Companies fail to exploit customer assets

With talk of an impending recession and increasing worldwide economic turbulence, companies must radically alter their customer retention strategies if they are to thrive, according to a new survey by KPMG Consulting.

Knowing your customer – a research report into customer information found that 70 percent of customers would focus on retaining their existing customers to beat a recession, if only they were able to do so.

The report found that 43 percent of respondents could not identify the principal causes of customer churn or defection, with half unable to tell why customers had left them or, indeed, spot customers on the brink of defection. The reason for this shortfall in a age of increasing information awareness is the failure to exploit the tools many companies have at their disposal.

Steve King, partner responsible for customer management at KPMG Consulting, said: “Many companies are failing to exploit one of their most valuable assets – customer information. Ironically, although companies pay lip service to the concept of using customer information – 89 percent of respondents claimed it was extremely important to the success of their business – the survey found that, in reality, few are effectively exploiting this resource.”

Other key findings of the report suggest a general lack of information coherence. For example individual departments tend to have only limited access to the databases of other departments. The problem is not the lack of technology to free information but the failure to release information.

“The survey showed that, in many cases, even where the technology is in place, companies are still not maximising its potential,” said King.

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