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Mobile customer relationship management: an exploratory analysis of Italian applications

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Purpose ‐ The paper's aims are to estimate the size of the Italian market for mobile customer relationship management (mCRM) services and to try to evaluate some benefits that can be obtained through the use of mCRM applications by companies. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research involved a census of mCRM applications in order to construct a typology of mCRM applications being used and the analysis of some case studies to assess the impact of such applications on the perspective adopted by the company. This second phase involved interviews with managers of the companies. Findings ‐ In 2005, 1,077 mCRM services were used by 405 companies in Italy. The main benefits found were the improvement of customer satisfaction, an increase in the efficiency of internal processes and an increase in revenue. Research limitations/implications ‐ The present research considers only Italian services based on data and not on voice. Future research will be required to investigate end-user needs and wants (which are not treated in this paper) and to make a comparison between the Italian market and other markets. Practical implications ‐ This research is the first step towards the generation of a systematic study of mCRM applications and their future development. The hope is that other companies could benefit from the use of these kinds of technologies. Originality/value ‐ The present research focuses upon companies that give a strategic role to their relationship with customers. The results provide a systematic typology of current services for those companies that do not know about opportunities offered by the mobile channel.
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Keywords: Customer relations; Italy; Mobile communication systems; Relationship marketing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 13, 2007

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