Stats Watch: Surfing the CRM curve

You might be wondering what that nonsense was I wrote last week about satisfaction rates for CRM efforts at big companies being near to 75%. Well, put on your sceptic's hat and let's take a ride along the customer management highway.

You might be wondering what that nonsense was I wrote last week about satisfaction rates for CRM efforts at big companies being near to 75%. Well, put on your sceptic's hat and let's take a ride along the customer management highway.

Forrester Research, a US analyst firm, interviewed execs at 111 large companies in North America about their CRM project experiences. Nearly 20% were somewhat dissatisified and 5% were very dissatisfied, but 66.7% were somewhat satisfied and an impressive 8.1% are very satisfied. How did they do it?

As noted last week, the ones doing it right have focused on delivering customer experience rather than the technology they deploy. Nearly 46% of execs said process change was a problem, well above back-end integration and software costs.

This won't surprise anyone who has tried to implement changes in policy or operation in any organisation, and having to alter the way a company deals with its customers is a major.

Interestingly, Forrester also found that those which use CRM consultants are 8% more likely to cite high software costs as a significant obstacle than those which don't.

Resistance to process change was cited by nearly twice as many companies as an obstacle if they use CRM consultants, and over three times more likely to find back-end integration a problem. Whereas if you don't use CRM consultants, you're more likely to run into hurdles defining strategy and finding consensus on objectives, missing functionality in the application and poor usability.

Industry knowledge was the number one criterion for choosing a CRM consultant.

More choice looks in order: IDC says the worldwide CRM services market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6% to reach $US45.5 billion in 2006, while many more of you will consider a hosted service, says Aberdeen Group -- 52%, according to one survey it did. Why do it at all? The CRM benefits cited most often to Aberdeen are improved productivity (23.8%), followed by better analysis and reporting (19.4%), then cost control (18.4%) and revenue enhancement (15%). Says it all really.

Email your own finding to Mark Broatch.

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