The Impact of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Technology on Business-to-Business Customer Relationships
Recent academic and practitioner studies suggest that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provides improved business opportunity, yet has received mixed performance reviews in the extant literature. This research explored the relationship between CRM technology adoption, market orientation and relationship marketing, and the subsequent impact on business relationships and relationship performance. A conceptual model was developed based on the literature and information obtained through one-to-one in-depth interviews. The model incorporated key relationship constructs; trust, commitment and communications quality, and investigated the impact of CRM technology adoption on these constructs and relationship performance. In addition the firm's market and technology orientation was considered as critical antecedents to the adoption of CRM technology. The research incorporated a two-phased, cross-sectional design. The first research phase was exploratory, utilising one-on-one in-depth interviews with key informants. The objective was to explore the conceptualised CRM technology adoption - customer relationship model for robustness and realism. These findings were used to refine the CRM technology adoption - customer relationship model and the measurement instrument before proceeding with the explanatory phase of the study. The explanatory phase of the research consisted of an instrument development stage - creating, testing and finalising the research instrument, followed by a quantitative study of medium and large business in the manufacturing, services and wholesale industries in New Zealand. The objective of this stage of the research was to test and validate the CRM technology adoption - customer relationship model and measurement instruments. Measures of CRM technology adoption were collected from the supplier firms, while measures of relationship strength and relationship performance were collected separately from the customer perspective. The benefits for practitioners include methods to improved relationship and business performance from CRM technology implementation. The key benefit for academia is the development of a conceptual model linking CRM technology to RM, and providing insights into the synergies available from technology.