Purpose – As service organizations continue to expand internationally, the need to be able to understand consumers in faraway places is increasing. Marketing research is a key mechanism through which service companies understand their current as well as potential customers. As service organizations contemplate the global marketplace, there is increasing demand for managers to understand customer behavior in multiple countries. This article aims to discuss the importance of market research information in developing a market orientation and its impact on international service organizations. Design/methodology/approach – Extant literature is reviewed and discussed pertaining to the interrelationships between market research, market orientation and customer relationship management (CRM)‐related issues. Conceptual models are presented to illustrate the interrelationships between these streams of research. Findings – Several anecdotal and case examples are used to illustrate the essential linkages between market research, market orientation, and CRM. These include the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, Federal Express, Hallmark Cards, Harrah's Entertainment and, most notably, VeriFone. Practical implications – The key implications revolve around the notion that in today's hyper‐competitive markets service firms must be market‐oriented in order to be competitive, and that market research plays a critical role in generating the needed data on which a market orientation can be developed and implemented, which, in turn, can enhance the practice of CRM. Originality/value – The article promises to help service providers address the challenge of generating and using market research data to develop a market orientation and a corresponding CRM program.
Journal of Services Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Market research; Marketing strategy; Customer relations; Customer satisfaction; Customer retention; Services marketing
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