Evaluating the use of a customer resource management system in selected South African business schools
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The management and implementation of unique resources contribute to the creation of a sustainable competitive advantage that has a positive impact on the owner of the resource’s profits. Customer relationship management becomes very important because customers with their own personal devices and options such as cloud computing, social media and mobility have converged into a renewed driving force expecting organisations to remember their experiences. These experiences should not been stored in separate channels or silos. With a customer resource management system organisations could have the opportunity to get better insights of customers and derive better business value. Customer data should be managed by organisations just like any other corporate asset. Because of the importance of customer data and the critical advantage it creates, organisations see an effective customer data management strategy as an important cornerstone of a customer relationship management strategy. A system should have the ability to provide accurate, timely, and reliable data and information that can tailor customer capabilities that could influence an organisation’s performance. Big data is an extension of customer relationship management and big data customer relationship management initiatives will require integration and analysis of both structured and unstructured data to identify the most relevant insights of a customer and determine the most appropriate customer action. Knowledge management should be applied to solve business problems to support current work styles and make better use of social software. The biggest reason for organisations to address knowledge management is the impact of fast retrieval of the right information to ensure customer satisfaction. The role of information technology is to enable information management and transform the organisation to business excellence. Information technology is a powerful tool for defining, organising, and building knowledge assets within an organisation. Information technology is developing fast and organisations can apply technology to enhance their competence which showed a positive correlation in a customer focused approach. Together with customer resource management, market resource management could be used to support more customer centric strategies with fewer resources. Management of customer resources using information technology could develop significant customer relationships and improve an organisation’s competitive advantage in the market. Exploratory research found that in selected South African business schools the use of a customer resource management system to analyse the growing volume and variety of customer information can create better customer insights. The customer resource management system supports marketing efforts and can create new business by gaining new customers.