Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have delivered only modest gains in revenues despite millions of dollars of investment, according to new research.
Less than a third of 237 global executives interviewed in an AT&T-sponsored study said were satisfied with the quality of the CRM deployed by their company.
And more than half of all CRM programmes are failing to deliver a return on investment, despite companies continuing to invest heavily in the technology.
The study, More than numbers: CRM in the networked organisation, claims to have identified several reasons for CRM's disappointing performance.
These include allowing IT to dominate CRM initiatives, resulting in solutions that fail to meet the needs of end users, and a lack of effective tools to measure the state of customer relationships, despite the increasing sophistication of CRM systems.
"It is clear from the survey results that a thorough review of the business needs for CRM and of how the expected benefits would flow needs to be carried out prior to any investment in process and system implementation," said Jeff Ace, business development vice president for AT&T's global operations.
"Enterprises have to examine what other aspects of the business would need to be re-engineered to ensure the benefits materialise. It's very much a lesson learnt from quality management in years gone by, but still a valid one for business."
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