Lim, Collin Lee Leng
Customer relationship management in Singapore's food court market. Myth or reality?
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Recent developments in the field of marketing research and the highly competitive nature of the business world have led to organizations to focus on using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a useful and important tool to enable such organizations to maximize corporate growth and garner significant profitability. However, the process of carrying out CRM is a two way process involving both the organizations implementing CRM to the targeted customers and the customersÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â� acceptance level to such relationship building. Evidence of such relationship building can be found distinctly in the banking and telecommunication industries.
However, there are several key doubts in the actual execution of an effective relationship building in most industries. Such doubts include questions such as to what extent are the do organizations that implement CRM really know what the consumers want and even if they do, how much of the CRM ideal is organizations really implementing in order to achieve the desired business objectives. These Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�unsolved mysteriesÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â� are evident not only on the global front but it is evident as clearly in SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s various industries. One of the most key questions that we need to ask ourselves is that how can these doubts be overcome. However, before we can answer such a question, we need to ask our selves whether there is effective CRM in practice in the first place.
One of the more intriguing industries in Singapore is the Food Service industry. Intriguing in the sense that Singapore has a highly unique food culture and a multi racial eating habit. Within SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s Food Service industry, there are several food markets functioning, with each market having its own unique feature and distinct characteristics. The up and coming market in SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s Food Service industry is the food court market. The food court market has been around since 1987 and has been experiencing major changes over the years as the birth of a new Generation Y lifestyle set in, in the late 1990s till now.
A significant level of attention has been paid to organizations implementing CRM where the focus is on what the organizations can do or have done to develop relationships with their customers by analyzing what the organization perceive as customersÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â� wants and needs. The food court operators in Singapore are no exception. However, it is just as important, if not more important to know what customers really want, what are the tools that can be used and how such tools should be used for the effective execution of CRM to achieve business viability and profitability.
In this dissertation, I am extremely curious to know for myself that with so much attention and hype being built up over the past ten years about the importance of implementing CRM as a significant business practice, is there CRM in practice in SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s food court market. If there is no CRM in practice in SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s food court market, I am just as curious to know why there is no CRM in practice. However, if there is CRM in practice, then I shall carry out my research further to find out how effective is CRM in practice being carried out. I will first establish the business model used by the major food court operators in Singapore to achieve their business objectives and identify what are these objectives. Next I will explore whether there is CRM in practice in SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s food court market. If there is CRM in practice, then I will further explore the effectiveness of such CRM in practice.
By seeking to find answers to the questions being asked in the paragraph above, I hope to be able to answer the question of my dissertation and that is whether relationship management in SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s food court market is a myth or is it a reality. The method of my research will be based largely on the conducting of structured interviews with three of the leading food court operators in Singapore. The three food court operators selected for the structured interviews are the biggest (in terms of the number of outlets that they operate) and the most successful (in terms of the financial turnover that they generate from the operation of their food courts). From the interviews conducted with the top management of these companies, I will be able to receive useful insights about their operations and more importantly their perception and their implementation of relation management.
I will also be looking into and using some of the key components of CRM established by academicians as a form of measurement against the answers given by the three major food court operators from the conducted interviews. The objective of exercising such a measurement is to identify the evidence of CRM in practice that is most crucial in finding out whether is it a myth or a reality that there is relationship marketing in SingaporeÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s food court market.
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