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Statement of the Problem

There are organizations or multinational corporations that have blossomed on its local / domestic home country and moved on to become successful because of the integration of Electronic customer relationship management (E -CRM)

technologies. Hence, the causes of this success must be investigated and lessons must be learned and derived from this study.

Purpose of the Study This study will be conducted in order to determine the success factors of most multinational companies and organizations in internationalizing thei r trend to other countries / continents through the use of E-CRM technologies, and provide meaningful lessons such as learning their effective marketing strategies. This study will also aim to increase the awareness and provide a better understanding of the issues and problems concerning most multinational companies and organizations in order to contribute an effective approach in addressing their problems.

Significance of the Study

If the success factors of most multinational companies and orga nizations in internationalizing their trend to other countries / continents through the use of E -CRM technologies will be determined, this study will be a benefit to other multinational

companies experiencing problems gaining ground to other parts of the w orld. Also, if effectiveness is supported, this study will be significant in developing underachieving multinational companies and organizations as productive and effective entities in the future.

Research Questions Specifically this study will address the following questions:


What significant success factors of most multinational companies and organizations in the use of E-CRM were determined?


What specific alternatives or measures can be done to help improve the performance of underachieving multinational companies and organizations through the integration of E -CRM?

Assumptions The research will be based on the following assumptions: (a) all participants will be utilizing the correct procedures as outlined in the guidelines for the spec ific methodology employed, and (b) all participants will answer questions honestly to the best of their ability.

Limitations Time will be the greatest limitation to this research, which could hinder long term outcome objectives. Environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status, will not be controlled, and this could create many variables within the research. As this

study will utilize a small sample of respondents, the results may not effectively represent the general population.

Content Map

Success factors of most multinational companies and organizations in the use of E-CRM technologies Inputs

Analysis of Data gathered through Interviews using a Structured Questionnaire Process

Learning / alternatives or measures to help improve the performance of organizations through E-CRM technologies Output


Superior customer service is a critical differentiator in an increasingly competitively marketplace. Companies that give customers what they want it will increase customer satisfaction and ultimately gain greater market share, generating more revenue and enjoying higher profitability ( & , 2003).

Electronic customer relationship management is a practice that encompasses all marketing activities directed toward establishing, developing, and maintaining successful customer relationships. The focus of relationship marketing is on developing long -term relationships and improving corporate performance through customer loyalty and customer retention ( & , 1997).

With the advent of the internet the dynamics of business have changed forever. Traditional business influences differentiators such as location; convenience and switching cost have become much less relevant. For businesses and organizations around the world, from banks and mortgage companies to manufacturers, universities and service companies- the playing field has been quickly and radically leveled.

In the new business environment, one of the only ways left to differentiate your organization from the competition is the quality of you customer service. Superior customer service gives customers real reasons for doing

businesses with you. That's why industry analyst agree that inter based customer service is one of the biggest and most crucial opportunities available on the web today (, & , 2002)

E-CRM can be seen as a means of gaining competitive advantage ( & , 2003) especially through the acquisit ion of intangible assets, such as knowledge, commitment and trust. Therefore, from a relationship marketing standpoint, particular importance is placed on achieving the goals of generating and increasing intangible resources ( & , 1991). Communications, transaction activities, information research are all parts of traditional marketing, but can marketers improve or streamline these traditional marketing processes? If we look toward and apply some of the ubiquitous electronic communications facilities, such as e-mail, online discussion groups and the World Wide Web readily at hand, and investigate some of the more esoteric electronic marketing resources, these processes can be improved or streamlined ( & , 2002). With these tools you can better research your products or services industry, better research environmental trends, better target your markets, maintain better knowledge of and communications with your current and prospective customers , and receive almost instantaneous feedback on new products or serv ices.

The Significance of E-CRM E-CRM has emerged as a strategy used to learn more about customers needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships with them. It works on the fundamental tenet that the customers are at the heart business su ccess. In general, the firm needs to value its customers based on the total value of their relationship with the company, the potential value of their relationship, the profitability of their relationship, the insights they can provide the company, and the influence

that they wield over other customers. Through these, the firm can have an effective customer relationship management without using any technological database or software ( 2000).

