Electronic Customer Relationship Management in Tourism

Electronic Customer Relationship Management in Tourism

Cenk Murat Koçoğlu (Karabük University, Turkey) and Merve Yıldırım Kalem (Karabük University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1989-9.ch013

Abstract

Tourism companies, like other companies producing goods and/or services, practice different strategies to achieve competitive advantage and satisfy the needs and wants of customers/guests. The most important recent strategy is electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM). In today's competitive environment, a successfully implemented e-CRM enhances a customer centric culture that is key to tourism growth and competitive advantage. For tourism companies, e-CRM succeeds only if it is totally integrated strategically and operationally in the business and in the information system of the company. This chapter focuses on e-CRM concept, its importance in tourism, dimensions of e-CRM, major challenges of e-CRM and its opportunities for companies, its implementation in tourism, e-CRM Technologies used in tourism, e-CRM success factors, and the reasons of e-CRM failures.
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Introduction

In a globalised world, the competition between enterprises has increased both in nationally and internationally. In order to gain a competitive advantage, businesses have begun to use modern marketing tools. In this context, a customer-oriented concept which is called customer relationship management (CRM) that adopts the demands and needs of customers has emerged. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become one of the most important marketing strategies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. CRM is used in various fields including tourism industry for developing customer relationship and sustain the enterprise's existence in the competitive environment.

Internet-based technology has been growing in business-to-consumer and business-to-business environments. From a customer point of view, Internet-based services decrease the cost of searching; facilitate the selection of service providers, provide control over products or services and increase the avaliability (Anderson &Srinivasan, 2003).

By the rapid development in the Internet technologies, Electronic Customer Relation Management (e-CRM) has come into prominence in the last decade. The new technologies including the Internet, e-mails, mobile phones and digital televisions facilitate the CRM activities and provide its cost-effective use. E-CRM is defined as part of an enterprise’s comprehensive business and marketing strategy that enabled through the use of the Internet (Feinberg & Kadam, 2002). In today's complex and dynamic competitive market, organizations aim is to create long-term relationships with their customers and increase their profits though e-CRM. Tourism industry is also adopting e-CRM strategies.

Many research works carried out so far about e-CRM in various fields including tourism. Some of these are as follows: Ahmad and Chowdhury (2008) used multiple case study strategy about customers’ perception of value from e-CRM features on airline electronic ticketing websites. Caber (2010) assessed the influence of website quality on satisfaction and trust in tour operator-travel agency electronic customer relationship managementin her study. GilaniNia, Balaei and Niyari (2013) assessed the effect of e-CRM system to gain a competitive advantage in the hotel industry in the city Sarein in their study. Dubihlela and Khosa (2014) have studied the impact relationship between effective e-CRM implementation, customer loyalty, customer retention and customer profitability. The results of their study provides information for hotel managers to increase customer loyalty, customer retention and customer profitability. Erkiah and Ladkoo (2018) aimed to analyze the effectiveness of e-CRM as a strategic tool in the hotelindustry in Mauritius.

This chapter provides a better understanding of the concept of CRM and e-CRM and the importance of e-CRM in tourism. This chapter focuses on dimensions, implementation, benefits of e-CRM and perceived barriers to adoption of e-CRM Technologies in tourism. Morever, e-CRM Technologies used in tourism industry will be presented in this chapter. Later on, e-CRM success factors in tourism and the reasons of e-CRM failures will be presented. Last section of the study will be conclusion and recommendation section. In this study, recommendations will be made for the improvement of e-CRM for the marketers operating in tourism industry.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cost-Benefit Analysis: A technique used to compare the total costs of a project with its benefits. This analysis provides the identification of the net cost or benefit associated with the project. Cost-Benefit Analysis enables companies to analyze decisions or determine a value for intangibles.

Business-to-Consumer: Transactions between business and an individual consumerthe end-user of a product or service.

Customer Retention: A marketing strategy aimed at increasing the repurchases of a company's products and services by existing customers.

Customer-Centricity: A way of doing business in a way that keeping customer satisfaction above all else. Customer-centricity aims to keep the customer satisfied and provide a positive customer experience, both during and after the sale. By doing this, companies aim to create loyal customers and increase their business profits.

Customer Lifetime Value: The financial measurement of customers relationships for a business. Since companies do not know how long each relation will be, they make an prediction and define customer lifetime value.

Supply-Chain: A network of all the individuals, suppliers, resources and technology involved in producing a product and distributing it to its final buyer.

Customer Acquisition: The process of gaining new customers, persuading them to buy a company’s goods or services.

Business-to-Business: Transactions between two businesses.

SEO: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, itmakes certain websites more attractive to search engines than other websites listed under the same keywords.

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