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Mon 5 Feb 2001 04:00 AM

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Customers not the top priority for UK companies

Over 60 per cent of UK companies have not adopted CRM strategies, according to a survey by British Telecom, which also revealed that 51 per cent of companies have no intention of ever implementing a CRM plan.

According to research conducted by British Telecom, 61 per cent of UK companies have not adopted a Customer Relationship Manangement (CRM) strategy, while 51 per cent have no plans to ever implement one, and 24 per cent of the respondents think CRM is merely the latest boardroom craze.

Evan Kirchheimer, consultant, technology practice area at analyst house, Datamonitor, said, "Because CRM has grabbed headlines over the past two years, it's often difficult to separate the hype from the reality. But the reality is that the majority of companies have not yet grappled with CRM in any significant way."

"A year ago Datamonitor calculated that in 1999 retailers could have improved their online revenues by a third by implementing adequate customer care linked to their online presence. Yet just months ago, we tested 300 European companies on the very simple CRM function of e-mail response and found that only 19 per cent of companies contacted generated an accurate response to a request for product information in one business day,” he added.

The simple explanation for these failures could be that 75 per cent of those surveyed don’t have a formal definition of what CRM is, let alone an understanding of its potential benefits. Although seventy four per cent of the respondents found CRM improves customer satisfaction, while 68 per cent said it improved customer retention, and sixty one per cent felt it had generated competitive advantage.

The biggest obstacles to adopting CRM were a lack of time (according to 53 per cent), resources (42 per cent), and management issues and politics (41 per cent).

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