Exploratory study of Social CRM use in SMEs

Marjeta Marolt, Hans-Dieter Zimmermann, Andreja Pucihar


Social customer relationship management (social CRM) can enhance performance of the enterprise through effective communication with customers and management of customer information. Whilst several studies have examined social CRM use from perspective of large enterprises, relatively few have examined its use by micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which due to unique characteristics differ from large enterprises. The main objective of this paper is to provide a practical perspective on social CRM use in SMEs. This study applies a qualitative research approach by conducting six semi-structured interviews. To determine the antecedents of the intensity of social CRM, the dimensions of the intensity of social CRM use, as well as its impact on customer relationship performance, a content analysis has been utilized. The findings reveal that social CRM use is complex; therefore, we propose a two-dimensional conceptualization of the intensity of social CRM use. Furthermore, this study identifies antecedents, which appears to influence the intensity of social CRM use, including relative advantages, compatibility, top management support, organizational culture, technology readiness and external pressure. This study also implies that more intensive use of social CRM appears to improve customer relationship performance. Considering the findings, the recommendations for future research are provided.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ee.29.4.20246

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Print ISSN: 1392-2785
Online ISSN: 2029-5839