In brief, E-CRM is a business strategy that attempts to ensure every customer interaction that is appropriate and consistent regardless of the communication channel and that E-CRM is a core business strategy for managing and optimizing customer interactions across the public or privates institutions traditional and electronic interfaces. E -CRM can be used to gain clearer insight and more intimate understanding of customers' behaviors and in helping to build an effective competitive advantage and its relationship to the e -business process ( 2000) and that committed customers can be viewed as company assets who are likely to be a source of favourable referrals and are more resistant to competitors' offers ( 2000).

Electronic Customer Relationship Management (E-CRM) is a business strategy that is facilitated an d enabled by specialized technology. In conjunction with deploying new technology and initiating information engineering and knowledge management, no project of this scope should be launched if it does not address re engineering processes across the service delivery model and the enablement and optimization of the people and the leadership that oversee it (. 1991). Electronic Customer Relationship Management (E -CRM) is evolving from a evolving from a staff intensive business strategy based on specialized ap plications to a web based strategy for massive customization both in web site presentation, e -Mail communication and promotional banner and pop -up advertisements. It is an evolution that is enabled by web-technology that will allow the creation of micro -

segments, precision targeting and full view of the customer across all the contact points across an enterprise. Many companies are interested in their customers purchase habits and preferences and are developing detailed databases to track purchase activities then, there are customer loyalty programs in which retailers track customer purchases to reward them with point and discounts toward future purchases.

Electronic customer relationship management systems help organizations improve the profitability of th eir interactions with current and potential customers while at the same time making those interactions safer and friendlier through individualization and personalization. The marketing purpose and or goals of the electronic customer relationship management systems are to enhance customer service, improve customer satisfaction and ensure customer retention (, 1996). Moreover, customer retention and customer loyalty are major benefits of E -CRM systems to the organization as it is working to retain existing cu stomers by managing relationships with them will generally increase revenues and reduce costs. Positive outcomes can include a larger share of a customer's businesses as a result of activities such as cross-selling and up selling. When E -CRM works, it helps to solve this problem by meshing everyone together and focusing the entire organization on the customer. E-CRM requires commitment and understanding throughout the company not just in marketing as it adds to a sense of expectation and loyalty being instilled within the consumer and the development of a relationship between company and customer that competitors find hard to break. They tell us how to attract customers, how secondary customers behave, how specific customers react to specific promotions, how you can influence competitors' openings, how you can spot new trends, how you can convert customers.

E-CRM Requirements Normally, great amount of time is consumed in the mere planning of the purchase orders of a particular business company. And since most of the time the transactions involve not only a single client or customer, especially in the case of huge product and service providers, business establishments deal with sub -suppliers with several forwarders from which a number of consolidations are exc hanged. The workload and time that the inventory managers handle defines the proceeding business processes that follow and thus, predict and maintain the success and profit of the whole business organization. That is why, efficiency counts!

The provision of quality customer service is a multi-faceted concept as a number of factors must be met by the business in order to achieve it. In order to integrate quality in service provision, it is important that the organization has the right skills, resources and values. As quality customer service is influenced by various factors, the involvement of both company management and the employees must be present. In this paper, it has been made clear that training alone is not sufficient for service quality. The commitment, leadership and adaptability of the management towards change are also important for quality service. The values and skills of the employees on the other hand, must be prioritized as well. They must be given enough empowerment to contribute effectively towards customer satisfaction.

The importance of quality in customer service has been recognized by companies worldwide. Several major companies have applied prioritized quality in customer services, resulting to positive business outcome. Customer satisf action, loyalty, employee satisfaction and profit growth are some of the main advantages of this business practice. In order to cope with the present business challenges, several

businesses have implemented different strategies that will enhance their resp ective customer services. Consumer studies, trainings and application of information technology are some examples of the most commonly used strategies for customer services.

Service delivery is an interactive and dynamic process that from the consumer's point of view is much more than a passive exchange of money for a particular service. Characteristics of services (e.g., intangibility, heterogeneity, simultaneity, and perisha bility) often require customers to be actively involved in helping to create the service value -- either by serving themselves (as in getting food in a buffet restaurant line or by pumping their own gas) or by cooperating and often working collaboratively with service personnel (as in settings such as hair salons, motels, universities, or lawyers' offices) (, 1978).

