Table of Contents
1 Introduction. 4
2 Orientation: relevant, case organization and research questions. 4
2.1 Literature overview.. 4
2.1.1 Electronic Customer Relationship Management Processes. 8
2.1.2 Engagement Component. 8
2.1.3 Fulfilment. 9
2.2 Case organization. 9
2.3 Research questions. 10
3 Research methodology. 10
3.1.1 Research method. 11
3.2 Data collection. 12
3.3 Ethical considerations. 13
3.3.1 Use of consent forms. 14
4 Presentation of findings. 14
4.1 Analysing the data. 14
4.2 Answering the research questions. 15
5 Implications and recommendations. 15
6 Conclusion. 16
6.1 Appendices. 19
CRM refers to the management of a business’ present and potential customer’s interactions as a means of satisfying their needs and wants in an efficient manner. Because of advancement in technological growth, CRM has been integrated into the computer system for ease of management thus resulting in E-CRM. Studies, for this reason, have come up trying to investigate internet application in the whole body of CRM (Kim, Zhao & Yang, 2008). Electronic Customer Relationship Management that is to E-CRM is new and integrates IT into an internal organization as well as external marketing strategies in the bid to fulfil the customer requirements. CRM as an essential business strategy aims at maintaining and acquiring a new customer over the long term (De, 2012).
There are various channels in which customers can interact within the framework of CRM. E-CRM; as it entail all the CRM that use the net settings, for instance, intranet, internet, and extranet. E-CRM focuses on the IT platform for maintaining and acquiring new customers. Application of E-CRM does not mean other CRM approaches cannot be used. Companies will have to formulate and implement E-CRM in order to have a competitive edge. The E-CRM strategy is beneficial to companies since it allow them to focus and retain the profitable customers. In addition, application of E-CRM enables the company to understand the client behaviour thus allowing effective marketing. The remarkable growth of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) in 1990 brought a legacy in the world business. The legacy system was used for the backend operation so that various systems across the firm use information access in firm (Schnepel & Hope, 2010).
2 Orientation: relevant, case organization and research questions
2.1 Literature overview
The purpose of the research is to determine how Commercial Bank of Qatar can use Electronic Customer Relationship Management (E-CRM) to improve online banking. The research will evaluate the advantages that may come about through the development and implementation of E-CRM. The research is meant to fill the existing information gap relating to the development and implementation of E-CRM in the banking sector. The research will investigate how Commercial Bank of Qatar can utilize the E-CRM to ensure customer loyalty and increase profitability. The research will also be focused at exploring the E-CRRM dynamics in the banking industry. This research is significant because it will provide information that may be used by other banks in Qatar to improve the way they interact with the consumers.
The literature summary for the project will consist of a review on the mechanism of customer relations management used by the Commercial Bank of Qatar and methods through which this can be enhanced through the use of Information Technology (which is my area of specialization). It will also consider the relevant E-CRM literature indicating how different researchers have defined the E-CRM.
Online banking involves the interaction between the customers and the banking systems without the customer having to physically access the bank. Due to the lack of face to face interaction in online banking, there exists a service gap for banks. This project will analyse the current situation and dynamics of E-CRM and how it can improve the operations of Commercial Bank of Qatar in B2C context.
According to research by Lai, Hsiao, Yang, Huang, and Lee (2009), there are different advantage to an institution that come with the implementation of E-CRM. Some of these advantages include two-way interaction, quick response time, ability to provide a wide range of services to customers from a single point, and the ability to access services from any location.
There is a lot of information that customers need to have in order to make sound financial decisions and but the correct financial products. Getting this information might be difficult and time consuming for the consumers. It is therefore important for Commercial Bank of Qatar to maintain a consistency in the different channels that it can use to interact with the customers emails, phone numbers, and websites and the different banking areas such as marketing, sales, and services. ECRM will play an essential role in improving the efficiency of banking operations and ensure that the customers are served in a better way (Sue Scullin, Fjermestad, and Romano Jr, 2004). E-CRM is effective in minimizing the bank’s expenditure on communication with customers. It improves customer interaction and may be used to personalize the customer bank relationships (Adebanjo, 2003).
