In recent years, a combination of poor planning, bad execution and an inability to properly measure results have conspired to undermined customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives, casting doubt on future insurer investments in this space.Despite these missteps, a growing number of insurance companies have realized that best-practices CRM can become a reality if insurers can somehow summon up the ability to re-engineer their CRM strategies and alter their corporate focus.

For starters, implementations of large-scale CRM projects appear to be a thing of the past, industry experts concur. Rather, insurers are pinning their hopes on smaller-scale, selective and departmental projects-ones that can stimulate top-line revenue growth and bottom-line savings (see "The Best Laid Plans For CRM," November 2003, page 17).

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