An Empirical Study on Social Customer: Evidence from Social CRM

An Empirical Study on Social Customer: Evidence from Social CRM

Mohammad Hasan Galib (Alliant International University, San Diego, CA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRMM.2016010103
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The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of the social customers' behavior by identifying the factors that influence their decision to participate in social customer relationship management (CRM) programs. A social behavioral model (SBM) was developed in this study. The construction of the SBM was partly based on two popular models: technology acceptance model and theory of planned behavior. The data (n=305) were analyzed with exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and path analysis. Attitude and usefulness, and perceived risk are the two most influential factors in SBM. Three other variables—social identity, ease and control, and enjoyment and satisfaction—affected intention indirectly. Subjective norm and image did not affect intention directly or indirectly; therefore, these two variables were dropped from the SBM. The resultant conceptual framework provides a stronger theoretical basis for understanding the behavioral aspect of social CRM implementation.
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Gaps In Research

While building a strong relationship with customers through engagement is the primary objective of social CRM, a question arises as to what factors influence consumers’ intentions to engage in social CRM programs. Because social media is a new phenomenon, theoretical knowledge about the social customer’s behavior in this domain is very limited. Therefore, an empirical investigation is necessary to enhance knowledge in this new domain.

CRM has become an attractive area of research because of its potential benefits, continuous growth, and the volume of capital investment in this area. Because of its involvement in multiple functional areas in its implementation, CRM research encompasses numerous academic disciplines. Marketing, business and management, and information technology (IT) are some common academic disciplines for CRM research (Parvatiyar & Sheth, 2001; Rajola, 2003). IT departments are heavily involved in CRM implementation; thus a significant amount of research has been undertaken in this area.

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