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Investment in CRM rises despite failings

From the National Computing Centre, Manchester, UK. 13th September 2010

Companies are continuing to invest in their customer relationship management (CRM) systems to remain competitive in the current economic climate. This is according to a new NCC Research study commissioned by the Evaluation Centre (

The budget for CRM activities appears to be holding up well with 29% of organisations expecting to spend more than last year and 38% keeping expenditure at the same level. Only 16% expect to see a reduction in spending. This is emphasised by the fact that 33% of organisations interviewed are currently making changes or additions to their CRM implementation, with a further 44% planning to do so in the future.

This investment is continuing despite of or maybe because of the fact that many companies are still failing to gain all the anticipated benefits from their CRM systems. A third of the organisations surveyed (33%) have only been partially successful in realising the original benefits sought and 6% have seen no major benefits from implementing a CRM system. On the upside, 11% of organisations feel they had been very successful, and 33% have seen some real benefits from their CRM system.

Steve Fox, Evaluation Centre Managing Director, commented: “Over the years, both users and suppliers have learned many lessons the hard way. But to be successful, CRM needs to represent a business strategy - this should encompass both the strategic and the operational aspects and all the necessary business processes.”

Respondents were asked to rate their key reasons for installing integrated CRM software, using a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 stands for ‘not important’ and 5 for ‘very important’.

The key aim is to deliver better strategic information on customers to functional areas of the business, such as sales and marketing (4.3). Equally important is improving customer satisfaction (4.3) as companies seek to enhance their service levels to meet the increasing demands of their customers. Attracting new customers (4.1) is seen as more important than customer retention (3.9).

The internet is rapidly changing the way that consumers acquire information on companies and their products and services. Organisations cannot ignore its influence and need to use it to communicate effectively with their customers and prospects. Over half the organisations (55%) have created online communities for providing information and to gain feedback from their customers, while 55% are using blogs to provide information and comment.

Both business network sites and social network sites are being used by 45% of organisations for interacting with their clients. Online feedback capability is provided by 41% of companies for customers to express their views. But only 9% are making use of SMS messaging and just 5% have user forums.

Survey statistics

We spoke to a broad cross-section of over 100 organisations for this year’s survey into CRM applications and trends. The sample included companies from IT & telecoms (18%), business services (17%), local government (13%), retail sector (12%), financial sector (9%) and manufacturing (8%).

Companies vary in size, with 8% having in excess of £5 billion turnover, 10% in the £1 billion to £5 billion bracket and 18% in the £250 million to £1 billion range.

In the mid-market, 13% have between £100 million and £250 million turnover and 20% £50 million to £100 million. At the smaller end 20% have a turnover of between £10 million and £50 million and 11% £5 million to £10 million.

The survey is available from here


About The National Computing Centre (NCC)

The National Computing Centre (NCC) helps IT decision makers deliver effective solutions to business problems by bringing together users, experts and vendors to share experiences and develop best practices.

About the Evaluation Centre

The Evaluation Centre ( is an interactive service for end users and consultants to assist them in the procurement process for software, services and technology.

Press Enquiries:

For more information please contact Steve Fox on +44 (0)870 908 8767, email or Cliff Mills on +44 (0)870 908 8767, email

Press Contact:

Michael Dean
National Computing Centre
Flint Glass Works
64 Jersey Street
Manchester M4 6JW

Tel: +44 (0)161 605 0855
Mob: 07703 501 129

NCC Weekly News 13 September 2010




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