The increase in the use of internet has led to the consumers becoming more comfortable in using the internet. This has led to the increased need for banks to use E-CRM to manage customer relations. According to Pan and Lee, (2003), the use of E-CRM can assist organizations collect, segregate, and organize customer information. This will assist the managers in understanding their customers and the services and products that they like. A bank may then use the information gathered using E-CRM to improve its operations. E-CRM enable the management to capture and integrate data obtained using the banks website as well as social media sites. For bank to successfully manage customer relations, it must be able to integrate the current CRM processes with E-CRM applications to ensure that the all channels in the different baking areas is integrated.
It is essential for the bank to ensure that the needs of the customers are understood. The customer should be allowed to choose the interaction type preferred. The bank cannot demand that the customer fits in the IT framework that has already been implement as per the banks requirements. The bank management must consider the needs of customers by taking into account the entire strategy of implementation that will ensure the E-CRM is successful. According to Nemati, Barko, and Moosa (2003), integration of customer data from various sources either online or offline is essential if the bank is to have a valuable and success E-CRM. In most cases, progressive organization experience problems while trying to develop a successful E-CRM.
It is important for the bank manager to consider different factors while selecting the E-CRM. For instance, the bank should first consider the application cost as well as the functional attributes of the E-CRM. It is also necessary to ensure that the proposed E-CRM has backward as well as forward architecture compatibility and configurability. Additionally, cultural alignment as well as implementation time must also be within the allowable limits.
The main issue facing the application of E-CRM in the online banking industry is determining whether prospective customers are responsive to the E-CRM application (Woodcock, Stone, & Foss, 2003). Customers may become frustrated if they are unable to use the E-CRM while trying to access information about the bank. In such a case, the E-CRM system becomes redundant and thus incapable of meeting the desired objectives. However, if the E-CRM system is used effectively, it can lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the effort of using the E-CRM to meeting the desired needs, it would be important to measure and ascertain whether the E-CRM system fosters ergonomic relationships (Becker, 2008). Testing the E-CRM system is prone to subjectivity and biases; hence, the measuring methods must avoid such instances. Most of the biases stem from existing customer especially in data collection or the methods of gathering this information (Greenberg, 2001).
The E-CRM is defined as the integral part of online marketing and distribution. This technique expands the tradition customer relations management which only used offline data (Sue Scullin, Fjermestad, and Romano, 2004).
The current model of customer relationship management utilizes the available technologies and electronic channels such as the internet, web, and mobile phone technologies (Chen and Chen, 2004). My understanding of the research topic is based on the assignments that I have worked on for six years. Most of my assignments were based on Information Technology landscape of Commercial Bank of Qatar. E-CRM refers to the use of Information Technology applications and the Internet to manage the relationships between customers and enterprises. E-CRM involves four elements which include customer selection, acquisition, retention, and extension (Jelassi and Enders, 2005).
E-CRM is an essential component in business oriented organization because it can assist an organization determine the needs and preferences of the customers. However, there are different issues that are not clear regarding the effectiveness of the E-CRM system in a banking setting. Organizations can make use of business intelligent system such as “Online Analytical Processing Server” OLAP to predict the how the performance banking business and implement relevant strategies to take advantage of the needs and preferences of the customers. This can assist the bank to prepare for future taking into account the different existing conditions. In this regard, due to the ambiguities relating to the use of E-CRM, it should be viewed from a systematic and strategic point of view (Adebanjo, 2003). It is important to consider the functions affecting interaction of the customer with the E-CRM systems as well as the different areas that may require flexibility.
2.1.1 Electronic Customer Relationship Management Processes
The E-CRM processes includes purchase, engagement, support, and fulfil components (Jutla, Craig, and Bodorik, 2001).
2.1.2 Engagement Component
The engaging component is the process that ensures the customers purchase goods or services. Engagement may be generated through the use of advertisements or search engine. The E-CRM platform in the banking sector is not meant to sales or marketing of the banking products and services online, rather it is meant to support the channel that already exist in the banking operations. E-CRM uses may be used to support channels such as resellers and storefront using the resources that may be availed through the use of the internet.
When the bank customers search for information regarding the services and products offered by the bank, the customer may perform searches that may involve interaction, reading of online content, listening to answers to specific questions. When the bank utilizes the E-CRM it will be possible to determine the needs and preferences of the customers and be able to resolve their problems. Advertising may be used in this process to assist the customer in looking for the products and service offered by the bank.
