A recent survey finds 51 per cent of organisations surveyed utilised CRM for business technology last year, compared to 34 per cent in 2010. This marked increase suggests the majority of companies have now realised the potential cost and efficiency savings to be gained from a robust CRM system.
As expressed by one of the CRM experts behind the report, “Companies are giving very high priority to any investments related to customer experience, anything that has an effect on sales and topline revenue or on improving customer retention.”
Heightened usage rates come alongside a five per cent increase in customer relationship management investment rates, with 35 per cent of businesses having invested in CRM technology in 2011.
Importantly, many of those to have taken the initiative to implement a CRM system represent smaller firms. “Even companies with 20 to 50 employees can afford CRM now” states one of the report’s editors, adding that “there are still many small and medium-size businesses without formal CRM systems. We are seeing CRM being pushed down to those smaller businesses.”
One major factor behind this augmentation in CRM system spending is the improved availability of cloud-based systems. The report’s publishers explain that many firms find these mobile-accessible systems more convenient, stating that they are “relatively straightforward to implement, they have a strong user experience, and integration in many cases is not that difficult.”
The financial costs of adopting an integrated customer service reputation management system are also recouped fairly quickly, according to the survey. Specifically, 45 per cent of organisations suggested they broke even within two years of implementation, with a further 39 per cent earning a positive ROI in the same time-span.
With this combination of increased uptake rates and rapid translation of productivity gains into profits, there is added pressure on businesses to remain at the forefront of CRM system technology in order to avoid handing their competitors a first-mover advantage.