A study by PMP Research into customer relationship management (CRM) systems shows that many companies are still struggling to extract the full benefits from their investments. The research has been commissioned by the Evaluation Centre.
The largest number of companies, 42%, have only been partially successful with their CRM systems and have achieved limited benefits for the business. A further 11% have seen no major benefits and 4% say their implementations have been very unsuccessful.
But on the flip side 37% think the business has seen some clear benefits and 4% view their CRM system as being very successful and delivering all the benefits sought.
The high level of dissatisfaction is exacerbated by the fact that the respondents believe having an effective customer relationship strategy is now more essential than three years ago. It is seen as ‘much more important’ by 44% of companies and ‘slightly more important’ by 39%. No-one sees it as less important.
However, only 30% of companies interviewed regularly measure their CRM system against agreed criteria to determine if the expected benefits are being achieved. A further 33% say they are planning to measure, 11% have only measured once after the initial implementation and 13% have never tried to measure the benefits. This suggests that judgement as to the degree of success of a CRM system is often made on subjective grounds rather than quantitative information.
For those companies who do regularly measure the effectiveness of their CRM implementation, the major criteria are mainly customer-centric with increased customer satisfaction levels (69%) and an increased number of retained customers (69%) being the key metrics. Not far behind is the amount of new business generated (63%) while cost savings is seen as significant by 50% of respondents (note: companies could choose more than one criterion).
But companies are certainly not giving up on CRM, according to PMP’s findings. Over three-quarters (78%) report that they are currently making changes and additions to their implementations in order to realise more of the benefits they originally sought, or say they plan to do so shortly.
Just 11% have ruled out further improvements completely.