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CRM Should be Priority for Communication Services, Research Finds

September 28, 2007

Tech research firm Frost & Sullivan has issued a finding that communication services need to focus on CRM to attract greater consumer spending.

Conceding that "cost reduction" is perhaps the most compelling factor, Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst, Roopashree Honnachari says retailers are "increasingly realizing" that advanced features and functionalities provide "an enhanced communication experience that is becoming essential" in an industry with a highly mobile workforce.

"Apart from the need to provide convenience and flexibility to a mobile workforce, a strong focus on customer relationship management (CRM) and quick transaction processing as well as the move toward a centralized hub-and-spoke model of operations are other factors influencing retailer spending on communications services and products," Honnachari said.

Since delays in transactions could cause customers to shift loyalties to another store and result in lost sales, many retailers are giving top priority to improving customer flow and customers' overall store experience by streamlining payment processing, Frost & Sullivan found. Technologies that help in improving speed and efficiency and allow retailers to address customer demands more effectively are growing in demand in the retail industry.

"With retailers so strongly focused on CRM, there is increasing interest in CRM tools, which are all set to revolutionize the functioning of retail organizations," the research firm said. "CRM tools can be used to capture and analyze customer interactions with the retail outlet, study their buying patterns to help plan inventory management and gain insights into selling patterns of various stock keeping units."

Most importantly, the firm said, these tools help understand customer pain points, allowing retailers to find products that ensures customer loyalty and repeat business.

Earlier this year Frost & Sullivan found that marketing process optimization solutions are "revolutionizing workflows, creating greater efficiencies and reducing departmental expenditures," addressing the needs of marketers "unable to be met with existing customer relationship management (CRM)," in a report titled "World Marketing Process Optimization Solutions Markets."

The study revealed that the market earned revenues of $216 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $728 million in 2013.

"The MPOS market is a value chain of product suites that provides firms the ability to execute marketing functions including planning, creation of print and digital media, budgeting key resources, collecting and archiving marketing content and digital media, distributing, workflow management and performance analysis," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Aimee Roberts.

MPOS products offer ways to help with accountability of workflows, project management and measuring outcomes. The idea is that by enabling organizations to monitor and access individual and team workflows, project cycles are shortened and the company can reduce expenditures and usage of organizational resources.


David Sims is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.