A survey of European executives has found that customer relationship management (CRM) systems are unpopular and widely condemned for not delivering real business benefits.
Of the 177 executives questioned by Salesforce.com, less than a third felt that their CRM systems had lived up to expectations, while nearly 10 per cent had yet to get their CRM systems up and running 18 months after installation.
"In the past few years most traditional CRM systems have failed," Phill Robinson, senior vice president of marketing at Salesforce.com, told vnunet.com.
"The technology is too big, too complicated and too difficult to get up and running. Nevertheless we see an upturn in the market for CRM systems."
Britain did well in the poll, being rated the second best country at customer service after the US. UK companies also had more CRM systems in place than their European competitors, with 50 per cent of companies questioned having systems up and running.
Part of the problem seems to be confusion over who runs the CRM systems. Sales or marketing were the most likely to have responsibility, but this is a mistake, according to Robinson.
He pointed out that such systems were the responsibility of senior management as they affected the whole company.
The survey does hold out some hope for on-demand CRM systems as opposed to more traditional methods. Almost 85 per cent of those questioned were considering on-demand systems compared to just 16 per cent for traditional systems.
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