Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a better understanding of how the internet is used as a strategic tool in electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM) in the football sector. In particular, the research questions this paper addresses are: How can the online environment be described? How are the customers served in this online environment? The first research question provides an overview of the online environment and the second research question describes the services offered in this online environment. Design/methodology/approach – The qualitative research is the appropriate approach, in order to collect the required data, as the particular research characterizes a complete and comprehensive view and understanding of a phenomenon in its entity. The research is based on the use of double case study approach combining two data collection methods, participant observation and documentation. This particular research adopts the approach of participant observation and documentation. Primary data are collected through an observation checklist, with the help of browse target web sites related to the study. In order to get additional information about the clubs' specific data, the paper used e-mails. Secondary data were collected through documents from different sources to verify the collected data. In documentation are used official publications, newspapers, journals, and brochures. Findings – The study indicates that the design of a web site needs to be viewed primarily as a business task, which is consistent with previous research, not a technical task. The web site design needs to be appropriate to the needs of the club and should focus supporting business goals. Managers need to increase web site self-problem solving functions. It helps to decrease customer's interactivity with company's representatives. The contents match with the theory mostly. They are match efficient in providing online services but they still need to provide complete shipping information. This study contributes to previous theory since it has investigated the use of the internet in customer relationship management (CRM). However, due to the lack of research concerning the e-CRM in the football sector this study needs further consideration by collecting data through interviews with CRM managers and fans. Finally, the same study can be conducted on a larger sample of web sites. Originality/value – CRM and internet as strategic tools in the football sector is a new research area and not covered adequately in recent and past publications in recognized international journals.
- Customer relations
- Customer service management