Electronic Customer Relationship Management: Success factors in a funnel sales process dimensional approach

Findings, Analysis, and Synthesis

The findings in this study was constructed into two parse which made the author understand and structured the knowledge that is required for the author to complete the literature then back again to test the hypothesis in the finding. The first part is the keyword analysis where we use to categorise the keywords into factors that contribute to the funnel sales process that is presented in the paper. And in the second part of this finding we would test all factor in each respective process that it present itself in which is determined by how relevant is it to the success in transferring the customer through funnel sales process cycle.

Historical Review and trends

The results from the computer software that was developed to query the Emerald database show that their total of 644 journal articles that are related to CRM/ECRM/Relationship marketing since the year 1983 and up until the 2009, this corresponded with Romano and Fjermestad (2003) that the literature in this discipline has started in the year 1983 and continue its growth throughout the decade. The author has found a trend in the growth in this discipline, using the quad regression equation. The chart in Figure 4.3 show the numbers of articles that was published in each year; the blue bars [up until 2009] indicate the actual number of journals using the computer software and the red bars [2010 onward] are the number of articles that we are predicting to be produce in the coming years using the equation of the theory that we just mention. We would get the following equation;


Where     = the number of articles in the relates to the discipline

= the year (e.g. 2010)

Figure 4.1 CRM articles and trends (blue [up until 2009] = actual, red [2010 onward] = prediction)

If this trend continues on until the year 2014, so we would be seeing the total number of 1312 journal articles that are related to this discipline, which is predicting that 668 of them are going to come out in the next 5 years. This would double the total numbers of journal articles and maturing the knowledge which provides a better understand on how practitioners should implement the concept of ECRM in their business strategy in order to gain a better ground on how to manage their relationship with their customers.

Keyword frequencies analysis

Furthermore, from our computer software that we use to query the journal database which the program analysed a total number of 644 journals, we found that the keyword consist of 2641 keywords which are contain a pattern of 791 frequency groups of commonly linked term of expression. Then the author filtered out groups of keyword that contain less than 10 articles which leave a number of 76 frequency groups to be more manageable to foresee a pattern and could be organised in categories. These categories represent each process in the funnel sales process that was identified in the literature. The process consists of factors and that each factor consists of related keywords group. These keywords group will be a makeup of match pattern regular expression for the software to analyse and count toward the factor. These match pattern in the programming language is to analysis using regular expression, regular repressions are powerful pattern matching language that is part of any modern programming languages. Regular expressions will allow you to examine a pattern to an input string and then return a list of matches within the text that has been passed through to be analysed. According to Karttunen et al (1996) stating that it is the optimal way to create such transducers in the pattern of the input string and that it should be compiled using the regular expression.

The following tables of Table 4.1 to Table 4.6 is the result from the computer software that was developed in use for this dissertation, factors that are shown are ranked by the reprehensive qualitative research in the secondary data of the author and that the same ranked priority that should be taken into consideration when implementing the topology of this discipline into the business strategy. Therefore the factors are not ranked by keyword frequency in journal articles that was analysed by the computer program. Each frequency count are subjected to only one journal article for each count then followed by the percentage to the total keyword that was found in the process. Furthermore, the last column represents the percentage of the journal articles found by the total number of frequency groups and that total group population is from by the computer program which would impersonate the magnitude that each factor fortify with the whole discipline. The author would like to emphasize on factors that received a keywords frequency count more than 10 journal articles, while in the meantime not leaving out the factor that other scholars have not taken much interest with respect to their research studies.

Table 4.1 Keyword analysis – campaign management

The campaign management academic research studies are mostly concentrating in four main factors from the total six factors in the process which is brand (21), trust (17), channel (21), and innovation (19). All of these factors that were identified by the software are sums up of 9.9 per cent comparing with the total numbers of journal articles published in the whole discipline. The detail result of the keyword analysis could be found in Table 4.1.

Table 4.2 Keyword analysis – lead management

For lead management in Table 4.2, there are three factors that have a significant to the process with concentration of 21.1 per cent comparing with the whole published journal in the relevant relationship marketing studies among researchers and therefore making this process the most studied in principles in the whole discipline. The factors are information (54), loyalty (61), and communication (52).

Table 4.3 Keyword analysis – offer management

In the last process of the customer acquisition period is the offer management, a place where value (21) and competitiveness dominates the process as shown in Table 4.3. This group of factors have 6.7 per cent comparing with the total discipline, a process where researchers have little interest into even duo the process is the ending of the acquisition period for the customer. A factor that is not mentioned in any of the research articles is the important of honesty toward the customer in presenting their product or service. Although some might say this factor is related to trust in campaign management process. But the author believes that it is the issue of chicken and egg which comes first can be a debatable topic and that a survey testing should be conducted to see whether that companies should consider this factor when developing their CRM strategy.

