Can't Get No Dissatisfaction

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The CRM times, they are a changin'. No longer is the top story another failed implementation. Today's headline is one of slow-but-steady steps toward success. In fact, according to the more than 800 end-user executives who responded to a recent survey CRM magazine conducted with CAP Ventures Inc., strategic consultants to the digital and visual communications industries, nearly 90 percent of those whose companies have implemented a CRM system say they are satisfied with it. About 70 percent say their CRM initiatives have met or exceeded their original expectations. Good news, indeed. Read on for other key findings. Fast Facts -- More than 800
end-user and about 400 vendor/integrator executives responded. Fifty-five percent are managers from the business side (marketing or sales managers, CEOs, CRM program directors); about 30 percent are IT folks. -- More than half work for SMBs and mid-market companies. -- About 40 percent of end-user respondents' companies have a CRM strategy in place; 36 percent are implementing a CRM strategy this year. (CAP Ventures defines CRM strategy as having an executive-level mandate to achieve clear, customer-oriented objectives, a method for customer segmentation, and enterprisewide customer data and application integration plans to support the strategy.) -- 46 percent of end-user respondents' companies have the ability to segment customers. -- Among the end-user companies that have a CRM strategy, more than 65 percent of respondents put their CRM strategy in place in the past three years, 22 percent of which were put in place in 2002. --About one quarter of end-user respondents spent less than $50,000 for the first year of the implementation, including software, licenses, training, professional services, and integration costs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another nearly 25 percent spent more than $500,000 in first-year costs. -- Nearly 90 percent of end-user respondents are satisfied with their CRM system. However, although 45 percent are "mostly satisfied" and 5 percent are "completely satisfied," about 37 percent are only "moderately satisfied." It Is All About the Customer, After All Improving customer satisfaction and building customer loyalty and retention are end-user respondents' top-two goals for their CRM strategies. In fact, 56 percent say that improving customer satisfaction is "critical," and about 35 percent say it is "very important." Similarly, 57 percent say building customer loyalty and retention is "critical" and about 35 percent say it is "very important." CRM Pays Off A full one third of end-user respondents have not measured return on investment--nor do they seem to have any plans to, believe it or not. But for those who have measured ROI based on CRM goals (only 23 percent have, but about 47 percent plan to), their implementations are for the most part delivering on their expectations. It Isn't CRM Without the C The most commonly deployed applications are sales, service, and marketing. Surprisingly, however, some companies plan to leave these primary customer touch points out of their CRM mix. Sometimes truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
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