Customer Relationship Management Systems: Implementation Risks and Relationship Dynamics

Corner, Ian and Hinton, Matthew (2002). Customer Relationship Management Systems: Implementation Risks and Relationship Dynamics. Qualitative Market Research: an international journal, 5(4) pp. 239–251.



This paper addresses variables in the implementation of software applications for aspects of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems in medium-sized organisations. The objective is to identify those variables that present the greatest risks to effective and successful implementation in the light of the operating relationships between the main ‘actors’ in multi-channel CRM implementation projects. Theoretical development is based on two central themes. The first theme is that any implementation has risks that need to be managed and the second is that the dynamics of the relationships of the main actors are more complex where a system is acquired from external developers than with an internally developed system. These assumptions are explored using qualitative linear case studies, where success or failure has not been established at the start. A model is derived which represents a typical relationship dynamic for a CRM implementation. By establishing the nature of the risks involved within the context of a monitored relationship dynamic this paper offers a framework for guidance in the implementation process.

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