e-Customer Relationship Management in the hotel sector: Guests' perceptions of perceived e-service quality levels

Abstract

The notion of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been shown to be a worthwhile strategy in many service industries. This coupled with Internet advances means that it is now possible and even beneficial to extend CRM practices on the Internet (eCRM) and integrate them with the offline CRM programme. eCRM has can boost guests' satisfaction and patronage in the hospitality industry, as Internet business models have empowered guests with a great amount of information which, in turn, makes them more price sensitive, less brand loyal and more sophisticated. However, although research has concentrated so far on CRM and eCRM implementation and its operational requirements, CRM implications from the customer perspective have been ignored. This paper aims to fill in this gap by examining the impact of eCRM on guests' perceptions of service quality on the Internet (e-service quality). It is advocated that eCRM enhances e-service quality by allowing guests to participate in service processes (e.g. service production, delivery, design) and so improving guests' cognitive and emotional evaluations of service quality performances. Research propositions were tested by applying Critical Incident Analysis and conducting in-depth interviews with nine international hotel guests using eCRM. In general, findings mainly stressed the need to integrate eCRM with off line hotel strategies and operations providing several guidelines for further development and improvement of eCRM hotel practices. Future directions of research are also proposed.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Sigala2007eCustomerRM, title={e-Customer Relationship Management in the hotel sector: Guests' perceptions of perceived e-service quality levels}, author={Marianna Sigala}, year={2007} }