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Customer Relationship Management: Satisfying the Customer

Jerry Fjermestad, Nicholas C. Romano Jr.


Customer relationship management (CRM) is not only about
companies collecting data about their customers, it is also about utilizing that data to become more closely aligned with the customer (Romano and Fjermestad, 2003). This special issue of JIST focuses on satisfying the customers through three papers on the topic. The first paper deals with the strength of such a relationship that lead not only to an increase in sales but to an increase in customer satisfaction
(Chea and Luo, 2006) and the prevention of dissatisfaction (Cho and Fjermestad, 2006). Chea and Luo (2006) continue to suggest that perceived switching costs are a moderator of continuance intentions. Thus, the higher the level of perceived switching costs, the greater the likelihood that
customer satisfaction will lead to greater customer continuance intention.
Their results suggest that e-service providers should focus on satisfying customers with services useful enough to keep them from switching to competitors, instead of trying to erect switching barriers.
Romano and Fjermestad (2003) argue that knowledge management (KM) is a key component of CRM. In this regard knowledge is more than collecting, processing and analyzing data, it is also the ability to bring that knowledge to bear on the task at hand. In the second paper Salomann
et al. (2006) propose a managerial framework for knowledge-enabled CRM consisting of strategy, processes, systems, and change. The results of their case studies suggest that that in each of the three cases, the support of
CRM processes via the effective application of customer knowledge leads to significant performance improvements, either in terms of improved quality, shortened time efforts or even quantifiable cost savings.
Schierholz et al. (2006) in the third paper expand on the Romano and Fjermestad (2003) framework by investigating the delivery process in campaign management and sales management. They suggest that the CRM delivery process requires interaction and communication between companies and customers through multiple channels. Their case study
reveals that there is a need for measuring the impact of customer satisfaction along with costs. This is because current management accounting instruments do not provide sufficient information about performance in different channels.
Each of these three papers in this JIST special issue present a unique perspective on satisfying customers through CRM.

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