BearingPoint CRM survey highlights financial sector failings


BearingPoint, Inc. (NYSE:BE), one of the world's largest business consulting and systems integration firms, today announced surprise findings from a global survey of leading financial institutions on customer relationship management (CRM). The study reports few financial services executives believe that their customers would actively recommend their own financial services firms and planners to a family member, or a friend.

The survey, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) over a three-month period at the end of 2003, indicated the following key CRM related issues, including:

* Only 22% of the financial services executives believe that their customers would actively promote their company to family and friends despite the billions of dollars spent on CRM.

* 92% of financial services executives acknowledge that there is a significant opportunity to enhance customer loyalty by improving the quality of their customers' experience.

* 35% of respondents said the improvement in loyalty would be "dramatic."

* 50% of the financial services institutions surveyed invest less than a million dollars annually in developing the customer experience. Despite huge investments in CRM, to date, very little has been focused on enhancing the customers' experience.

* 42% of financial services institutions surveyed still interact with their customers within product silos.

* Computing functionality is on the verge of escaping the desktop to become as portable as the cell phone.

"We were quite surprised by the results of this survey because we uncovered fewer success stories than we expected going in," said Christopher Formant, BearingPoint's Executive Vice President, Financial Services. "The fact is that there is a clear disconnect between what customers want and what senior management desire from their organizations. The reality is poor customer experiences, poor returns from CRM and a general lack of differentiation. The inside-out approach to CRM has to be replaced with the outside-in approach that aligns customer interaction, process, organization and technology around maximizing customer experience."

"To say that technology-centric CRM investments have fallen way short of where it would have been had it begun from a customer experience perspective is an understatement," said Mindy S. Propper, a Senior Vice President with BearingPoint and the leader of the Financial Services business unit's Customer Relationship Management group. "That simple, yet profound change, to one of maximizing customer experience, would have saved most financial services institutions from their current disappointment with CRM."

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