Social Media and the dynamism of customer relationship marketing: An empirical analysis of customers’ acceptance of the realm of virtual CRM
Purpose-The advancement of social media in the servicing of customers has made it an unwritten rule for organizations to use virtual platforms for CRM purposes. However, the extent to which customers are accepting virtual CRM is something worth investigating in order to ensure that organizations do not move away from traditional ways of providing CRM to their customers without knowing the feelings and perceptions of customers with regards to virtual CRM. “Service quality is a crucial facet of information system success in e-commerce in which customer service is essential”, (DeLone and McLean, 2003), as quoted by (Kang and Kim, 2017). The provision of “service” is detrimental to successful Customer service, therefore determining the role information systems play, through social media that is cardinal to business survival.
Design/Methodology/Approach- Data was collected via an online survey administered through social media platforms, as well as observation and interviews. A total of 170 surveys were answered, as well as 10 interviews conducted and 10 businesses on various social media platforms were observed. The study takes on an explorative design using mainly qualitative data. The research used grounded theory as an approach to analyse the data for final interpretation.
Findings- Results showed that the more a customer interacted with a particular business on social media the more the customer built a relationship with that company thereby enhancing CRM. The results are proof that virtual platforms are in actual fact, helping businesses enhance CRM and build or enhance customer brand acceptance. The study also shows that customers generally have a positive perception towards the use of virtual CRM.
Originality/Value- This study is of value to organizations all over the world who may feel or be anxious with the use of social media platforms for CRM purposes. The idea behind the use of CRM for the building of long lasting customer relationships is vital because without the knowledge needed to administer CRM through social media can be devastating and may cause irreparable damage to a business not vested in the role social media plays in CRM.
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