Alarmingly, almost one in ten organisations described their CRM implementations as unsuccessful with no major benefits delivered.
Meanwhile, only 5% of respondents think their CRM systems have successfully delivered all the expected benefits, and 30% feel that while some business benefits have been achieved, they have fallen short in a number of areas.
But the survey findings suggest that technology failings are unlikely to be the main reason for the high levels of dissatisfaction. Only 35% of the companies surveyed said they had an over-arching customer management strategy. Ironically the majority of respondents (72%) agreed that having an effective customer management strategy was much more important than three years ago.
Steve Fox, NCC Managing Director, commented: “CRM needs to represent a business strategy that ultimately commits the business to being driven by the customer and to becoming a fully customer-centric organisation. That way CRM technology becomes an enabler to deliver profitable value to customers through the understanding and anticipation of their needs.”
The study highlighted the many different ways used by companies to communicate with customers, and the massive role the internet has played in this transformation over the past few years.
Half of the 100 organisations surveyed make use of social network sites to promote and gather feedback on their products and services, while almost half (48%) offer online feedback for customers to express their views.
Online communities have been created by 41%, and 38% use blogs to provide information and comment. Business network sites are being used by 34%, SMS messaging by 22% while just 2% have user forums.
Customers can now also purchase goods or interact with a company via a number of different channels, such as phone, internet, retail outlets and other methods. This makes it increasingly difficult for organisations to keep track of all customer interactions, yet it is vital that this is done so they have a clear understanding of their relationship with a customer.
Having this single view of the customer has become something of a holy grail – yet only 3% of companies say they have been ‘very successful’ in achieving it and just 8 per cent ‘successful’. A further 40% say they have been ‘moderately successful’, 22% have had ‘little success’ and 7% no success at all.