Widespread and costly investment in customer relationship management tools has not resulted in a better service for consumers, according to consulting firm Accenture.
A survey of 1,000 UK consumers found that over two thirds thought that customer service had not improved over the past five years, despite many companies investing heavily in CRM systems.
Over half of the respondents have switched service providers because of poor service.
"These findings are troubling for any industry with heavy customer interaction, given that poor service was the predominant reason for half of the respondents changing service providers in one industry or another last year," said John Freeland, global managing partner at Accenture's CRM practice.
"Winning companies strike the right balance between using technology to help reduce costs, and streamlining the customer experience with well-considered processes that contribute to more personalised services."
One in five of those questioned cited 'technologies that delay or stop service' as a key annoyance, but being kept on hold too long was the primary problem for 82 per cent.
The average UK consumer spends nearly six minutes on hold when seeking assistance via a telephone help line, and speaks to 2.7 service representatives to resolve an issue.
"I am not surprised by this report. It's a classic example of rolling out technology and expecting it to solve all your problems," said Chris Boorman, vice president of marketing for Europe at Salesforce.com.
"Organisations need to focus on meeting business requirements first and foremost. They should not adapt to technology.
"Technology should adapt to companies and it's crucial to customise for each industry. You cannot have an off-the-shelf product that suits every vertical s ector."
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