This paper focuses on an article by Chor-Beng Anthony Liew on strategic integration of knowledge management and customer relationship management. Knowledge management seeks to accumulate intellectual capital that creates unique primary competencies and leads to superior outcomes (Rigby, 2009). Knowledge management develops processes and systems to gain and share intellectual assets. It generates useful and meaningful information, increasing both individual and group learning. According to Stankosky (2008), knowledge management is leveraging intellectual assets to enhance organizational performance. It is very crucial in todays knowledge economy for one to have the ability to manage knowledge. It is an important factor for every organization to have a competitive edge over others. Knowledge management aims at creating a more efficient and productive workforce in the Organization by fully utilizing organizations knowledge base, individual skills, innovations and competencies. It deliberates for coordination of an Organizations processes, people and technology to add value and innovation. There is sharing, creating and applying knowledge as well as getting valuable lessons for continued organizational learning.
Customer relationship management aims at building a strategy of partnership that helps to cultivate the relationship and increase value (Pereene, 2005). Increased value leads to the competitive advantage of the company and its better position on the market. According to Lehtinen (2007), CRM together with the development of marketing came into being together and have become more personal its transformation into direct customer marketing. Customer relationship management involves employees, ICT Technology and company processes with the primary aim of maximizing customer loyalty and company profitability. It is a strategy designed to developing long-term, mutually profitable customer-supplier relationship to enhance well-defined and controlled processes. CRM aims at retaining and maintaining customers as well as developing quality products and services.
The introduction of knowledge management in an Organization is a strategic issue that requires a strategic plan with the involvement of CRM function and other supporting bodies and processes. Supporting institutions and processes should be upgraded for the potential of knowledge-based CRM to be fully recognized. Adoption of Knowledge Management requires a strategic review of an enterprise business model to conclude its outcomes and challenges of implementation. It requires a strategic planning process.
Recent Trends in Knowledge Management
Interests in knowledge management have continually grown as knowledge strategies move beyond customer support to include professional service, managed services, field services and more. Top trends include:
Failure of legacy search tools. TSIAs 9th Annual Technology Survey interviewed participants to get their views on knowledge management. Because the platform has been there for more than four years, people expect it to be mature, deliver value and be highly adopted. On the contrary, most percents said that the platform needed a lot of improvement as the legacy search failed most of them regarding support knowledge and generic content warehouse.
Enterprise collaboration. Recent KM surveys showed that less than half of customers problems are resolved by the content in the knowledgebase. Ask an expert has been a common way to get answers. Development of a platform to create dynamic taxonomies can establish a relationship between people and content topics.
Mobility. Originally, mobile devices were designed for the consumer but that have changed in such that we bring our consumer experiences into the workplace with us. Customers and employees expect to have full access to shared content at any time using any device.
Communicating the Knowledge message and paying attention to the branding of KM are ways of getting well designed KM initiatives. KM brand managers are utilized by some organizations as well as newsletters and events names that reflect the organization.
Gamification such as coding contest and competitions for the best personal KM is a growing practice at Unisys. Also, a best paper competition to showcase thought leadership is also used.
Mobile cloud is a core trend in the infrastructure of workflow and social media are playing an important role as knowledge narrative. Some companies is coming up with their hybrid media tools that show the best features of consumer social media tools.
Future Innovations in Knowledge Management
Visuals will replace lists. Long lists, fancy file names and spotty functionality were featured in the early versions of KM technology. However, there is an evolution of visual KM software which relies on images to help users navigate more quickly will replace lists.
Integration of external processes. External processes such as creating content, managing projects, scheduling and other activities will be integrated into the same suite allowing all operations to be handled in a convenient space.
User engagement will increase. Team members will be able to share information organically as KM is shifting from control to cultivation. Therefore the KM software permissions will become more flexible and inclusive.
Segmentation of spaces will be more useful. During periods of rapid growth and success, businesses often suffer from information workload. However, the KM Software will allow segmentation of information into multiple community spaces reducing the documentation that overwhelms the tech support.
The inclusion of vendors and customers into Knowledge management software. KM software will allow clients, customers and suppliers to be included. It will allow external integration so that internal and external parties can share information with ease.
Tracking of issues within the community will be easier. When bugs and other issues rise, the software will track the problem as quickly as possible. When employees, vendors and customers experience issues, they will be able to open a ticket review of administrators instantly.
Recent Trends in Consumer Relationship Management
Crowdsourcing. There is a business improvement as customers gain a voice through the social media by allowing enterprises to take advantage of crowdsourcing. CRM will provide a source of innovation.
Flexibility. CRM is important as it allows employees to customize the software to meet their needs. There is ease of integration that is crucial to corporate considerations.
Mobility. Customers are accessing data on their operational duties which is made possible by online and mobile experiences.
Cloud-based CRM. Cloud-based software costs efficient and the best means of gathering consumer data.
Centralized data. CRM aims to know and understand customers better through extensive data collection and analysis.
Future innovations in Consumer Relationship Management
More SaaS. SaaS has dominated the CRM for many years and it is with no doubt that it will continue to dominate in the future.
Social monitoring. Companies have to measure accurately the impact of their tweets, blogs and posts. This will have to be done through social media.
Brand journalism. Most of the product managers and marketers are not experienced and do not have the right skills to write quality work. Therefore they will need to manage a set of in-house or outsourced expertise and talents through SaaS-based CRM module. They can also outsource the process entirely to a specialized agency.
In conclusion, knowledge-based customer relationship management is the most sophisticated customer service as it aims at creating long-term effects like building customer loyalty and value. Customer relationship management is a long term change that aims at long-term organizational effectiveness. Knowledge management and customer relationship management are paramount in strategic planning. Therefore these two processes are strategic moves in any organization.
Lehtinen, J.R. Aktivni CRM. Rizeni vztahu se zakazniky. Praha: Grada Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-80-247-2439-3.
Peelen, E. Customer relationship management. Pearson Education, 2005. ISBN 978-0-273-68177-9
Rigby, D. 2009. Management Tools 2009: An Executives Guide http://www.bain.com/management_tools/home.asp.
Stankosky, M. 2008. Keynote address to ICICKM (International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning), 9 10.
Wells, H. G. 1938. World brain. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Co.
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