CRM Perspectives and Definition

CRM Perspectives and Definition

CRM Perspectives and Definition

The term “customer relationship management” emerged in the information technology (IT) vendor community and practitioner community in the mid-1990s. It is often used to describe technology-based customer solutions, such as sales force automation (SFA). In the academic community, the terms “relationship marketing” and CRM are often used interchangeably (Parvatiyar and Sheth 2001). However, CRM is more commonly used in the context of technology solutions and has been described as “information-enabled relationship marketing” (Ryals and Payne 2001, p. 3). Zablah, Beuenger, and Johnston (2003, p. 116) suggest that CRM is “a philosophically-related offspring to relationship marketing which is for the most part neglected in the literature,” and they conclude that “further exploration of CRM and its related phenomena is not only warranted but also desperately needed.” A significant problem that many organizations deciding to adopt CRM face stems from the great deal of confusion about what constitutes CRM. In interviews with executives, which formed part of our research process (we describe this process subsequently), we found a wide range of views about what CRM means. To some, it meant direct mail, a loyalty card scheme, or a database, whereas others envisioned it as a help desk or a call center. Some said that it was about populating a data warehouse or undertaking data mining; others considered CRM an e-commerce solution, such as the use of a personalization engine on the Internet or a relational database for SFA. This lack of a widely accepted and appropriate definition of CRM can contributeto the failure of a CRM project when an organization views CRM from a limited technology perspective or undertakes CRM on a fragmented basis.

From “A Strategic Framework for Customer Relationship Management” by Adrian Payne & Pennie Frow

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