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Asia Pacific Companies Prioritise CRM: Forrester

Added on Sep 21, 2012 by Anuradha Shukla, MIS Asia

Managing customer relationships has become companies' top priority in the Asia Pacific region, according to Forrester's new report, 'The Changing Face of CRM in Asia Pacific'.

However, they are constantly challenged by the need to support multiple local languages and cultures in the region.

Companies recognise the importance of management of customer relationships for continued business success and are now thinking about the customer relationship management (CRM) lifecycle beyond legacy CRM tools.

For instance, ZOHO Corporation has formed a joint venture in China and formed a partnership in Japan to ensure that its CRM product is customised to suit local needs.

Forrester emphasises the importance of local language support for core CRM capabilities and related services to successfully grow across the region.

Need to host data locally

Few companies operating in the Asia Pacific region are also challenged by local laws that require them to host data locally. Australia, China, and India regulate where firms can locate their customer data to maintain the privacy and security of customer information.

The Reserve Bank of India has made it mandatory for all banks in India to ensure that all local regulations and cross-border regulations are clarified at the outset of an outsourcing agreement, including data centre hosting.

All these factors have driven companies to choose CRM systems that support cloud-based delivery, integrate with social technologies, support mobile access, and provide analytics to improve engagement with customers.

Paint manufacturing company Asian Paints has integrated SAP CRM with its dealer management system, which was further integrated with social media tools like Twitter and blogs to help dealers improve their insights into customers in their local area.

KLM is offering 'Meet & Seat' service, which allows passengers to choose their seatmates based on social media profiles.

Forrester suggests that CRM providers in Asia Pacific in search of continued growth should evaluate CRM solutions on region-, country-, and vertical-specific needs; understand that CRM projects will involve strong business support and not be IT-led; and help organisations create a CRM implementation blueprint to help manage expectations.