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A Diagnostic Methodology for Evaluating Customer Relationship Management Solutions

International Journal of Applied Operations Management (ISSN: 1744-8182) Volume 1 Issue 1

Andrew L S Goh
Division of Business
University of South Australia

Abstract

As knowledge management (KM) practices become increasingly recognised as having a significant impact on business performance, organisations are now eagerly leveraging from the competitive advantage offered by KM tools to enhance customer relationships. In recent years, the use of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions as a KM tool has fast become prevalent in sectors such as the telecommunications, finance and banking industries. However, as to how CRM solutions in an organisation can be systematically diagnosed has yet to be addressed.

This article highlights the key aspects of KM issues relating to effective CRM solutions. By proposing an assessment framework based on the Siebel Systems Value Diagnostic and conceptualising a ranking protocol, a diagnostic methodology is developed to evaluate six functional areas of a CRM solution based on four levels of adoption. The study shows that the evaluation results can help organisations appreciate the “effectiveness of a CRM solution” in terms of business processes and best practices for managing relationships amongst customers, employees and partners as part of organisation-wide KM efforts. In conclusion, the success of any CRM solution requires organisations to first understand its state of adoption; then identify the most suitable CRM tool that would deliver the best value to customers.

Keywords: Knowledge Management (KM) Tools; Customer Relationship Management (CRM); CRM Solutions; CRM Tools; CRM Adoption; CRM Implementation; Diagnostic Methodology; Assessment Framework; and Ranking Protocol.

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