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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

IT Evaluation Practices in Electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM)

IT Evaluation Practices in Electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM)
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Author(s): Chad Lin (Curtin University of Technology, Australia)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch362


View IT Evaluation Practices in Electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM) on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the need to scrutinize their bottom-line financial returns of business automation initiatives. To achieve this, organizations have to become more customer-centric. According to Karakostas, Karadaras and Papathanassiou (2005), a 5% increase in customer retention can result in an 18% reduction in operating costs. Therefore, the need to build and maintain customer relationship has become a priority for organizations. However, according to a KPMG survey, only a small percentage of companies were able to obtain even basic customer information despite the fact that 89% of companies consider customer information to be extremely important to the success of their business (McKeen and Smith, 2003). As a result, many organizations are adopting electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) applications in order to gather, organize, understand, anticipate, and respond to the constant evolution of customers’ requirements and demands. Indeed, eCRM is forecasted to become increasingly important as businesses seek to deliver their services and information as well as to provide transactional facilities via online and wireless platforms, in additional to the more traditional means of communication channels (e.g., call centers and customer service) (Tan, Yen and Fang, 2002). The market worldwide for eCRM applications is predicted to grow from US $3.4 billion in 2000 to US $10.5 billion in 2005 (EPS, 2001). Yet, despite the huge investment and widespread agreement that eCRM has direct and indirect impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty, sales, and profit, it has been found that 70% of eCRM solutions that have been implemented by businesses fail (Feinberg, Kadam, Hokama and Kim, 2002). Moreover, studies carried out by Gartner, Forrester, AMR Research, and the Yankee Group claim that most of CRM implementations did not return the expected ROI (Foley, 2002). This is because management tends to be myopic when considering their IT (information technology) decisions, primarily because they are unable to evaluate (specifically the indirect benefits and costs) eCRM applications (Ernst and Young, 1999). To address this issue, this paper sets out to investigate the current evaluation practices by Australian organizations implementing eCRM. The other objective is to identify the key issues faced by managers to justify and measure their eCRM. Hopefully, the finding can help business organizations to better manage their eCRM investment and its contribution to improving their long term profitability.

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