Table 4.4 Keyword analysis – contract management

Continue on the contract management in Table 4.4, a process where customer retention period begins it journey. Even duo the process is more focused on the legists side of the business, but it is a place where monitoring in the performance of how that the product or service has to expectation that was stated in the contract. Scholars have also made sure to focus this single factor of the process with the total of 22 journals and totally to 2.8% when comparing with the whole discipline. Furthermore, it is stated that transparency is has not be found in any of the researches with respects to relationship marketing and CRM, but the author feel confident from his personal literature research study and would like to include the factor for the hypothesis testing to determine whether this is another factor that the discipline that should not be left out of their research.


Table 4.5 Keyword analysis – complaint management

This process in managing complaint in Table 4.5 is another step that is interesting, if the customer is satisfied and therefore there will be no complaints. Scholars have made sure of this with articles that is related to satisfaction (77) of the customer is counted toward 9.7 per cent of the total research done in this discipline. Further, academic have also stress the magnitude of knowledge (33) in order to satisfy the customer and that mean if the staff does not have the knowledge to solve the customer complaint then the issue will not resolved and the customer would simply leave the company for good.

Table 4.6 Keyword analysis – service management

Finally, the last process in managing the relationship with the customer is the service management where the keyword analysis could be seen in Table 4.6. The aspect of the service management has been mentioned in the literature review, but the important findings that shown from the software analysis the concentration of the quality (82). Quality has been the most cited factor in whole discipline of CRM related subjects and this is counted toward 10.4 per cent when comparing with the total keywords that are found our research. The author would like to see the result of this factor alone to determine that whether the academic have made their investment in this area that would compensate the expectation of the general consumer.

Survey generic data

The survey was conducted online and the data collection sample is presumably would be people whom use the computer in their daily life. In the response to our questionnaire we have received a total of 147 respondents; among them we have 85 (58%) females and 62 (42%) males. The survey has constructed a question to classified the sample into 6 age groups, which have 1) the age below 20 is equal to none 2) age between 20 and 29 are the highest in concentration that is 92 (63%) respondents 3) the working generation with their age between 30 and 39 which is the second largest group that is 40 (27%) respondents 4) age between 40 and 49 with the total of 10 (7%) respondents 5) age between 50 and 59 with 4 (3%) respondents and lastly 6) age above 60 we have received an interestingly 1 (<1%) respondents, but only if we had more respondents from this age group be interesting to see whether the theory is generic when comparing with age generations. An age and gender graphical reprehensive data could be found in Figure 4.2. Another thing that could not be left out mentioning is the ethnic group, at first the author would like the distributed of the ethnic group be at normal distribution which mean that theory that is subject to test would be as generic as possitble, so that when implementing the framework across culture and geographic with same general principles. But the survey have not went has planned and the result show that the respondents are concentrated in only the Asian ethnic group which is the total of 133 (92%) respondents of the whole sample that was collected. European have be the second largest but only 7 (5%) respondents, and follow by the minor groups; African (1), Indian (1), and individuals other ethnic 3 respondents. Therefore, if the concept was to be used as a generic framework further research would have to be conduct to prove that the theory that was introduced in this study.

Figure 4.2 survey data – gender group by age

The author had a preticular question that was in his mind that what is the most perferable mean of communication channel that consumers take it as their first chooice. Therefore, the question was also asked through the survey and interesting from the author point of view that the prefered would be the telephone where call centre and interactive voice response (IVR) have advanced in technologies, but response from the survey was that e-mail has now been the priority in communication mean that consumers perfer when interacting with the company for the medium in communicating on product or service. The results are to be as followed; e-mail 94 (64%) repondents, direct mail 18 (12%) respondents, telephone 13 (9%) respondents, physical contact 11 (8%) respondents , mobile phone text message 9 (6%) respondents, and another single interesting responsive was the “below the line marketing” which was added in the other field of the question. A whole area of research has been made with the respect to below the line and above the line marketing, but that is not the focus of this study.

One thing that author does regrets in not doing in this research is to see whether the World Wide Web (WWW) is another prefeable option in means of communication and that an hypothesis test simply could not be conducted to see any form of communication is more statistically preferable when comparing with other channels. But that is not the objective of this research study and therefore it does not make this paper incomplete in the purpose that was intented to achieve.