Evaluating the effectiveness of customer relationship management applications on customer satisfaction: a case study of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

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Mukutu, Ireen
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The University of Zambia
In marketing terms, it is commonly said that ‘Customer is King’ as firms exist because they have customers to serve. However, the key to achieving sustainable competitive advantage lies in delivering high quality service which ultimately results in having satisfied customers leading to repeated sales. Implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs is one of the answers in satisfying customers who are key stakeholders in businesses. Many Public Service Broadcasters world over have adopted modern applications of CRM as a way of responding to intense competition, but the country’s Service Broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation. (ZNBC) has remained stuck with the old version dubbed ‘Collaborative CRM or manual system.’ The failure to embrace this new application is one of the factors contributing to challenges facing the broadcaster as marketing and sales processes are still on manual mode, resulting in inefficiencies in serving customers and some of them drifting away to competitors in the industry. In this competitive market, modern marketing has re-focused their strategy from product oriented to customer centric thus investing in modern CRM programs in order to enable firms to acquire, serve, build and keep a good relationship with their customers in a click of a button. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of CRM applications on customer satisfaction. The Research design was by a case study using two approaches: descriptive sample survey and explanatory which was predominately quantitative in nature and data was collected using a structured questionnaire and an interview guide administered to the selected research participants. The study was conducted in Lusaka targeting ZNBC hundred (100) advertisers and three (3) Marketing and Sales Executives. Secondary data was collected from sales reports and other relevant documents, books, articles related to the study to provide information about the past sales performance and previous studies respectively. The study revealed that there is a strong and positive relationship between customer relationship management and customer satisfaction. A simple linear regression results leading to this conclusion was based on examining some of the explanatory variables namely: product/service usage, length of doing business and rate at which advertisers placed their advertisements on ZNBC Radio and TV platforms with the dependent variable—Customer satisfaction. In addition, the study revealed that the conduct of sales persons, complaints handling arising from customers and quality of service significantly influence the level of customer satisfaction. Input to output ratio on explanatory variables was high enough with responsiveness and reliability having the highest mean value and credibility scoring the lowest. The correlation test results were based on quality of service factors in relation to CRM compared with customer satisfaction scores with all the variables showing positive relationship. Sales performance over a period of five years was also evaluated and the results showed a decline trend year in year out with a significantly deeper decline in 2019 sales. The causes were not known, however an interview with the Sales Manager revealed that the Corporation was faced with intense competition coming from increased number of mushrooming media houses and high media fragmentation. He further admitted that the use of manual systems in their sales activities and lack of modern CRM application was also a drawback. Building on the findings of this study, recommendations are therefore made to ZNBC to quickly acquire and implement a CRM solution, learning from the case of South Africa’s Public Service Broadcaster—SABC as indicated in literature review. Future studies could focus on assessing the readiness to implement CRM Applications and also to establish why most firms particularly in Southern Africa are failing to make use of technologically advanced CRM solutions
Customer relations--Management. , Motivation research (Marketing).