According to and (1998) service intangibility means that services cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard, or smelled before they are bought. Meanwhile, service variability is the quality of services depends on whom provides them as well as when, where, and how they are provided. Lastly, service perishability constitutes the services that cannot be stored for later sale or use. Some doctors char ge patients for missed appointments because the service value existed only at that point and disappeared when the patient did not show up. The perishability of services is not a problem when the demand is steady. However, when demand fluctuates, service firms often have difficult problems ( & , 1998).

In high-contact systems customers can influence the time of demand, the exact nature of the service, and the quality of service ( & , 1979). If consumers somehow become better customers -- that is, more knowledgeable, participative, or productive -- the quality of the service experience will likely be enhanced for the customer and the organization (, & , 1990). Organizations that capitalize on

customers' active participation in organizational activities can ga in competitive advantage through greater sales volume, enhanced operating efficiencies, positive word-of-mouth publicity, reduced marketing expenses, and enhanced customer loyalty ( & , 1979; & , 1990). Customers who actively participate in organizational activities can directly increase their personal satisfaction and perceptions of service quality (, & , 1990; , 1990; , & , 1983; ., 1985).

Examples of Companies that Use E -CRM

Various companies have applied E -CRM into their operations. One of these companies is the Irish Life and Permanent, which offers a wide range of life assurance, investment products and pension for individuals and groups to over a million clients in Ireland (, 2004). So as to maximize revenues and enhance customer satisfaction, a software platform that would sustain seamless, quality sales and services through multiple lines of business, product lines and channels of communication. Through this integrated profile, each clients policy data and history would make it less difficult fo r Irish and Permanent to determine prospects for a more advanced business growth. Overall, the E-CRM system applied by Irish Life and Permanent had enhanced customer satisfaction and helped the company to become Irelands best provider of personal financia l services (, 2004).

FAW-Volkswagen was also among the many others who have been dependent on CRM strategies. The company decided to implement a CRM system due to major business challenges such as unresponsive customer service, slow reaction times, lack of real-time information deficient incorporation of data and processes and shortage of IT personnel. Within six months, the company then decided to execute mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM) in order to improve its customer service and acquire more vital information about its client base. According to the company management, the E -CRM system had made real-time information on products, dealers and clients more accessible. As a result, the system had been a helpful tool in enabling customer ser vice representatives to acquire the latest product information and attend to customer concerns anytime and anywhere. The Interamerican Group, a leading Greek insurance company, is yet another organization who had implemented their own E -CRM system. The application of this E-CRM system in the company had enabled the company to attain their corporate objective based on revenue growth so as to augment market share without leaving profitability behind. The project had helped the company in identifying customer segments and related exceptions. Furthermore, the E -CRM application had helped the company established underwriting rules through improved comprehension of the pricing policy and its implications. According to the company management, the project has not only allowed them to respond better to the changing trends of their market, but perhaps the most important thing the project has taught them was how to understand and serve their various rate groups better insights.

Strengths and Weaknesses of E -CRM System


In spite of the many considerations that management has to make in order to effectively implement E-CRM into its operations, several others are trying to work on employing such strategy. This is due to the fact that intimate customer relationship s provide the marketer several advantages. One of which is the establishment of committed customers. Committed customers are more than simple repeat purchasers as they have an emotional connection to the seller ( & 1994). These emotions may come in the form of trust, liking and believing in the organizations capability to respond instantly and effectively to a customers concern (, 1998).

The company considers committed customers as its assets as they can possibly be a source of favorable word -of-mouth referrals. These customers are more resistant to competitors offers. Aside from this effect, E -CRM provide a point of leverage to realize economies of scope. Committed customers are often amenable to line extensions ( & , 1998). Leveraging the customer base can facilitate crossselling complementary products as well as selling up to higher quality substitutes. The ability of E-CRM to reduce costs has been explored as well in the recent years. When E-CRM is applied along with other work processes, the strate gy is capable of reducing churn or turnover in a companys customer base. Thus, better customer management can lead to lower sales and service costs, higher buyer retention and lower customer replacement expenditures.

E-CRM enables instant market research such as opening the lines of communication with customers that gives direct constant market reaction to products, services and performance, far better than any market survey. Good ECRM also helps in growing business that will basically make the customers to stay

with the company longer, make better referrals to new customers that will the numbers of satisfied customers as well as reduces demand on fire -fighting and trouble-shooting staff and the appropriate service flo ws and teams work more effectively in an organization ( 2004).

