Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Telecoms and tourism offer great potential for social CRM outsourcers

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The telecoms and travel and tourism industries offer huge potential for CRM (customer relationship management) outsourcers keen to take advantage of the demand for social media services, according to Ovum.

In a new report, the independent technology analyst unveils research that shows that 57 percent of telecoms companies and 54 per cent of travel and tourism companies use social media CRM, offering much promise for outsourcers.

Peter Ryan, Ovum analyst and author of the report, said: “There is certainly demand for social media CRM services that outsourcers can take advantage of, particularly in the travel and tourism and telecoms sectors. However other sectors also offer great potential for CRM outsourcers to grow their revenues.

“According to our survey, the third biggest user of social media CRM is the public sector, with 45 per cent. Coupled with the expected increase in outsourcing in the public sector in regions such as the UK due to huge spending cuts, this could be a strong growth area for outsourcers.”

According to the report, the main social media functions providing a growth opportunity for CRM outsourcers are in the monitoring of social media forums, customer service and business development. And, while Ryan notes that to date Australian take-up of these CRM channels lags marginally behind North America and Western Europe, there are considerable growth possibilities for social media in the contact center environment going forward. This is especially pertinent considering Australia’s long-time association with CRM adoption around emerging technologies.

Ryan continued: “Many enterprises that are looking for social media CRM applications do not have a clear idea of what they actually need and are more concerned with being thought of as a market leader. This provides an excellent opportunity for CRM outsourcers to help their clients define what is needed for their business.

“As well as the opportunity to grow revenues by winning new clients through social media CRM, outsourcers can also re-enforce their relationships with existing clients, by offering them a new service.”

Ryan believes the greatest challenge that CRM outsourcers need to overcome to make a success of offering social media services is the development of a profitable business model. He added: “There is currently much confusion among vendors about how to charge for these services, with many choosing a per time-unit or per transaction model. However, as the market matures, pricing models will need to evolve to ensure the highest possible margins are achieved.”

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