CRM and customer-centric knowledge management: an empirical research
Current competitive challenges induced by globalization and advances in information technology have forced companies to focus on managing customer relationships, and in particular customer satisfaction, in order to efficiently maximize revenues. This paper reports exploratory research based on a mail survey addressed to the largest 1,000 Greek organizations. The objectives of the research were: to investigate the extent of the usage of customer- and market-related knowledge management (KM) instruments and customer relationship management (CRM) systems by Greek organizations and their relationship with demographic and organizational variables; to investigate whether enterprises systematically carry out customer satisfaction and complaining behavior research; and to examine the impact of the type of the information system used and managers' attitudes towards customer KM practices. In addition, a conceptual model of CRM development stages is proposed. The findings of the survey show that about half of the organizations of the sample do not adopt any CRM philosophy. The remaining organizations employ instruments to conduct customer satisfaction and other customer-related research. However, according to the proposed model, they are positioned in the first, the preliminary CRM development stage. The findings also suggest that managers hold positive attitudes towards CRM and that there is no significant relationship between the type of the transactional information system used and the extent to which customer satisfaction research is performed by the organizations. The paper concludes by discussing the survey findings and proposing future research.