CRM implementations fail to impress customers

CRM strategies appear to be making an impact on customers, unfortunately for 50% of these strategies the impact is the wrong one.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  September 16, 2001

CRM strategies appear to be making an impact on customers, unfortunately for 50% of these strategies the impact is the wrong one. According to Gartner Group, 50% of all CRM implementations are considered failures from a customer perspective, and this trend is set to continue through to 2006 the research house predicts.

The failures can be attributed to an inability to link channels, a lack of process redesign and a failure to provide any real customer benefits. The successes in CRM implementations are likely to be those companies that are most customer-centric, and establish ‘real-time’ relationships with customers.

"These enterprises will not only enable themselves to provide greater value to customers, but they will be able to serve these customers faster and more accurately that any competitor, "said Scott Nelson, vice president and research director for Gartner. "The rewards of greater customer centricity are significant, and that is why many enterprises are turning to the business strategy of CRM, which clearly places the customer at the heart of an enterprise's strategy."

Gartner Group recommends that for CRM implementations to be successful, companies must address three key areas: product leadership, excellent operations and customer intimacy.

"All enterprises tend to pursue some combination of these traits; none can master all three disciplines unless it has unlimited resources. In the Internet economy, enterprises that have differentiated themselves only in customer intimacy are most vulnerable to new, more intimate relationships created by dot-com e-businesses," explained Nelson.

Gartner is also predicting a shift in the CRM focus by 2006, with customers and prospects taking a backseat to employees, partners and influencers.

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