Through the use of personalized view of the customer, the bank is able to online tools to choose different products and forward them to the customer as per the customer needs and preference. The use E-CRM enables the bank to understand the specific requirements of the customers and this enables the bank to provide customized information. Complete customer information held by the banks can assist in improving customer experience as well as online information held by the banks database.
This process involves the management and movement of information regarding a service or product offered by the bank. Through the use of E-CRM, the customer may get a diverse range of services including information on how an issue with an existing service may be resolved. This is enable by backend process integration as well as the governance of sales. Through the backend, the E-CRM is integrated to the internal system in the organization.
2.2 Case organization
The research investigated E-CRM implementation in the Commercial Bank of Qatar. The Commercial Bank of Qatar is a bank operating in the private sector. It was established by Hussain Alfardan and started its operations in 1975. It offers different services and products in corporate as well as retail banking divisions. Enterprises are now changing from being human intensive to electronic intensive where there are multiple electronic contact points such as web, phone, emails, and fax. This has led to the need to come up with mechanisms to measure and manage customer relations. Most banks have also moved from offline customer relation management to electronic customer relations management (Lee-Kelley, Gilbert, and Mannicom, 2003). In the current increasingly dynamic market in the banking industry, creating long term relationships with customers can act as a key to profitability (Chen and Chen, 2004).
2.3 Research questions
According to existing literature, E-CRM brings different benefits to organizations that implement it. The research focused on the different benefits that customers get from the implementation of E-CRM and how this may in turn assist the bank in providing the necessary services to the customers. The research this focused on the following research questions:
RQ1: Do customers get any benefits from their use of E-CRM for their banking needs?
From the literature review and the interviews conducted, there are different perceived benefits that the customers get as a result of the implementation of E-CRM. The responses provided could be grouped into different groups which include communication channels, convenience, and information.
RQ2: What are the main advantages to the customers in a bank that has implemented E-CRM instead of the traditional CRM?
RQ3: What is the effect of the use of E-CRM on the quality of customer-bank relationships?
3 Research methodology
This chapter discusses the research process used in this study. It discusses the research method, data collection method, and ethical consideration. The chapter also discuss what influenced the choices approaches and methods used. The research approach used in this study is objective and based on empirical evidence. The research used three approaches to answer the research questions. These approaches include literature review, field surveys, as well as interviews.
The research was carried out using a single case study approach. According to Yin (2014), case study approach is used to carry out studies when: (a) the researcher has no ability to manipulate the behaviour of the people involved in the study, (b) the study focuses in answering ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions, (c) there are no clear boundaries between the context and the phenomenon, or (d) the researcher needs to cover the contextual conditions due to the belief that they are of relevance to the phenomenon being studied. The research was a single case study because it investigated a concern for the Commercial Bank of Qatar on how the E-CRM development and implementation can improve customer loyalty and increase profitability.
The research method used in this project was mixed study with focus on qualitative data collection. Qualitative case study design helped in the provision of tools that can be used by researchers in studying complex phenomena (Yin, 2011). Correct application of the approach made it valuable in the development of theory, evaluation of programs and development of interventions. The experience gathered working on a six year assignment, primary and secondary data, as well as review of literature was used to identify problems and assist in answering the research questions.
3.1.1 Research method
The approach used for the research involved exploitation of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In the case of a qualitative approach, assessment of the findings based on secondary research was done. Assessing these results helped in proving the effectiveness of E-CRM in enhancing positive customer relationships. Analysis of the previously published articles provided a theoretical framework that formed the inspiration for the research. Qualitative approach made use of journals, case studies, and books as the source of factual justification.
Qualitative research reviews was helpful in assessing the research findings of both primary and secondary sources. Qualitative research was used to prove the intelligence of E-CRM applications and the approaches in online banking industry. This approach examined the effectiveness of E-CRM application in enhancing positive customer relationship (Fjermestad and Romano, 2006).
The issues relating to E-CRM are not well understood in the Qatar banking industry. Due to this reason, it is important to use an exploratory qualitative approach in order to gain an understanding of the current perceptions of E-CRM in the banking industry of Qatar.
