Financial institutions are moving back to more traditional channels, such as call centres and branches, to build stronger relationships with their customers, according to new research commissioned by AIT, BT, eFunds International and Microsoft.
Their report, "CRM in the retail finance sector," reveals that over the next 12 months, retail finance organisations will invest around £586 million in customer relationship management solutions.
Eighty per cent of this investment (£471 million) will focus on call centres and branches rather than on Web, wireless, video kiosks or interactive TV applications, says the report.
The study finds that fewer than one in five retail financial services organisations have applied CRM technology to the Internet channel. Only fifteen per cent of these plan to invest further in Internet CRM technology in 2002. This compares with 76% who invested in call centres and branches in the last twelve months.
Over a third of retail finance companies currently have no CRM applications over any channel, but, by the end of 2002, three in four companies in this market will have a CRM application across at least one channel, suggests the report.
Results of the survey also show 88% of banks prefer to do business via the phone or face-to-face and this trend will continue for the next 12 months.
The study was conducted towards the end of 2001 by independent research company, Coleman Parkes Research, and incorporates the results from 200, fifteen minute interviews with IT staff at UK retail financial institutions.
The results chime with the latest figures released by UK banking institutions, with cutbacks in back office and admin staff being offset by the introduction of new technology and trained sales personnel in front-line, customer-facing roles.