New Study from SugarCRM Underscores the Urgency for Sales and Marketing Leaders to Act Decisively to Combat Customer Churn
LONDON, UK – 28th February 2022 – “The Great Customer Resignation,” fueled by poor customer experience (CX) and a lack of customer centricity, is hitting businesses hard, new research from SugarCRM has found. The average customer turnover rate is now nearly one-third globally and 33 percent in the UK, meaning businesses are losing nearly one out of every three customers they gain.
Sixteen hundred global sales and marketing professionals, including 400 in the UK, were interviewed as part of Sugar’s latest report, titled The 2022 CRM Impact Report. The findings pinpoint organisational turbulence across the customer journey while highlighting the inadequacies of traditional CRM solutions that aren’t purpose-built to address today’s post-pandemic customer experience realities.
Last year, SugarCRM’s global survey research reported that customer churn was costing mid-market companies an average of £4M per year. This year, 58 percent of global respondents reported their rate of customer churn has increased over the last 12 months. This “Great Customer Resignation” – yet another challenge for brands fighting an onslaught of forces including supply chain disruption and employment challenges – threatens the future of companies across all industries worldwide.
Seventy-four percent of UK respondents suspect customers are leaving due to poor customer service or experience. This could explain why 70 percent of global respondents said they need to do more to improve customer trust in their brand / organisation and why 73 percent underscored the need to act on customer feedback for improved customer service and experience.
Over half (58 percent) of UK respondents admit to not being able to identify customers at risk of leaving and 61 percent say they struggle to track customer churn rates effectively.
Survey respondents also voiced frustration in filling the top of the sales and marketing pipeline, making the issue of customer flight even more pronounced. Fifty-three percent of sales leads generated by marketing are deemed either poorly qualified or under qualified, and 27 percent of sales leads go to the wayside, receiving zero follow up.
While over three-quarters of those polled worldwide say a consolidated view of customer information across the organisation is critical to delivering optimal customer experiences, 59 percent of UK respondents say they are missing data to improve marketing campaigns and sales conversions. Additionally, one in four sales respondents worldwide believe they could miss a quota due to incomplete data across the customer lifecycle.
“Companies face a daunting scenario – struggling to fill the top of the funnel with qualified leads while losing customers at the bottom of the funnel,” said Craig Charlton, SugarCRM CEO. “A key contributor to losses on each side of this equation is a lack of data. Data fuels the actionable insights that sales, marketing, and service teams need to act decisively at every critical touchpoint – to drive high-definition customer experiences – and to reverse the Great Customer Resignation.”
The Great Sales and Marketing Technology Reset
Organisations need winning CRM strategies to combat customer churn and realise greater sales and marketing synergy and assurance. However, 58 percent of UK respondents think their CRM system is wasting time and money, while over half (56 percent) say their current CRM system cannot be customised properly to meet their specific needs.
This negative view of current/legacy CRM solutions may be why 59 percent of UK respondents said they plan to change their current CRM platform within the next 12 months.
Additionally, more UK sales and marketing leaders are turning to AI, with 94 percent saying plans to deploy AI technology to augment existing processes will increase over the next two years.
“Unfortunately, many sales and marketing leaders will fail to find real solutions using a loose collection of lightweight AI automation tools as opposed to AI that is purpose-built to solve sales and marketing challenges,” said Rich Green, SugarCRM CTO. “Making AI pragmatic, Sugar has focused on bringing to market the first data-fuelled AI for CRM that offers extraordinary levels of prediction accuracy without the time, cost, and technical expertise typically required to take advantage of AI.”
“Clearly, customers are changing the rules of engagement, and many companies are at an inflection point. Technology can be the game-changer here, but the time to act is now,” said Volker Hildebrand, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing for SugarCRM.
“It starts with removing blind spots: understanding what your customers want and predicting what they need next. It continues with a focus on eliminating busy work – making it easier for customers to engage and empowering employees to create the experiences customers expect. Finally, it removes roadblocks and friction points to enable brands to consistently deliver on their promises,” he said.
Download a copy of the full report here.