The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of personal interaction in customer relationship management in the project business. The research question addressed is: How is personal interaction intertwined with the management of customer relationships in the project business?
The authors connect an extensive knowledge of personal interactions in industrial business relationships with research on social interaction in the project business to enrich their understanding of customer relationship management in that business. Exploratory case study is used to empirically examine two firms providing project business solutions: one provides highly-tailored technological solutions to the process industry, and the other provides professional engineering services to that same industry.
The study reveals two specific functions that connect personal interaction with customer relationship management. These two functions explain the importance of personal interaction and disclose the contents of interaction that should be considered in relationship and project management. Furthermore, the authors illustrate how two situational factors influence and are influenced by personal interaction.
The study suggests specific conceptualization of personal interaction as a part of project business management.
Received 17 February 2011Revised 22 August 2011Accepted 3 November 2012The financial support of Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation is gratefully acknowledged. The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments and the organizations for their invaluable collaboration. The authors have contributed equally to the paper.
Mainela, T. and Ulkuniemi, P. (2013), "Personal interaction and customer relationship management in project business", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 103-110. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858621311295245Download as .RIS
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