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A systemic perspective of a customer relationship management solution for business

Bosse, Sebastian (2005-03)

Thesis (PhD (Business Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is not a new topic, but the advent of technology based CRM solutions has enabled companies to deal better on an individual level and more efficiently with their large customer base. Seeing the benefits of this competitive advantage many companies have implemented a CRM solution but with the result that many of them have failed to be successful. The problem is that these companies often do not know why they were not successful and other companies will make the same mistakes if these failures are not recognized. There is a great deal of literature and research analysing this phenomenon but they all focus mainly on detailed CRM issues and how they could be performed better. They do not take into account that CRM is a complex topic and that many reasons for failure interact with each other. Based on the need of many companies to implement CRM, the goal of this research is to provide a CRM insight perspective and a strategy to implement CRM more successfully. In contrast to existing CRM research, this study investigates twenty-one reasons for CRM failure in three knowledge areas and explains why each one could threaten the success of a CRM implementation. The first area determines the danger of every risk based on the likelihood of appearance and its potential to fail the complete CRM solution. The second area identifies when these risks are most likely to appear for the first time during a CRM project life cycle. The third area examines all relationships between the twenty-one CRM risks and how they influence each other. It is concluded that every CRM implementation approach will fail to be successful when problems are only addressed once they become visible. It is not possible to solve every CRM problem at the moment it appears. Many issues during the implementation of CRM have to be met before they become a problem because they influence each other and lead to barriers that could result in a complete CRM failure. Based on this perception and the research findings, which included 106 of the top 500 companies worldwide, this study develops a CRM strategy framework including a systemic CRM perspective for businesses.

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