The survey found that while many companies have improved their CRM efforts, lack of internal integration is hindering customer satisfaction. Additionally, companies don't have a clear understanding of customer channel preferences and what factors are most important to customers when interacting with their business.
"E-business raised the bar on CRM by introducing an abundance of technologies which translated into increased methods of customer communications -- most of which were not integrated with traditional channels," said Dan Hirschbuehler, the lead partner for CRM ACCEL, PwC Consulting's global solution for CRM.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- A third of consumers indicated a strong preference for having a variety of communications channels through which to interact with a company. However, companies underestimate the desire for channel freedom, ranking it third on a list of features they think customers prefer. Consumers report they are 60 percent less likely to do business with a company that doesn't offer their preferred channel.
- Nearly 75 percent of companies polled reported that they are still trying to achieve front-to-back-office harmonization. Sixty percent said their cross-channel integration still needs improvement, while only 25 percent rated cross-channel integration as "achieved."
- Seventy-four percent of consumers surveyed typically use e-mail or the Internet to contact a company, but only 13 percent describe online channels as their preferred contact. Despite all the attention paid to enabling technologies, consumers overwhelmingly prefer connecting by phone or in person. Over 70 percent said that the phone was their first choice.
- When corporate respondents were asked why meeting CRM objectives had been so difficult in the past, the majority claim ineffective processes as the cause, followed by people and corporate priorities. Surprisingly, despite the economic slump, budget ranked the lowest barrier to CRM success.
- Only 42 percent of respondents in the manufacturing and consumer products industries felt they're currently providing the best customer relations. Energy and utility companies perceive themselves as much farther along, 59 percent claiming their customer relationships were working optimally. Financial services came in next at 54 percent, with 52 percent for communications, information and entertainment companies.
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