20. November 2018

New CRM study for Germany and Austria on strategies and challenges in customer management

The independent analyst firm PAC investigated the current state of development in the field of Customer Experience Management in companies on behalf of maihiro.

A new trend study by PAC Deutschland analyses the current status quo and future trends in the field of Customer Experience Management and the use of SAP C/4HANA in German and Austrian companies. On behalf of maihiro GmbH, the specialists for CRM, Customer Experience (CX) & Commerce, the analysts surveyed companies in manufacturing industries and the service sector with at least 250 employees in August/September 2018. Over 100 interviews were conducted with IT/SAP managers and department heads in Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. The bottom line: The majority of companies have already begun restructuring their customer management solutions, yet rigid and inconsistent processes still hinder quick implementation far too often.

The extensive digitization of many business processes and the exponentially growing amount of customer data are changing the market for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Companies need agile processes to generate and manage all customer-specific information. Today, this is done by Customer Experience Management solutions that reach far beyond the classic CRM approach. 75% of the companies surveyed by PAC wanted to invest in the internal IT infrastructure for customer management and transform existing processes. Two thirds have already implemented their plans, either completely or selectively.

A smooth exchange of data between all channels is required to optimally evaluate and improve the customer experience. However, for 61% of respondents, creating inter-departmental processes between Marketing, Sales, Service, and e-Commerce still poses a great challenge.

Customer Experience Readiness Index measures the degree of maturity

As part of their investigation, PAC also asked department heads from Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service about their modernization goals and the status quo on the process side, and questioned IT and SAP managers about support for their customer management solutions from the IT side. Based on their responses, a “Customer Experience Readiness Index” was calculated for each target group, which serves as an indicator for the degree of maturity in matters of customer management. maihiro is able to provide interested companies with the figures for their own Readiness Index, which will allow them to benchmark their performance relative to other survey participants.

As one positive result of the study we clearly rate the companies willingness for a change in customer managenent. This goes from process optimization till establishment of new innovative Business models.

Frank NiemannLead Analyst PAC Germany

SAP C/4HANA with lots of potential

Another finding from the survey is that many IT systems today are too rigid to be able to implement the required adjustments. PAC assumes that this situation will prompt companies to modernize or replace their current systems. In matters of customer interaction, many companies are already working with SAP products, and the new C/4HANA suite offers even more potential to tackle the current challenges in CX.

Frank Niemann, Lead Analyst at PAC Deutschland: “One positive result of the study is clearly the readiness of companies to make changes in customer management, which range from optimizing existing processes to new, innovative business models. The companies surveyed understand that customer management requires the comprehensive integration of Sales, Service, Marketing, and eCommerce with back-end processes, as well as company-wide data management.”

The study can be downloaded here, free of charge: