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Technologies to Support Customer-Centricity

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Critique the following article with a brief introduction and overview of the article.
Describe how the article either supports or disproves material.
State your point of view.
Summarize your thoughts and offer suggestions in support of your opinion.

The Article:

Technologies to Support Customer-Centricity

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, while satisfying a considerable
need to better understand the customer, fall short of enabling this more acute form of
customer-centricity. CRM systems are unprecedented in their ability to capture operational
customer information and enable companies to manage and use that information
across a range of customer touch points. Yet they capture the information
predominantly in ways defined by the organization (and the CRM system's data structures),
rather than by the customer. Consequently, customer insights and information
sharing are rarely captured in CRM systems [6].

Technologies to support customer-centricity that complement CRM functionalities
and enable customers to cocreate have recently gained popularity. These technologies,
when sponsored by the organization, enable customers to quickly, easily, and
securely share their ideas with other members of the community, giving customers a
relatively free and flexible medium for sharing, while allowing some control and
management of the interaction by the sponsoring organization. The three technologies
receiving the most recent attention as a medium for such customer engagement
are discussion forums, weblogs, and wikis [2]. Common among these technologies is
that they are "lightweight" [7] because they do not require the extensive technology
and support infrastructure that other applications such as enterprise software demand.
Consequently, implementation is often observed by user departments at the "grassroots"
level. The language of interaction is simple, necessitating little or no "programming"
(due to the use of simple codes or a word processor-like editor, instead of HTML).
New content is visible immediately after its posting.

Despite the similarities, there are differences between the three technologies. Weblogs
promote a model of first-person storytelling and commenting, whereas forums engage
customers in a process of question-and-answer (discussion). In both weblogs
and forums, the content is organized chronologically rather than by topic. The wiki
way, on the other hand, is intended as a medium for collaborative, topical writing and
editing. Customers or organizational representatives can post an idea whereupon others,
without special authorization, can modify the text to reflect their own thinking.
Over time, with multiple edits, the resulting idea may be of higher quality because it
has been exposed to reactions of both customers and organization insiders.

At the most essential level, wiki design and use are founded on a set of 11 principles
[24] that jointly define a vision, process, and structure for free and open idea exchange
(see the Appendix). These principles, when followed, are intended to lead to ENABLING
contributions, as well as serendipitous knowledge exchange.

For example, one user may ask a question and in so doing create a hyperlink to an as
yet undefined term while another user?unaware of the question?may inadvertently
answer the question by independently defining the term. As such, wikis enable idea
exchange in surprising and collaboration-promoting ways, described by some as the
"wiki magic."1 Furthermore, unlike forums or weblogs, where new content is appended
to the old, wikis let new information update and overwrite the old while preserving
previous versions in a temporal database, together with a record of the change
history. In a wiki context, then, customer engagement may be encouraged by customers
and organizational representatives contributing knowledge to the wiki, both by
posting linked wiki pages and by coediting wiki pages created by others.

While wikis may foster customer engagement, they may also create new problems
for the organization. The open engagement of customers in a coediting process makes
the organization vulnerable to Web site defacing, destruction of intellectual property,
and general chaos. Ideally then, customer-centricity involves not simply higher levels
of customer engagement, but higher levels of "constructive" customer engagement.
Therefore, our research question is: How do organizations use wiki technology and
the wiki way to facilitate higher levels of constructive customer engagement? Our
intent was to develop a theoretical model describing factors leading to constructive
customer engagement when using wikis.

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The solution is a critique that will discuss the Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

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Technologies to Support Customer Centricity Critique


This critique will discuss the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that are in place today. The article touches on discussion forums, weblogs, and wikis and how these forms are considered "lightweights" as minimal research is done to back the claims or statements.

The article outlines today's technology and how information is at society's fingertips. Many venues areas are available for research and the article discusses what is right and what is wrong ...

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  • Master of Business Administration, University of Phoenix
  • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies, Kaplan College
  • Business Diploma, Katharine Gibbs Business College for Women
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