Some 74 per cent of internet sites are planning to increase their budgets for customer relationship management (CRM) infrastructure in 2001, a study released on Wednesday has revealed.
Over 60 per cent said they are planning to spend 25 to 50 per cent more on CRM systems this year than they did last year, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.
The study also said that CRM growth will not be significantly slowed down by the softening economy. The researchers said that many web businesses, such as Travelocity, are building new contact centres to keep up with the growing online population.
Jupiter predicted that the number of individuals seeking online CRM services will jump from 33 million in 2001 to 67 million in 2005.
In addition, Jupiter reported that two-thirds of those surveyed said that a desire to improve customer satisfaction is the key motivator in investing in CRM infrastructure, while one-third said that reductions in costs associated with call centre staff was a crucial consideration.
David Daniels, an analyst at Jupiter, said that improved customer satisfaction is a fundamental measure to calculate the return on investment of CRM spending. "Studies have demonstrated a correlation between customer satisfaction and positive financial metrics," he said.
He added that the success of online CRM systems has been stymied by redundant spending.
"Disparate corporate goals and buying centres have led companies to invest in point solutions and CRM processes that have failed to unify the customer experience," he explained. "This lack of enterprise-wide co-ordination is challenging CRM efforts."
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