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Marketing Orientation and the Implementation of CRM Systems in the Hotel Sector

Last modified: 2016-01-06


Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are considered vital for companies' performance in today's competitive market environment. In general, past research indicates that information technology increases organizational performance. However, it is still not well documented whether a marketing orientation to the implementation of CRM systems offers further benefits to the companies adopting such systems.

The present study examines the implementation of CRM systems in the Greek hotel market. A significant body of the literature suggests that the hotel industry can substantially gain from the adoption of information systems. Yet, little is known about the extent to which CRM systems are used in the hotel industry; and most importantly whether hotels adopt a marketing approach to their implementation. In particular, the present study examines: a. the extent to which CRM systems are adopted by hotels, b. managers' orientation towards a customer-centric philosophy and their attitudes and policies towards customers' satisfaction and complaints, and c. the implementation of brand loyalty strategies.

The present paper analyses and presents the findings of an exploratory study, conducted in the area of Thessaloniki, Greece. Our main findings indicate that although hotel managers overall embrace a CRM philosophy, only a relative small percentage of them have installed a type of CRM software. When such a system exists, the majority of the hotels keep customer-related data. In the absence of a CRM system, only a minority of the hotels recorded customer-related data in a non-electronic form. It is encouraging, however, that half of the hotels employ moderate to very intensive brand loyalty strategies