Customer Relationship Management

Linking Customer Relationship Management and Customer Loyalty

Is it possible to control the customer experience?

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The primary goal of CRM is to generate high levels of customer satisfaction through taking a proactive approach toward setting controls for customer expectations and mapping out The Customer Experience (THE). By organizing processes, a customer will better understand the product

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To increase the organizations ROI and profit margin…

Practical applications of CRM strategies applied throughout the Hospitality industry 

Problem/Opportunity Statement:

Hospitality organizations partake in a universal mission to generate marketing initiatives designed to grow their customer base. They have become aware that monitoring and building relationships with customers is a key component in developing loyalty (Lemon et al. 2002). Through this awareness, the concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was created. Birchfield (2002) indicates that CRM has become a widely used strategy. According to Al-Shuridah (2005), CRM focuses on compiling customer data and processing individualized interactions between organizations and their customers in order to control The Customer Experience (TCE). The intention of the CRM process is to generate conclusive results representative of the level of customer satisfaction achieved throughout The Customer Experience. Since CRM offers the means by which the level of customer satisfaction may be measured, it is important to determine the customer satisfaction variables associated with customer loyalty. In understanding these variables, Hospitality organizations are in a position to strategize using control by direction rather than management of The Customer Experience.

Purpose of the study:

The purpose of this study is to build foundational theory that may be used in further developing an understanding of the CRM critical success factors and variables that lead to customer loyalty through defining and controlling the Customer Experience (Al-Shuridah, 2005).

What are the more practical purposes for your research?

Origins of the literature on the topic of CRM are principally non-academic in nature. However, CRM research has been recognized by academics as being a topic in need of prolific research concentration (Reinartz et al., 2003). The origins of literature based upon customer loyalty are abundant and will be of great use in developing a strategy to identify key evidence in mapping out TCE. By creating a map based upon generalized areas of importance in breeding customer loyalty, a foundational component to help define CRM is realized. It is of importance to define and develop the core conceptual framework of CRM since there is great confusion about how to define it, or how it is attained. Young (2002) proclaims that many professionals know the overall objective of CRM activities, but nobody really has a true understanding of its theoretical composition. Hospitality professionals practicing CRM activities will find this research to be of great use in helping to identify how to produce loyal customers.

How does it help address the problem/opportunity statement?

The potential for practical application of this research is realistic, thereby supporting the need for the study. The purpose of this research helps the problem/opportunity statement by providing a brief overview of the limitations experienced by CRM professionals in the hospitality industry. By vetting theoretical possibilities in the academic research forum based upon the need for better understanding the link between customer loyalty and CRM critical success factors and variables, Hospitality professionals will know that they are not alone in the quest for understanding how to achieve ultimate levels of customer loyalty.

How does qualitative research, and the underlying philosophic assumptions associated with, for instance the social constructivist or postmodernist tradition, support this purpose and these uses?

This project will take on the “Social Constructivist” approach to conducting research. This qualitative label generally describes the “basic tenet of the approach, namely, that reality is socially constructed” (Robson, 2002, p. 27). On the topic of deriving valid research from a specific spectrum of reality, I’d have to proclaim that the Hospitality industry thrives on the social constructs of individuals as they relate to their environment and own realities. These individuals will be research participants within this case study, and it is essential to capture their true feelings and perceptions based upon their experiences through processes such as interviewing, surveying, and observation. In essence, these research participants will be helping to construct the “reality” of this study in order to get a fundamental view of what is really important to them as a customer so that the researcher may generalize the results into a single reality (Robson, 2002).

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Conducting research by utilizing the Case Study approach suggests that the research being conducted is qualitative. This type of study will typically consist of research using multiple methods of data collection, both quantitative and qualitative results can be considered. Multiple sources of data collection are used as a means to qualify the research as being an empirical investigation. The research conducted in a case study is very particular in that it focuses on a phenomenon and the studies context. This is particularly true in the case of deriving customer loyalty from CRM practices since there is no prevalent theory linking the two to one another with unequivocal evidence (Robson, 2002).

The Case Study has come a long way in the research arena. Once known as a “soft option” to research, it is now a well accepted research approach that is perceived as being a “fundamentally different research strategy with its own designs,” in comparison to the positivist viewpoint.


Al-Shuridah, O. M. (2005). Customer intention as the key to successful CRM implementation:

Empirical insights from an SEM application. (Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois

University, Carbondale, 2005). Proquest information and learning, 3195298.


Birchfield, D. (2002). “CRM Sites Galore.” New Zealand Management, 49(3), 14.


Lemon, K., White, T., & Winer, R. (2002). “Dynamic Customer Relationship Management: incorporating

Future Considerations into the Service Retention Decision,” Journal of Marketing, 66(1), 1-14.


Reinartz, W., & Chugh, P. (2002). “Learning from experience: Making CRM a success at last.”

International Journal of Call Centre Management, 207-219.


Robson, C. (2002). Real world research (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.


Young, L. (2001). “Cutting through all the hype about CRM.” Marketing Magazine, 106(6) p15-17.

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Daniel Fortune

Daniel Fortune is a successful business professional, entrepreneur, father, and lover of travel.

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