CRM is perceived as a key business driver for more than 30% of businesses, yet many lack the clear direction and customer insight to support their goals and create direct profitability for their business.
These are key findings from a survey of 500 leading CRM managers conducted by marketing technology company Wiraya.
Almost half (47%) of respondents cited the improvement of customer satisfaction as top of their business agenda.
Supporting business growth also appears to be a key consideration for employees with 31% revealing that average profit per customer (ARPU) is their most important KPI, closely followed by return on investment (27%).
This may explain why 86% of CRM users say that it is important to measure the profitability of their CRM work, particularly as the value of CRM continues to intersect across an increasing number of business functions. However, in practice, although 91% are measuring aspects of their CRM work, more than half (56%) do not have firm objectives in place.
With fewer than one in five (17%) saying that their CRM work is clearly contributing to their company’s revenue, it is clear that there is still considerable room for improvement when it comes to the development of CRM, and in as a result those businesses who are able to deliver a coherent and development approach will no doubt make substantial gains over competitors.
Sam Madden, a director at Wiraya, said: “Many businesses are still finding their feet when it comes to fully taking advantage of the benefits of a CRM system. The increasing prominence of technologies such as IoT and AI will go that extra mile to help companies dynamically fine-tune their interaction with the customer, but in the meantime, basic factors such as having a clear CRM strategy in place are essential.
“This research demonstrates that having a more service oriented approach that focuses on increasing customer satisfaction and retention not only reduces churn, but also cements reputation and makes for a more cost effective business.”
Existing customer retention has proven to be key with 42% of respondents stating that developing existing customers was a top priority for them. Furthermore, 46% of UK businesses strategically focused on CRM activities for their existing customers, rising to 90% when those who have these partially in place are included.
The profiles of CRM usage can be broken down into the following three primary categories:
Traditional: The most common group (34%), typically working continuously work with CRM, but without having exact plans and processes. Their company has an appointed CRM manager.
Adhoc: This is closely followed by the more ‘ad-hoc’ user (32%), whose CRM work is spontaneous and occurs mainly on an ad-hoc basis, with no direct organisational structure and no appointed role responsible for CRM.
Ambitious: 31% of respondents considered themselves to be CRM ambitious where they have plans and processes in place, as well as a team or individual with dedicated CRM responsibility. These organisations plan to invest in the technology in the future, regardless of whether this is a dedicated budget for CRM only, or forms part of a wider marketing allocation. The companies with more advanced use of CRM are more likely to be increasing their spend, with more than a third saying they intend to do so.