CRM spend on rise as companies 'leverage to survive'

Investment in customer relationship management – CRM – solutions is being driven by a need to remain competitive in the current economic climate says an NCC Research report.

The budget for CRM activities is holding up well, with 29 per cent of organisations surveyed by the NCC expecting to spend more than in 2009, and 38 per cent keeping expenditure at the same level. Only 16 per cent expect to see a reduction in spending, with 33 per cent of organisations polled making changes or additions to their CRM implementation, with a further 44 per cent planning to do so.

This investment is continuing despite of or maybe because of the fact that many companies are still failing to gain all the anticipated benefits from their CRM systems. Thirty-three per cent of organisations polled have been ‘partially successful’ in realising the original benefits sought, while 6 per cent says they have seen ‘no major benefits from implementing a CRM system’. Eleven per cent of organisations that responded feel they had been ‘very successful’, and 33 per cent have seen ‘some real benefits from their CRM system’.

Respondents to the NCC survey were also asked to rate key reasons for installing integrated CRM software, on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 stands for ‘not important’, and 5 for ‘very important’):

  • CRM’s key aim is to deliver ‘better strategic information on customers to functional areas of the business’, such as sales and marketing (4.3).
  • Equally important is ‘improving customer satisfaction’ (4.3) as companies seek to enhance service levels to meet increasing customer demands.
  • Attracting new customers (4.1) is deemed more important than customer retention (3.9).

The NCC Research study was commissioned by the Evaluation Centre; the sample included a cross-section of over 100 organisations, including IT and telecommunications (18 per cent), business services (17 per cent), local government (13 per cent), retail (12 per cent), the financial sector (9 per cent) and manufacturing (8 per cent).

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