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Implementing a Customer Relationship

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IMPLEMENTING A CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP

IMPLEMENTING A CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME IN AN EMERGING MARKET
Adele Berndt, Frikkie Herbst, and Lindie Roux1

ABSTRACT
Retail financial services in all markets, including emerging markets, are undergoing major transformation, driven by change, deregulation and customer sophistication. Customer service and specifically relationship management, in particular, are crucial to attaining a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. The implementation of a one-to-one programme within an emerging economy is the focus of this paper, specifically in the financial services environment. The steps in the implementation of CRM as proposed by Peppers, Rogers and Dorf (1999b) are examined and the effect on customer service in an emerging market is investigated. The findings indicate that there are positive associations with these steps and customer service.

INTRODUCTION
Changes in customer expectations can be identified throughout the world. Customer relationship management (CRM) strategies have become increasingly important worldwide due to these changes in expectations from customers as well as changes in the nature of markets. Changes have been noted across the world, but opportunities present themselves in South Africa and other developing countries for CRM strategies. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a managerial philosophy that seeks to build long term relationships with customers. CRM can be defined as “the development and maintenance of mutually beneficial long-term relationships with strategically significant customers” (Buttle, 2000). Under certain circumstances it may result in the termination of relationships (du Plessis, Jooste & Strydom, 2001). It can also Adele Berndt is currently an Associate Professor in Marketing at the University of Johannesburg. Her areas of specialisation...

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