This study’s objective is to understand customer reactions upon interacting with the E-CRM application. Through this methodology, the system static processes were corrected with an aim of making it flexible (Dyché, 2002). The study was objective to the reactions of the customer after using E-CRM application. Under this realization, the qualitative approach thus allowed the possibility of developing flexibility (Dyché, 2002). Through the utilization of the integrated approach, scientific method complemented the qualitative approach. The scientific method acted as a bridge between the qualitative and quantitative designs. The qualitative design helped in developing a research question that would enable the researcher design and test the hypothesis. The rationale for the research was the effect of intelligent E-CRM applications on customer feedback.
3.2 Data collection
In this study, two stages were used to conduct the qualitative work. These included the literature review which was used to provide an analysis of E-CRM according to the existing literature. The second method involved conducting interviews so as to gain an understanding of the different viewpoints as presented by professional individuals in this industry. To gather E-CRM implementation information from the industry, senior managers with positions of responsibility in the commercial bank of Qatar were sort to fill out a questionnaire.
A field survey of commercial bank of Qatar customers was also conducted using quantitative approach. The survey was conducted in order to collect data from the customers in Commercial bank of Qatar. Random sampling technique was used in order to select the customers who would participate in the survey. The questionnaire used to conduct the survey had four different parts which included; (i) personal information about the customer; (ii) financial service behaviour of the participant; (iii) customer based service attributes; and (iv) quality of relationship and outcome. To measure the customer based service attributes, the customer would provide a subjective assessment of the commercial bank of Qatar.
Five point Likert scale was used to reflect the characteristics of the responses. The Likert scale used ranged from 1 being strongly agree to 5 being strongly disagree. To ensure there was no response bias while measuring the dependent variables such as quality of relationship and outcome, the main part of the questionnaire used a two-stage Likert scale. The first stage required the participant to include information on the direction of the feelings. For instance, the participants were required to indicate positive, neutral, or negative in regard to the direction of the feelings. The second stage required the participants to provide information on the strength of the feeling using (strongly, or not so). Before the analysis process, this scale was first converted to Likert scale with 7 points. These items were as a result of the findings in expert interviews and the literature review. The different constructs had varying number of items as follows: 7 items for overall relationship quality; 3 items for trust; 2 items for retention; 8 items for satisfaction; 6 items for commitment; 2 items for willingness to recommend; and 2 items for loyalty. Before being added to the questionnaire, the different items were cross-validated through expert confirmation.
3.3 Ethical considerations
Approval was obtained before collecting any data from the interview participants. To make sure that the respondents were not exposed to any kind of harm and were treated autonomously, different principles such as informed consent, confidentiality, and privacy were taken into consideration. The presentation of the research questions ensured that the respondents were encouraged to provide honest responses by making sure that they felt that their security was upheld. The interview questions were developed ensuring that they had clear research goals. this was essential in ensuring that the opinions of the researcher did not influence the responses from the employees. Additionally, the researcher assured the participants that their identity was protected throughout the entire study. The researcher would ensure that the study results would not indicate any form of participant identity. The participants were assured that in case there was unease, discomfort, or sadness, the interview would be postponed or cancelled as the respondent may feel appropriate.
The purpose and the significance of the study were explained to the participants. To ensure that the participants were not exposed to risks, issues such as political repercussions, stress, or legal liabilities were clarified to the respondents. The researcher clarified the confidentiality by informing the participants identity would not be exposed to third parties and only the researcher could have access to this data. The researcher encouraged the respondents to feel free about their responses and ensure that they provided their responses to the best of their knowledge. If the respondents felt uncomfortable answering specific questions, the researcher had vowed not to push them to giving their response.
3.3.1 Use of consent forms
4 Presentation of findings
4.1 Analysing the data
According to the concepts from the literature review, E-CRM refers to the technological element of the traditional CRM. This technological element is usually recognized and acknowledged by customers through their relationships with the commercial bank of Qatar. The current study covers both operational as well as analytical E-CRM. This is because, in most cases, the bank customers are not aware of the internal processes taking place in their bank and they only recognize the operation criteria in the bank. .
4.2 Answering the research questions
This research investigated the customer’s perspective on the use of E-CRM in the banking industry. The empirical results obtained in this study may be used to answer the research questions.
RQ1: Do customers get any benefits from their use of E-CRM for their banking needs?
