Essays On Customer Relationship Management In Social Networks
The past decade has witnessed an explosive growth of social media. It has never been so easy for customers to connect and interact with each other within various forms of social networks. This trend provides companies with unprecedented opportunities to enhance firm-customer relationships by leveraging the power of social influence among customers. However, it also poses potential risks when negative word-of-mouth gets viral on customer networks. The traditional customer relationship management (CRM) research treats customers independently, which might no longer apply to today's networked customers. Therefore, this dissertation investigates approaches to embed social network analysis components into customer relationship management techniques, thus finding a way to harness the power of social influence to improve the efficiency of companies' CRM efforts. Essay 1 of this dissertation studies the "group-to-one" social influence of strong and weak ties within a social network, with a framework of a social interaction model, a social influence model, and a tie strength measure. It is found that the social influence mechanism through strong and weak ties is complex. Sharing and reciprocity play an important role in the way social influence affects customers' purchasing behaviors. It is also found that, as a whole, weak ties are more influential than strong ties. Essay 2 attempts to model customers' defection decisions within a social network. By jointly estimating a dyadic level tie strength model and an individual level defection decision model, it is found that customers who actively interact with others tend to have strong ties with them. Also, customers with strong ties tend to have stronger influence on other customers' defections than customers with weak ties. In this essay, a new approach to measure customers' social network value is also proposed. Essay 3 discusses the promising research opportunities in integrating social network analysis (SNA) components into customer relationship management (CRM). It briefly reviews the four critical aspects of CRM: acquisition, retention, growth, and firm-customer relationship dynamics. Within each aspect the discussion focuses on the possible impact of social network components on CRM models, and how to combine CRM and SNA in modeling efforts.
Customer Relationship Management; Social Network Analysis; Marketing Modeling
Rao, Vithala R.
Wells, Martin Timothy; Narayan, Vishal
Ph. D., Management
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis