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Integrated customer relationship management for service activities An internal/external gap model

Integrated customer relationship management for service activities An internal/external gap model Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to suggest an integrated framework for designing, implementing and evaluating a customer relationship marketing (CRM) system in service companies, based on a gap analysis. Design/methodology/approach – The paper summarizes key findings of previous research on CRM internal (organizational) success/failure factors, adds a customer perspective on CRM expectations and perceptions, and links these internal and external factors using a systemic gap approach. Findings – The paper finds that viewing a relationship as a value and as a quality driver should lead managers to consider expectations as a mean to design appropriate interaction flows with customers. Also, relationship expectations from customers' point of view could be used as a segmentation variable to identify customer relationship profiles and address them with specific means. Finally, the integrated perspective underlines the importance of coordination and coherence among all organizational, technological and human components of the CRM system for the effective relationship quality management. Thus, the suggested DIE CRM gap model can be used by managers as a relationship quality diagnosis and problem‐recovery tool leading to recommendations at each stage of their action plan. Research limitations/implications – The integration of customer‐related CRM success factors as well as the suggested gap measurement approach opens several research opportunities in both methodological and conceptual issues on assessing a CRM strategy. Practical implications – In the process of designing, implementing and evaluating a CRM strategy and system, managers should integrate customers' expectations and reactions to such strategy. The gap model provides a tool to identify critical points of successful CRM operations and suggests actions to deal with them. Originality/value – Customers' reactions to CRM strategies and actions have not been given appropriate attention, nor have they been linked to internal company's operations. Similarly, although the gap analysis approach was proved to be very useful in other settings, such as measuring service quality, no application of it to CRM has been suggested. The paper offers new insights in both of these fields. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Managing Service Quality Emerald Publishing

Integrated customer relationship management for service activities An internal/external gap model

Managing Service Quality , Volume 18 (5): 16 – Sep 5, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0960-4529
DOI
10.1108/09604520810898857
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to suggest an integrated framework for designing, implementing and evaluating a customer relationship marketing (CRM) system in service companies, based on a gap analysis. Design/methodology/approach – The paper summarizes key findings of previous research on CRM internal (organizational) success/failure factors, adds a customer perspective on CRM expectations and perceptions, and links these internal and external factors using a systemic gap approach. Findings – The paper finds that viewing a relationship as a value and as a quality driver should lead managers to consider expectations as a mean to design appropriate interaction flows with customers. Also, relationship expectations from customers' point of view could be used as a segmentation variable to identify customer relationship profiles and address them with specific means. Finally, the integrated perspective underlines the importance of coordination and coherence among all organizational, technological and human components of the CRM system for the effective relationship quality management. Thus, the suggested DIE CRM gap model can be used by managers as a relationship quality diagnosis and problem‐recovery tool leading to recommendations at each stage of their action plan. Research limitations/implications – The integration of customer‐related CRM success factors as well as the suggested gap measurement approach opens several research opportunities in both methodological and conceptual issues on assessing a CRM strategy. Practical implications – In the process of designing, implementing and evaluating a CRM strategy and system, managers should integrate customers' expectations and reactions to such strategy. The gap model provides a tool to identify critical points of successful CRM operations and suggests actions to deal with them. Originality/value – Customers' reactions to CRM strategies and actions have not been given appropriate attention, nor have they been linked to internal company's operations. Similarly, although the gap analysis approach was proved to be very useful in other settings, such as measuring service quality, no application of it to CRM has been suggested. The paper offers new insights in both of these fields.

Journal

Managing Service QualityEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 5, 2008

Keywords: Relationship marketing; Gap analysis; Customer relations; Customer services quality

References

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