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Managing customer knowledge

M. Phil. (Information Management) / Customer relationship management has been exposed as a strategic failure, unveiling only customer dissatisfaction. A new method for managing customers is consequently required. The effect of the knowledge economy has brought about a change in global orientation, in the focus on customer wants and needs to increase satisfaction. There was then a shift in focus from information to knowledge. In such an economy, the customer knowledge management strategy, as a combination of information and knowledge management techniques, is one best suited to allow organisations to manage their customer knowledge effectively. The purpose of this study was thus on determining whether South African organisations manage customer knowledge within their organisations. A literature review was conducted to determine the reason for the failure of customer relationship management practices, and define customer knowledge management in the context of the knowledge economy. Traditional and electronic sources from which customer knowledge could be collected were identified and measured according to their advantages and disadvantages. Customer knowledge management techniques were discussed, along with the strategic requirements for the system’s success. These specifics were measured within South Africa’s developing economy. Knowledge practitioners in South Africa participated in a quantitative online questionnaire, administered on LinkedIn. Aspects such as education, years of exposure to knowledge management, information and communication technologies, social networking and customer knowledge applications and practices, were examined. The results revealed electronic knowledge-sharing practices in organisations, despite the lack of supportive forces. In conclusion, the collections of customer knowledge are being applied, but not yet formally managed in organisations. A second conclusion is that knowledge practitioners have limited understanding of the customer knowledge management concept, pressed upon by hindrances in external social factors. Taking this into consideration, recommendations are made to strategise the applications of customer knowledge in a number of industries further.
Date18 July 2013
CreatorsMulumba, Caroline Grace Nakkungu
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsUniversity of Johannesburg

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