eCRM increasingly supports all agents and customers in their mutual contacts. To generate returns on eCRM investments, providers use loyalty as a profit driver. However, little is known about the ‘service elements’ that can be used to improve customer loyalty. Especially for ICT (Information- and Communication Technology) service providers, loyalty is an important business metric. Moreover, the sector is characterised by specific service challenges (delivery and installation, billing, problem resolution). The main research question of this paper is: which service elements may help improve the loyalty of customers of ICT-providers, as part of a centralized eCRM approach? A survey (n=401) was conducted among Dutch consumers, evaluating 54 service elements. It was found that (1) some service elements which are regularly used (including loyalty points and customer communities) are not viewed by customers as loyalty-enhancing elements, (2) several SERVQUAL-related items are considered to be conditional in nature meeting minimal requirements and (3) the main service elements that help build loyalty are those that are offer recognizable benefits to customers (i.e. proactively recommending a cheaper option, or taking problems completely out of a customer’s hands) rather than those that favor providers (i.e. rewards for bringing in other customers). We found that customer preferences vary according to their attitudes towards ICT and churn. The results indicate that consumers can be divided into four loyalty types (‘hoppers’, ‘careful scanners’, ‘comfort loyalists’ and ‘risk averse loyalists’), which can be identified using three questions. The use of these loyalty types can help make eCRM interactions and management more effective.
Simons, Luuk P.A.; Loon, Joleen van; de Koning, Nicole M.; Kruse, Janneke; and Bouwman, Harry, "Increasing the Loyalty Effects of eCRM Across the Service Delivery Cycle" (2009). BLED 2009 Proceedings. 1.