CRM does not improve customer service

28 July 2005 Investment in customer relationship management software has done little to improve customer loyalty according to the latest research from IT services company Accenture.

A survey of 2,000 customers in both the UK and US found that 61 percent identified poor service or product quality as the main reason for moving between companies. Almost one-fifth of respondents cited technology problems as a reason for their dissatisfaction.


Although CRM systems are intended to improve customer relations, over one-third of customers complained of being forwarded through multiple company representatives before problems were adequately resolved.

“Customers expect the first customer service representative they talk with to have the knowledge, tools and capabilities required to address their needs,” said Robert Wollan, managing partner of Accenture’s customer contact unit.

The survey found that customers spend an average of six minutes on hold while waiting for help on the telephone and speak to an average of 2.6 service representatives before their query is resolved.

Businesses appear to be aware of the failings, if CRM sales are any reflection. The once booming market has slowed dramatically in recent years – business application giant SAP recently reported that its CRM sales were flat.

Meanwhile, the one time luminary of the CRM market, Siebel, has reported another quarter of disappointing results. For the quarter ending 30 June 2005, Siebel reported a loss of $50.0 million on revenues of $313.6 million. Siebel has already changed its CEO this year because of its poor financial performance.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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