Despite anticipating moderate growth rates in the CRM and customer services markets until 2005, market analyst IDC forecasts that the combined worldwide from the two sectors will reach US$101 billion in 2007.
The two new reports, 'Worldwide and US Customer Care Services Forecast', and 'Worldwide and US CRM Services Forecast', present details of IDC's five-year market forecasts. The combined growth of the two markets represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3%.
Customer care services
IDC expects customer care services, which is currently inhibited by longer sales cycles and extreme pricing pressure, but which is also driven by new interest in business process outsourcing (BPO), to experience a large degree of turbulence over the next 12 - 18 months.
To successfully compete in this complex marketplace, providers of CRM (customer relationship management) and customer care BPO services will need to make cost savings a priority, and stress performance as the measure of success, and focus on delivering value to their clients.
In the CRM services sector, according to IDC, the most successful firms will be the ones that provide a suite of services that address business process re-engineering, redesign, and optimisation.
More specifically, the report asserts that CRM operations (i.e. operations management activities and IT-related outsourcing, excluding contact centre outsourcing) is the area most likely to provide a major growth opportunity in the US over the coming five years.
"Despite the current economic climate, many opportunities remain within the CRM and customer care services marketplaces," said Brian Bingham, IDC's programme manager for CRM and Customer Care Services research.
"But being attuned to cost containment, ROI, and business process optimisation, however, must be the mantra if service providers plan to survive and thrive," he added.