CRM Growing in China

When you think of countries that have a great deal of CRM potential, you might not think of China. And that might be a mistake on your part. With a population of 1.3 billion people, roughly one fifth the population of the planet, it is hard to ignore the potential that the Chinese market holds for CRM.

A Web site dedicated to providing CRM news and information to the Chinese market, GreaterChinaCRM.org, also focuses on helping the rest of the world realize the vast CRM potential of this nation. According to Sampson Lee, president of GreaterChinaCRM.org, China is still largely a virgin land when it comes to CRM, yet he believes that will change in the next decade.

"Under the current stagnant economy [China] would be a pretty large potential market for CRM product and service providers to keep an eye on," says Lee, "but not until 2005. Now the market is still too immature."

Lee believes that unlike other foreign markets like India and Europe that provide services like call centers, China lacks the ability to export CRM services at this time. He cites the language barrier as a major factor in China's CRM development. Despite this, the economic potential that Chinese markets possess will help increase the growth of CRM policies in the country.

"There are a lot of trends that will affect how China's CRM market will develop," Lee says. "A number of giant Chinese enterprises are not satisfied with just their local markets--they want to be able to reach the global market. They need solutions and approaches that can connect to foreign customers. "

Recently GreaterChinaCRM.org set up CRM forums in four Chinese cities (Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, and Hong Kong) to encourage both CRM vendors and customers to explore options in various Chinese markets.

The group also selected and announced a series of awards, honoring companies already using or promoting CRM practices in the country. After a six-month voting process that involved a panel of 48 CRM advisors, the group announced the top-five local and foreign enterprises. Dell, Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals, Shanghai GM, Motorola, and HP were honored as the best foreign enterprises. The award ceremonies will be held during the various forum events.

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