The potential for E-CRM has exploded with the advent of e-business at the close of the world of business which had been dramatically changed and become revolutionized by one of the fastest deve loping electronic communications media ever to affect the global economy, the Internet. The Internet has made the world become smaller giving the public access to a vast wealth of information resources from almost anywhere in the world in a matter of secon ds.

This was the advent of the World Wide Web which is probably the most interactive multimedia communications system supported by the Internet. Its capability of combining technologies such as video, text or any digital information and presenting it them in an on-demand, interactive fashion has offered endless possibilities for businesses to thrive ( 2002).

As more people are using the Internet, businesses have realized the importance of establishing their presence in such new area of growth because of this easy communication channel that has provided businesses with the potential to reach a global audience and has contributed much in the changing phase of E -CRM in the global economy and the value chains of markets will have its changes because of the situation driven by those companies who have successfully rise to the new challenges of electronic and it is essential to understand what factors enable a company to gain a competitive advantage and succeed ( 2002). The Internet

economy, with its intensity and fast pace, will not only change the way companies do business, it will change the way they relate to their customers. Electronic customer relationship management (E -CRM) systems help organizations improve the profitability of their interactions with current and potential customers while at the same time making those interactions safer and friendlier through individualizat ion and personalization. The marketing purpose and or goals of the loyalty cards are to enhance customer service, improve customer satisfaction and ensure customer retention ( 1996).

The concept of E-CRM is to create customer value by enabling the company to determine the needs and demands of the customers and enhancing the performance of the institution. Based on this definition, E-CRM is neither a concept nor a technological term. Instead, it is a business strategy that aims to understand, anticipate, and manage the needs of an organization's current and potential customer (, & , 2002). The approach on E-CRM covers all business processes that an organization employs so as to determine, select, obtain, enhance and retain its customers.


The application of the E-CRM strategy may appear to be a simple management task. On the contrary, the implementation of E -CRM requires several factors. For instance, this strategy requires that an organization see customer relations as a means to recogn ize the needs and wants of its customers. The organization must successfully create, satisfy and sustain its clients while concurrently helping in the attainment of its objectives ( & 2003).

In order to come up with customized solutions geared towards the enhancement of customer functionality as well as to the recognition of new customer functionalities, customer intimacy and partnering are required. In turn, networking of customer relationships, which involves channel members, end users, advertising agencies, research firms are established and require management. In general, three important things must be incorporated to an E -CRM program. These include how to identify individual customers, how to gain relevant knowledge about individual customers and how to cross-sell to each individual customers in a real-time and context-sensitive manner (, 2005).

Aside from this challenge, the implementation of E-CRM also requires the organization to view this strategy holistically. This means that E -CRM should be assimilated well to all the processes within the organization, from marketing to collections. This is said to be a challenge as most companies employing E-CRM have this tendency to view this strategy narrowly, seeing it as a mere tactical series of transactions. In contrast, the effective strategic implementation of E-CRM needs information from all related departments for the purpose of using customer information intelligently that will eventually lead to the creation of strong customer partnerships or relations (, 2000).

Furthermore, the consistency of the response from different customer points of contact with the company must also be addressed as a possible challenge. For instance, online customers can acquire immediate response to their applications, questions and suggestions. However, this may not be true for customers who have contacted the company using a different channel such as the telephone or a traditional retail outlet (, 2000).


With the changing trends and practices, different organizatio ns are applying various strategies on how to become more customer-oriented. Electronic Customer Relationship Management (E -CRM) is one of the recognized ways on how to address this growing business trend. Information technology plays an important role in the E-CRM strategy as this enables the business to acquire customer data and analyze them for effective marketing.

Moreover, E-CRM is something that should be sought after in an organization wanting to excel. It is true that acquiring new customers will ke ep an organization growing, but retaining customers will keep the business going. E -CRM should be considered as essential as an accounting department. Customers are what a business needs to stay alive. And managing those customers in a more effective and efficient manner can create a long life for many businesses.

E-CRM is not the sole item to keep a business prospering, it however, needs to be correctly combined with all areas and people involved in an organization. Technological advances have made it mor e possible for information and communication available whenever it may be required. Keeping employees informed is another key aspect of proper E-CRM implementation. In this particular paper, it shows that the most suitable information system that a compan y may use in order to have an effective communication and direct relationship among customers is the use of E-CRM. Herein, it also shows that a company which uses such kind of strategy are able to communicate well with their customers.