Companies that are focusing on growth are likely to explore more advanced areas of customer care. This fact is part of the results released today (June 5) from IDC’s Asia/Pacific Advanced Customer Care and Retention (ACCR) 2009 poll of Asia-based companies. 

The survey indicates that although most companies are reducing or freezing their investments in IT during this economic downturn, 20% of the respondents will still invest in IT solutions that can help them increase earnings. 

Nearly half of the respondents saw the main value of ‘Customer Care’ as being a way to generate revenue, and many are ready to go beyond traditional customer relationship management.

Although IT budgets are shrinking in most parts of the world, Indian CIOs, for example, plan to spend 5.52% more in 2009, according to a CIO survey carried out by research firm Gartner. The budget increase in the current year is however lower than the 13% increase reported in 2008. (Read: Indian CIOs Will Spend More on IT: Survey)

“Companies with growth ambitions despite the current crisis are exploring more advanced options than companies that hope to get through the downturn by cutting costs,” said Claus Mortensen, principal for IDC Asia/Pacific Emerging Technologies Research Group. “New advanced customer care tools such as customer analytics, customer database management, and new web-based tools, are much more on the agenda for these types of companies.”

Despite the impact of the economic downturn, IDC’s poll showed that the top business priority of more than half the companies surveyed was to increase earnings over cost control. In fact, less than 25% said that they were focusing more on cost reduction. At the same time, nine out of 10 companies said they had increased their focus on the customer because of the economic downturn.

However, another HP-commissioned global survey reveals that 84% of technology organizations are planning to implement a data center transformation (DCT) project in the next 12 months, primarily to lower costs and reduce business risk. (Read: Data Center Transformation Priority for CIOs: Survey)

In another ACCR survey focusing on what Asian Generation Y consumers expect from their customer care experiences, the respondents indicated that traditional customer care methods are inadequate. When it came to seeking technical support for IT gadgets, 62% said they had gone to someone they knew personally and more than half had sought help on online forums.


About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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