This translates into a higher openness to western values and represents another step in the globalization process. The door is as such opened to more research endeavors focusing on the business dimension of the Middle East and its economic agents, but it could also imply the prospect for improved relations between the East and the West in the future.
Based on the analysis conducted, several recommendations are issued. They normally refer to actions which should be taken by the GIBCA Group Companies in order to ensure that their future relationship with the customer improves, and through this, that it registers increased revenues through customer satisfaction. In order to achieve these, the following ought to be considered:
Stage 1: throughout the duration of one month -- the purchase of high technology applications and their implementation within the organizational context; this includes more telephones, faxes, computers, printers and so on.
Stage 2: throughout the duration of one month: the creation and consolidation of a strong communications infrastructure with both customers as well as at the level of the internal environment; this includes elements such as the contraction of line and mobile telephone services, internet and others.
Stage 3: gradual, throughout the duration of three months -- the offering of employee training sessions during which the staff members are trained how to more effectively interact with the customers, how to collect customer data and how to transform customer data into business value.
Stage 4: gradual, throughout the duration of two years -- the development and enforcement of an organizational culture focused on complete customer satisfaction. In other words, this means that the focus on customer data collection and usage, as well as the broader scope of customer satisfaction, would not only be promoted at the level of the sales and marketing team, but throughout the entire organization. This stage is the most challenging one as it requires a massive change in the business model, beliefs and philosophies.
Stage 5: gradual: throughout the duration of two years. During this final stage, the companies' managerial team, as well as the group's executive team, would continually follow the implementation of the data collection and integration process and the development and implementation of more adequate customer strategies. Throughout this stage, the managerial team would ensure that the strategies implemented are able to retrieve the initially established goals. In case any mistakes or inconsistencies are observed, the leadership team would identify and implement solutions.
6. Reflective Journal
The completion of the research endeavor was made more difficult by the existence of several challenges. A first example in this sense is offered by the reticence of the staff members in answering the research questions. While the customers understood the scope of the interviews and questionnaires and freely decided to help in order to enhance the quality of the customer service, the employee became more defensive. They were initially unaware of the full dimension of the research and interpreted it as the beginning of organizational change. Additionally, they though that the research was ordered by the managers and that they (the employees) would be punished for their answers of limited customer data collection. A second example is offered by the massive difference in cultures, which in fact creates a barrier in the path of an effective research process.
In terms of the study contributions, these refer primarily to the two -- theoretical and practical -- mentioned beforehand. Yet, it is also important to state that at the end of the process, a conclusion is formed that the project has the ability to remove barriers between the Western and Eastern organizations, managers, employees, customers -- and people in the end -- as they all prove to be impacted by the same trends, and to implement strategies to attain similar goals.
Chapter Six -- Future Research Pointers
As most other studies, the current research project leaves some untied ends. Yet, this element does not constitute a weakness; it is rather a strength as it posses questions for future research endeavors. One such question is posed by the possibility of extrapolating the findings in the GIBCA Group Companies to all organizations in the Middle East. This question cannot be answered at this stage, but it requires additional research and identification of customer data collection and usage as well as Customer Relationship Management integration within several oriental organizations.
Other studies which could be conducted based on the elements discussed in the current project include:
The role of firm customers in the customer data collection and usage
The role of organizational staff members in the gathering and usage of customer data
The role of customers and/or employees in the development and implementation of Customer Relationship Management strategies
The existence, manifestation and role of other business elements within the GIBCA Group Companies or within other companies in the Middle East
The importance of cultural differences in research projects, and so on.
Relative to actual pointers to be used in future researches and enhance the quality of both the work as well as the results, these could include the following:
Higher degrees of interaction with the analyzed sample
The study of a large and relevant sample in order to increase the validity of the findings
The attraction of all sample members through the creation of a friendly, yet objective, research environment
The clear communication of the research objectives early on to all involved parties