SOURCE: Pegasystems


February 09, 2010 10:00 ET

Traditional CRM Is Not Delivering Desired Customer Experience Transformation

New International Survey Commissioned by Pegasystems Finds Most Organizations See Customer Experience Improvement as Highly Desirable, but Remain Caught in Reactive Maintenance Mode Imposed by Legacy CRM Systems

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - February 9, 2010) - Customer experience transformation is rapidly becoming a key business differentiator in the battle to retain customers and grow revenues and wallet share. But many businesses have yet to rise to this challenge, due to constraints imposed by their legacy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. As a result, they continue to focus on routine operational savings rather than dramatically improving their customers' experience and net promoter scores. These are among the main findings of a major global survey of international businesses across the UK, mainland Europe and the U.S. undertaken by Pegasystems (NASDAQ: PEGA), the industry leader in business process-driven customer experience transformation.

"Overall, 62% of respondents saw differentiating their value proposition by customer service rather than by product as essential or very important," says Amy Bethke, senior director of customer process management solutions at Pegasystems. "And this was reinforced by the fact that, as customers or consumers, an overwhelming 74% were very likely or likely to buy more from a company as a result of service excellence that goes beyond expectations."

"But this does not mean that they have been able to achieve these goals within their own business," Bethke adds. "While they aspire to transform their customers' experience, they often prioritize reductions in operational spend (seen to be the main challenge by 34% of respondents) over improvements to the customer experience. And only just more than half of the businesses questioned have a CRM solution that actually extends beyond the contact center and even fewer -- just 43% -- provide a consistent customer experience across all delivery channels. Perhaps most tellingly of all, only two in five have customer service represented at the board level. Clearly, traditional CRM approaches are not enough to enable these critical business goals."

An intent-driven approach

As the broader economy shows signs of an upturn and spending plans on CRM increases, the survey also reflects businesses continuing to achieve 'more with less'. In addition, respondents typically believed that their existing CRM systems could perform better and do more. This reflects the fact that for most call centers the goal is limited by the technology approach to building up as much customer data as possible.

"However, all the data in the world can't help you at the point of call resolution," says Bethke. "It is becoming clear that customer data by itself is not enough As soon as the customer requires something, you typically need to involve other departments and systems beyond the call center. It is here that an intelligent, intent-driven CRM approach, exemplified by Pegasystems, takes customer service one critical step further -- by allowing the business to actually look across the whole organization as part of a fully joined-up, end-to-end process, in dealing seamlessly with the customer's issue."

"This can be achieved as both an enterprise transformation approach, or incrementally, by adopting a 'wrap and renew' strategy, complementing existing systems and breaking down silos between existing technologies. Either approach delivers substantial operational and customer service benefits, quickly and cost-effectively," Bethke concludes.

The need for flexibility

The survey found major differences within the individual geographies. For example:

  • Compared to European counterparts, a higher proportion of U.S. respondents (28% vs. 10%) see existing systems as hindering rather than helping to improve customer service.
  • In identifying the challenges companies face in achieving their objectives, UK respondents see the need to improve CRM systems as especially important (27%, compared the average of 19%). At the same time, in France an overwhelming 50% of respondents put the need to reduce operational spend far ahead of any other concern.
  • In France and Spain, the highest number of respondents (35% and 34% respectively) identified revenue/profit growth as the top business objective, compared to just 19% in Germany.
  • Germany was the only country to confirm reducing customer churn (31%) as more important than revenue/profit growth, which fell to fourth most important, behind recruiting new customers (26%) and growing existing accounts (23%).

"A wide variation in responses within countries with similar economies has profound implications on selecting the most appropriate CRM solution for a multi-national business," says Eric Deitert, director of customer experience transformation marketing at Pegasystems. "Traditional, monolithic, code-based and data-centric CRM systems simply do not have the flexibility to adapt to these differing requirements, and cannot deliver uniformly high-quality customer response across disparate geographies. By contrast, Pegasystems' process-driven Customer Process Manager adopts a highly agile, situational approach. Because it is built on the Pegasystems' award-winning SmartBPM platform, it is in fact an easy-to-customize framework that can dynamically adapt to individual local requirements."

Supporting Materials:

Pegasystems International CRM Survey Report
Pegasystems Customer Process Manager - CRM Solutions Page

About Pegasystems
Pegasystems, the leader in Business Process Management, provides software to drive revenue growth, productivity and agility for the world's most sophisticated organizations. Customers use our award-winning SmartBPM® suite to improve customer service, reach new markets and boost operational effectiveness.

Our patented SmartBPM technology makes enterprise applications easy to build and change by directly capturing business objectives and eliminating manual programming. SmartBPM unifies business rules and processes into composite applications that leverage existing systems -- empowering businesspeople and IT staff to Build for Change®, deliver value quickly and outperform their competitors.

Pegasystems' suite is complemented by best-practice frameworks designed for leaders in financial services, insurance, healthcare, government, life sciences, communications, manufacturing and other industries.

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Pegasystems has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. Visit us at

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