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The CRM services market is expected to grow by 20 percent in 2004, after deferred projects move towards completion, according to recent research conducted by Meta Group. The report also says that businesses have greater success when using outside consulting services for CRM. Other findings show that as CRM consulting services firms mature, the greatest challenge they face is client immaturity, and that CRM service leadership requires an ability to move beyond value measurement and into long-term value capture for clients while adhering to time and cost limitations. IT spending does not directly correlate to derived value and ROI, according to a recent report by CRM consulting firm Alinean. The report illustrates how some companies scale their spending more effectively than others, sustaining their leadership positions in a slowing economy; others use IT spending to catapult themselves to leadership; while others either underspend or squander investments and are left behind According to Alinean President and CEO Tom Pisello, the key is not how much companies spend on technology, it's what they spend it on and how well the investments are managed. More than 65 percent of healthcare companies that participated in a study conducted by eCRM vendor KANA said they were looking to add personalized marketing solutions. These proactive marketing solutions are a cost-effective way to build on previous CRM deployments, including knowledge bases and email management, according to KANA. Lower sales may not be the result of the economy, but may be credited to poorly equipped sales teams, according to a new Accenture study. "Four or five years ago, when the economy was flying high, sales representatives sold with little effort," says Troy Miller, an associate partner at Accenture. "In the present economy some of the problems and inefficiencies are becoming more evident." Miller says taking advantage of available analytics technologies to identify top customers and discover ways to generate more revenue from existing customers is a good first step in solving this problem. Contact center inefficiencies account for up to 30 percent of businesses' annual customer care expenses, according to Enkata, a provider of call center analysis software. Enkata's research shows that repeat contacts, or customer issues that are not resolved in the first contact, are the largest unnecessary drain of contact center resources. Multiple calls and long email exchanges about the same issue also contribute to high customer-care costs, and negatively impact customer satisfaction levels, according to Enkata.
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