out of eCRM (electronic customer relationship management), according to the findings of an extensive six month research programme carried out by Detica, one of the UK's largest dedicated CRM consultancies.

The research, 'CRM - The Consumers Verdict', shows that, whilst 80% of customers are in favour of the development of eCRM technologies, there is a wide discrepancy between what customers want from eCRM and what companies are actually delivering today.

14% of respondents stated that eCRM technologies had made a negative contribution to their relationship with their specified company. Almost three quarters (73%) felt that, when companies introduced new e-Services, it was often done to benefit the company alone.

Jeremy Braune, Head of Customer Experience at Detica, comments: "There's clear evidence that some companies have implemented eCRM programmes to fulfil their own internal objectives, such as cutting staff from call centres, rather than delivering a genuinely customer-centric approach. Their eCRM technology has been built to drive customer behaviour, rather than being designed around what customers really want. Detica's research shows that, overall, inappropriate deployment of eCRM technology is contributing to high levels of poor customer experiences which, in turn, create substantial dissatisfaction and higher rates of customer churn."

It is clear that, despite massive levels of investment, a gulf exists between the relationship experience desired by the consumer and the one that is actually delivered by the brand.

Braune continues: "Becoming customer-centric isn't just a case of installing a suite of software. If return on investment for eCRM is to be dramatically improved, then organisations need to adopt a more structured and rigorous approach to development, based upon a real understanding of what their customers actually want from them. The bottom line must always be to start with the basics of what is most important to the customer and build from there - and be sure that you can deliver on your promises."

The research examined UK customer experiences of eCRM (the management of customer relationships via electronic channels such as Web, digital television, mobile data and automated speech recognition). The report comprised both qualitative and quantitative phases, the former being conducted by Detica's own Customer Experience Unit and the latter by MORI, using a panel of 2000 respondents, representative of the UK population.

For a copy of the research report, 'CRM - The Consumer's Verdict', please contact Alex Neillands on 01483 442154, or e-mail [email protected].

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