School of Information Systems

Customer Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is very important  for organization. By using knowledge management, organization can maintain knowledge asset in the company. One of important asset for the company is the customers. If company can give best service for the customers, they will be happy and will spread the news to another customers. Maintain customers expectation is very important. We know about Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which is the way to manage the relationship with your customer. Today it’s used to describe IT systems and software designed to help you manage this relationship.

A primary goal of CRM is to learn more about its customer, which enables a company to understand the customers’ needs and hence deliver customized products and services. This learning process involves the use of knowledge, because we have to focus on what the customer wants to buy, not just what we want to sell. Knowledge management (KM) and CRM can provide enormous benefits when integrated into the company’s processes. When combining KM and CRM with each other, they constitute the management of customer knowledge. In fact, organizations capable of continuously creating new customer knowledge and effectively managing customer knowledge assets are the ones with competitive advantage over their rivals.

So, it’s very important to have Customer Knowledge Management (CKM). CKM is a strategic initiative employed by companies to acquire intelligence from their customers as it relates to their organization. CKM will capture, organize, share, transfer, and control knowledge related to customers for organizational benefits. If companies use CKM, it will affect organizational and behavioral changes based on knowledge obtained from their customers. Thess are the comparison among KM, CRM , and CKM :

Knowledge sought in Employee, team, company, network Customer Database Customer experience and creativity
Axioms ‘if only we know what we knew’ ‘retention is cheaper than acquisition’ ‘if we only knew what our customers know
Objectives Sharing knowledge about customers among employees Mining knowledge about the customer Gaining, sharing, and expanding knowledge of (inside) the customer

Individual or group experiences in applications, competitor behavior, possible future solutions, etc

Role of customer Passive, recipient of product Captive, tied to product by loyalty schemes Active, knowledge partner
Recipient of incentives Employee Customer Customer
Corporate role Lobbying knowledge boarding employees Captivate customers Emancipate customers
Business objectives Efficiency and speed gains, avoidance of re-inventing the wheel Customer base nurturing, maintaining customers Collaboration with customers, joint value creation

Source : Michael Gibbert, Marius Leibold, Gilbert Probst , 2002

References :

Fernekees (2011), p. 2; Jacobs (2011), p. 10; Pavicic et al. (2011), p. 206 in Sain and Wilde, 2014

Shieh (2011), p. 791 in Sain and Wilde, 2014

Marisa Karsen