Ch 6: (Discussion &) Conclusion (& future recommendations)
Leading companies with competitive advantage find their success by listening to customers in order to understand their needs and in turn, offering the best solution/product possible. This is essentially customer service, and this is what differentiates companies in the marketplace. Customer relationship management systems capture customer activity and offer business a process whereby to measure and manage customer interaction. Social media encourages participation in an open community environment where users can share information and make comments in a two way conversation that connects people, sites and resources. Combining Customer relationship management systems and social media will give businesses an opportunity to partake in real customer interaction and help them to improve their product and services from feedback posted on social media. Telecommunication pays a significant role in connecting friends and family and is a major customer oriented business, so it is important for the telecom industry to engage customers by using social media within its customer relationship management system.
The main objective of this thesis was to find the level of awareness of social media in mobile phone users in Pakistan and to emphasize how social media can be used to the benefit or detriment of companies.
Second objective of this thesis was to find the problem faced by the current implementation of CRM in telecom industry and what are the basic actions taken by the organization to resolve these problems but on the other hand customer experience is changed by the social media revolution and they are becoming more interactive with companies therefore it is important to find what telecom industry in Pakistan is doing to capture this rich customer experience using social media. After studying the literature, a series of problems were identified specific to CRM in the telecom industry, such as dirty data problems, adaptation by end user and security and fraud. Beside these, CRM experts also emphasize the use of social media in CRM and depict it as CRM 2.0. Hence, the challenge was to highlight the importance of social media with respect to the telecom industry and to analyze CRM 2.0 with respect to problems faced by the current CRM. To achieve this task, a survey was conducted to find the awareness of social media and the customer satisfaction level in the mobile phone consumer in Pakistan. Interviews were also conducted to find what telecom companies were doing to resolve the problem of CRM and their views about the CRM 2.0. The subsequent section will summarize ‘the life-cycle of this research.
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This study began with research questions regarding the new concept of CRM, which as yet has not been introduced into business, and of which there is no existing example. The first question was to find the benefits of CRM 2.0 for the telecom industry. However, after studying literature and analyzing the main component of CRM 2.0 which is social media, the study had to slightly adjust its research question to finding awareness of social media in the consumers of the telecom industry in Pakistan along with customer satisfaction.
This social media allows consumers to generate content which has revolutionized all previous concepts of business and consumer interaction. Therefore it was necessary to adjust research question and come up with question which will enrich the context of this research and provide additional benefits, which proves that consumers in Pakistan are also aware to social media. Therefore the new question is to find awareness to social media among the consumers and to find relationship between the social media and customer satisfaction.
In the previous section, findings of the literature review were analyzed, and the survey and interviews mapped to find a suitable answer. The findings of the consumer survey revealed that 92.5% of the responding population was fully aware of social media and using it in their daily lives. This result is again tested by using binomial test to confirm our hypothesis. The result of the test illustrates that 74% of the population are aware of 4 or more types of social media. Both results show that there is very high level of awareness of social media in the population of Pakistan.
To discover the relationship between social media and customer satisfaction, the Pearson product Moment correlation was used for calculation; with the result that a positive correlation between the social media and customer satisfaction was found. This meant that consumers could use social media against companies if their satisfaction level was low or vice-versa.
The second question concerned the problem of whether in achieving quality customer data, adaptations by the end user will be solved by new CRM. After studying literature and conducting interviews, it was clear that dirty data is a persistent issue and there is a high probability of these issues occurring in the new CRM 2.0. However, companies have in-house tools which could help them to resolve this problem. This study also found that these issues occurred due to layered architecture in the enterprise system and there is a high chance that CRM 2.0 will use a different architecture and we strongly recommend that before starting the CRM 2.0 initiative organization must keep in consideration of these two issues.
In the case of user adaption, frequent training is the answer to this problem and results show that the companies have developed improved mechanized methods to undertake staff training, which has helped to minimize user adaption problems. The same methods can be used for CRM 2.0.
The third question on data security and fraud reduction methods was put to the companies. This research found in accordance to Gates (2007), that Web 2.0 provides a “relationship-based” and “fine-grained” technique to provide security. From interview, it was also deduced that both telecom companies have security and fraud reduction methods which are managed by a separate department. Secondly CRM provides a wide range of security techniques such as password security, profile-based access levels and audit trails. The technology mention by Gates (2007) and current method of security used in the organizations can be used in CRM 2.0.
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Finally, the title of this thesis is Customer in Control. The study has found that the customer is ready to start a conversation and is ready to form an online community to help companies receive better feedback about their products. However, companies are not ready to listen to the customer because they only consider social media as another marketing tool.
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