Study: Most Financials Still Looking For CRM Solution

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Small and mid-sized financial institutions are still searching for affordable and easy-to- use customer/member relationship management (CRM/MRM) solutions, according to research commissioned by SEDONA Corp.

Citing separate research by Jupiter Research indicating the CRM market for small and midsized businesses would double this year to $173 million, Sedona pointed to one estimate that that represents just 3% of firms.

Based on 77 "in-depth" telephone interviews with small and mid-sized financial services companies with and without CRM solutions in place, the research found "that although financial services companies have a plethora of high-tech information gathering tools available, the majority (62%) believe that teller transactions are the primary means of collecting customer data."

Interestingly enough, noted Sedona, those companies using a CRM solution reported this more strongly than those without (74% versus 57%). Other collection methods include telephone transactions, ATM transactions, Web-collected data, e-mail, and purchased data.

Other findings:

93% of financial services firms organize their businesses around product and service lines as opposed to demographically based customer/member segments (47%).

Of those with a CRM solution already implemented, nearly 70% rely on the additional method of profitability analysis to determine their likelihood of future success.

Although customer/member retention ranks high across the board (92%), gauging customer/member profitability to evaluate success isn't far behind, with 55% of institutions (70% CRM users and 48% non-users) stating that customer/member profitability is a major factor when making marketing and business development decisions.

Not surprisingly, Sedona said the biggest difference it identified in comparing research among users and non-users of CRM/MRM solutions is that small and mid-size institutions not using a CRM/MRM solution identify cost and the need for additional resources as the major barriers preventing them from implementing a CRM strategy.

Thirty-five percent of the respondents without CRM identify the price tag as the single major barrier preventing their financial institution from implementing a CRM strategy, while nearly 15% pinpointed staffing limitations.

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