RQ2: What are the main advantages to the customers in a bank that has implemented E-CRM instead of the traditional CRM?
Bank customers who have experienced using E-CRM indicate that (1) they get timely access to up-to-date information from the bank. (2) the customers are able to contact their bank from any place and make any necessary queries in regard to their account. (3) a bank that implements E-CRM is able to provide complete information as may be required by the customer. (4) the customers get a one-stop service for all their banking needs. (5) a bank that has implemented E-CRM is able to personalized services as well as information to the customers. (6) the customers are able to access updated information whenever they need it from the from the bank.
RQ3: What is the effect of the use of E-CRM on the quality of customer-bank relationships?
According to analysis of the responses provided by the Commercial bank of Qatar customers, implementation of E-CRM has a positive effects and improves the quality of customer-bank relationship. Some of the major factors as described by the participants include trust, willingness to recommend, and customer satisfaction. A causal effect analysis on the data indicates that implementation of E0-CRM has both direct positive effect as well as indirect positive effects on the on the customer-bank relationships.
5 Implications and recommendations
The current study is important because it contributes to the empirical research done on E-CRM. The research analyses implementation of E-CRM and how it contributes to improving the relationship between the bank and its customers from the perspective of the customer. When evaluating the perceptions of the customers on the effectiveness of E-CRM towards improving the relationships between the banks and the customers, three factors concerned with customer-based services attributes were examined. These included available communication channels for the customers, availability and ease to access information, and convenience. These factors were important in the evaluation of the perception of the customers regarding the implementation of Commercial Bank of Qatar E-CRM.
The finding of this research validated the research done by Rust and Lemon (2001) which indicated that implementation of personalized communication between the bank and its customers has the effect of making the banks understand their needs and preferences of their customers. This is essential to a bank because it can be used to customize the services provided to the customers to ensure they meet the expectations of the customers. According to the research done by Lang and Colgate (2003), implementation of E-CRM assists the banks in fulfilling the relationship between the customer and the bank as measured using the relationship quality and outcome. This research also describes the mediation role that the implementation of E-CRM can have as a result of the customer based attributes in addition to the direct effect of E-CRM implementation.
Implementation of E-CRM allows the customers to access personalized services with increased convenience. The findings of this study have confirmed the importance of implementing E-CRM in the Commercial bank of Qatar. This is because, E-CRM has both direct as well as indirect effects on relation quality and outcome. Successful implementation of E-CRM also leads to improved bank-customer relationships. Consequently, this leads to satisfaction, trust, loyalty, willingness to recommend, commitment, and retention. The results indicate that when banks implement E-CRM the customers will enjoy different benefits and their relationship with the bank will improve.
The research was meant to determine how the use of E-CRM can enhance online banking. The research was also focused at finding out the benefits that banks can get through the implementation of E-CRM. Additionally, the study was also aimed at providing recommendations on the methods that may be used by the Commercial Bank of Qatar to achieve maximum benefit from the implementation of the CRM technology.
This research was focused on investigating the customers’ views in regard to the perceived benefits as a result of their banks implementing E-CRM technologies. The scope of this research was fundamentally characterized by the context of the Commercial bank of Qatar. From the research findings, it is evident that the Commercial Bank of Qatar still needs to do a lot to fully implement E-CRM. E-CRM is usually applied in analytical areas by Commercial bank of Qatar. These applications of E-CRM are usually related to the processes involving the banks internal operations. Currently, the bank is in the process of implementing operational E-CRM which can assist the customers in getting banking services without the need to physically visit the bank. Some of these services include telebanking. This indicates that there is still room for the commercial bank of Qatar to improve its operation through full implementation of the E-CRM.
Customers who are able to access E-CRM services enjoy a wide range of benefits including convenience, on-stop, as well as personalized services. Additionally, the customers can access more information that is accurate and up-to-date. The use of E-CRM provides the customers with an extra channel of communication that may be used to communicate directly with the bank. One of the major benefits of implementing E-CRM is the increase in convenience.
The results of the research indicates that implementing E-CRM can help in promoting a positive feeling among the customers. This is because, the use of E-CRM by bank enables it to provide complete, up-to-date, and timely access to banking information that is personalized. This helps the customers contact their bank from any place at any time. It also enables them to access all the services of the bank from one point.
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