Original Research

Customer relationship management captures intellectual capital for increased competitiveness

C. R. Van Zyl
Acta Commercii | Vol 5, No 1 | a68 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v5i1.68 | © 2005 C. R. Van Zyl | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2005 | Published: 05 December 2005

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Abstract

Today, with regards to tangible assets, the corporate playing field has become more or less level with competing organisations producing very similar products and services. The key differentiator for an organisation's offerings now depends upon an organisation's ability to capture and leverage intellectual capital (IC), and especially customer IC. Customers are an invaluable source of two kinds of IC: transactional and innovative. An organisation must implement customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives in order to develop and maintain good relationships with customers and in so doing, be able to capture IC. This IC will enable an organisation to be more responsive to new and changing customer needs and preferences and to be better able to customize products and services according to more specific customer profiles: ultimately leading to increased market share, profitability and overall strategic competitiveness. The purpose of this article is to determine how good customer relationships allow for the capture and subsequent leveraging of customer IC for increased competitiveness. In order to fulfill this purpose, the concept of CRM is explored as well as how CRM allows for the capture of both transactional and innovative capital. The strategic benefits of the application of customer IC are then explored, together with an exposition of the CRM implementation challenges facing those organisations that wish to implement a CRM program to capture and leverage customer IC for increased competitiveness. This exploration involved an examination of contemporary literature, theories and business cases and subsequently revealed that CRM is a vital discipline/philosophy that must be implemented by any organisation wishing to achieve greater market efficiency and competitiveness. This competitiveness can only be achieved through the carefully managed unlocking, sharing and leveraging of both transactional and innovative customer intellectual capital.

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