Customer Satisfaction Drives CRM Sales Higher

Nearly a third of organisations expect to invest more in customer relationship management (CRM) software this year as they look to emerge from the recession, according to research from the National Computing Centre (NCC).

The study found that only 16 per cent expect to see a reduction in spending, 38 per cent aim to keep expenditure at the same level and 44 per cent plan to make changes or additions to their CRM implementations in the future.

The investments could be continuing because many companies are still failing to gain all the anticipated benefits from their CRM systems, according to the NCC.

A third of the organisations surveyed have been only 'partially successful' in realising the benefits, while just 11 per cent had been 'very successful' and six per cent reported seeing 'no major benefits'.

"Over the years, users and suppliers have learned many lessons the hard way. But to be successful, CRM needs to represent a business strategy. This should encompass strategic and operational aspects, and all the necessary business processes," said Steve Fox, managing director of NCC.

Respondents were also asked to give the key reasons for installing integrated CRM software.

'Driving sales and marketing' and 'improving customer satisfaction' came joint top as the main reasons for using CRM suites.

Interestingly, organisations also feel that the software is more useful in attracting new customers than retaining existing ones.

The internet has rapidly changed the way consumers acquire information on company products and services, the NCC noted.

Some 55 per cent of organisations have created online communities to provide information and gain feedback from customers, and the same number have also set up blogs.

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