Eurostar jumps on CRM train

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Eurostar jumps on CRM train

Emma Nash
Channel tunnel train operator, Eurostar, is re-shaping its business model and deploying a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system as part of a £35m bid to boost profitability.

Eurostar is working with CRM consultancy Detica to devise new business process and technology strategies.

Richard Armstrong, Detica's CRM strategy director, said Eurostar currently has little in the way of CRM.

"Like a lot of organisations, Eurostar has different levels of customer data in different places," Armstrong said. "But what it doesn't have is a consistent view across the organisation, or the ability to pull all the different bits into one place."

The first CRM capability will be up and running by April 2002. However, Eurostar was keen to point out that it will implement a framework-based system in several stages.

"The CRM framework is not about implementing a system, but implementing a commercial strategy on a customer-focused basis," said Eurostar spokesperson Lesley Retallack. "We are phasing the framework over three years, but it will be an ongoing project."

The company has yet to decide which vendor it will turn to for the software and said it is in the process of evaluating different offerings.

There has been much controversy about CRM deployments recently. Analyst group Gartner produced a survey earlier in this year, which predicted that 80% of all CRM implementations would fail by 2003.

"We are assured a phased implementation approach will result in a positive business case," Retallack said.

Eurostar declined to reveal how much of the £35m will be spent on the CRM deployment.

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