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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 (www.evaluationcentre.com)

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.

Respondents were asked to rate their reasons for adopting CRM technology on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 stands for ‘not important’ and 5 for ‘very important’. The aggregated results show that the most common drivers are to provide better strategic information to functional areas of the business (4.4) such as sales and marketing. This is followed by the desire to improve customer satisfaction levels (4.2), improve customer lifetime value (4.1) and retention of existing customers (4.0).

Companies have clearly recognised that it is easier and cheaper to keep an existing customer rather than find a new one.

Survey Statistics

We spoke to a broad cross-section of over 100 organisations for this year’s survey into CRM applications and trends.

The companies vary in size from those with an annual turnover of less than £5 million (15%), to the very largest: 8% of the sample report a turnover of between £1 billion and £5 billion, while 8% exceed the £5 billion mark. In the middle of the scale, 23% have a turnover of between £5 million and £50 million, another 15% fall into the £50 million to £150 million bracket, and 21% have a turnover in the range £150 million to £1 billion.

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Note for editors:

About PMP Research

PMP Research, (www.pmp.co.uk) founded in 1990, provides bespoke research, analysis and consultancy typically within the IT, telecoms and professional services markets.

Press enquiries:

For more information please contact Cliff Mills on 0870 908 8767 or email cliffm@pmp.co.uk.

About the Evaluation Centre

The Evaluation Centre (www.evaluationcentre.com) - an interactive service for end users and consultants to assist them in the procurement process for software, services and technology.

Press enquiries:

For more information please contact Steve Markwell on 0870 908 8767 or email stevem@pmp.co.uk.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of National Computing Centre (NCC) - Amersham in the following categories: Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.