Social Software in Customer Relationship Management: A Study Exemplified in Instant Messaging Networking

Social Software in Customer Relationship Management: A Study Exemplified in Instant Messaging Networking

Ammar Memari (University of Oldenburg, Germany), Jorge Marx Gómez (University of Oldenburg, Germany) and Waad Asaad (University of Oldenburg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-168-9.ch028

Abstract

In this chapter, we present PurpleBee, a tool on top of Instant Messaging networks that serves as a communication point between the company and their customers. The application manifests itself as a “buddy” on the list of buddies the customer has on his IM service and allows him to interact in different ways with the company through sending and receiving Software Agents.
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The Concepts Of Web 2.0 And Social Software

In the last few years, “Web 2.0” and “social software” were the key words for a remarkable career. The term Web 2.0 and Social Software are closely linked. Tim O'Reilly has defined these innovations and developments as “properties of Web 2.0” in his article “What is Web 2.0” as follows:

Services instead of software in the package: Services of the application are located in the foreground, and not in the user interface. Thus, the applications are independent from the operating systems and the equipment.

Mixable data sources and data transformations: The applications have to collect the primary task data, which must be easily available, and that makes the combination with other sources possible.

Architecture of participation: The active use of the parties is a fundamental property of Web 2.0 from the users to developers, operators of web sites or authors. The results of this active use should be stored and documented for a long-term.

Web 2.0 stands for general principles and developments in the WWW, which supported by technologies such as Ajax or RSS.

Networks rather than communities: In Web 2.0 applications, there are options for the natural need satisfaction, such as communication, self-presentation, documentation, and created categorization. Through the establishment of networks, there is a possibility for the exchange between users without limits.

Social Software offers for all participants the opportunity to communicate, get information and cooperate. Under “Social Software” we can find applications that support human interaction. The broad spectrums of social software applications can be structured in different ways. We prefer the structure of the three dimensions functionality (see Figure 1):

Figure 1.

Social software (Koch & Richter, 2009)

  • 1.

    Information Management: to facilitate the finding, valuing, and managing of (online available) information.

  • 2.

    Identity and network management: enable the representation of the same aspects of the Internet, and the department of social networking.

  • 3.

    Communication: direct and indirect communication with partners in the network.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Software: The term “social software” contains the tools that allow members of particular race to be linked more easily to each other online, such as wireless Internet access and mobile devices, with using social software have the people a two-way conversation, excluding technologies such as podcasting and screen casting.

Web 2.0: Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them (O’Reilly 2006).

Diversity: As a general term, Includes the meaning of variety, but modern interpretations of the word go beyond this meaning to include ethnic, socioeconomic and gender variety, in a group, society, or institution. In the context of this work, it means the inclusiveness of variable opinions, beliefs and methods. Inclusiveness brings different kinds of aggregation to the table, from the simple averaging to the weighted average to the most complex functions of drawing collective conclusions from multiple thoughts.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): is a greatly -implemented strategy for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It includes the application of technology to establish, automate, and synchronize business processes.

Personalized Crawling: A crawling mechanism through which a Search Engine considers the user’s preferences. Resulting in lower crawling bandwidth consumption and a personalized ratio of “Up-to-dateness versus Completeness”.

Bee: A software agent that follows the pattern of behavior of honey bees.

Behavior Repository: A collection of Bees’ behavior implementations classified by application and Bee type. Each implementation has a unique ID necessary for binding it to a value in the DNA.

Software Agent: A piece of software that has a certain aspect of agency. In Personal Agents, the agent’s agency comes from the agent behavior on behalf of the user. In Intelligent Agent, it comes from the autonomy of the agent behaving on its own. However, in Mobile Agents, it is originated in the agent’s mobility which grants it a sort of separation.

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