Customer Relationship Channels in Marketing

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Introduction
This paper studies different customer relationship channels. Information technology has evolved rapidly in the past years and therefore marketing strategies have significantly changed. Different case studies were analysed of how multi-channel approach is integrated in businesses. Article summary

This paper studies challenges to be overcome in combining multi-channel approach while retaining traditional distribution methods in communicating with customers in the UK financial sector industries using case study of four companies. Usage of a number of channels is becoming more popular due to the fast development within IT sector. This has brought serious competition in financial sector. It comes to a question how to successfully manage new channels? Customer relationship management lacks common understanding of interaction with customers. Relationship marketing emphasizes that every interaction influences customers’ perception of a company. Gummesson (2002) suggests that development of marketing theory is essential in CRM for accurate reflection of reality on practice. Many actions can now be performed by customers without staff help. SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman et al., 1985) recognizes existence of gaps between expected and delivered service. Conceptual framework starts with analysing organisational issues and examines strategic reasons for the adoption of new channels. The established approach in researching this area (Marshall and Rossman, 1989) was used. Thirty Individual interviews were held with middle to senior managers across four financial services organisations. Each interview was the same to all participants and was developed with help of service professionals and literature for usability. Supported by literature, case study suggests that new channels are attracted to lower costs in serving the customers. The potential cost savings depend on external factor such as eagerness and capability of consumers to use low cost channels and internal factors like number of automation that can be built in. For simple products new channels seem to work well by benefiting with price, convenience or clients being comfortable with using new technology. The multi-channel case shows that new ways of operating need to be performed by managers and staff when adding new channels.

Critique of the paper

Writing style of the journal is fairly clear for main understanding of main ideas. The methodology in this paper is quite limited on account of being one-sided. The interviews were conducted with only 30 workers, which is insufficient to make proper conclusions and call it a qualitative research. Information given cannot be counted as precise enough to make acknowledgements about the topic. Methodologies based on consumer reports would definitely appear to be useful. One of them is described in the journal Multi-Channel Consumer Perceptions, (Teltzrow et al. 2007).This paper analyses consumer behaviour in multi-channel business such as e-shopping versus shopping in-store. Numerous empirical studies suggest trust as one of the most decisive antecedents of consumers’ purchase intentions at Internet-only retailers (Grabner-Kräuter and Kaluscha 2003). The literature review of this paper indicates that trust of consumers transfers from physical stores to Internet stores. Therefore, studies of exploring consequences of consumer trust in an Internet-only context are analysed for it to be possible to find possible links to the multi-channel management. (Teltzrow et al, 2004). Jarvenpaa (1999) in her research found that reputation of the company had a much stronger influence on trust than the size and trust had direct influence on risk-taking. Privacy is one of the main requirements for successful e-commerce (Tang and Xing, 2001). This paper analyses the perception of trust to companies in multi-channel context from the customer point of view.

Methodology was assessed as a questionnaire on the retail company website and was...
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