Developing customer relationship management (CRM) processes using standard frameworks and MCDM techniques

Developing customer relationship management (CRM) processes using standard frameworks and MCDM techniques

Table of Contents


Organizations have found that a functional approach to business destroys flexibility and agility by gaining experience over time. The main weakness of Task-based organizations is that they can hardly act flexibly and adapt themselves to the changing environment. In today’s’ dynamic and competitive business world, organizations focus significantly on managing and improving their business processes. Therefore, nowadays to be survived and successful, certainly, the process approach must be followed. In addition, organizations having such improvement and innovations are looking to create organizational wealth. In this regard, the present study is trying to identify and describe processes from reputable reference models in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and more importantly to design and streamline Customer Relationship Management (CRM) processes effectively for organizations in order to improve processes and offer value to customers. In this paper, first, by identifying and explaining CRM reference models, three models were selected based on five criteria (flexibility, Understandability, comprehensiveness, Completeness, and Usability) using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique which are relative as follow: SAP, CCOR & PCF. Then, the processes of the three models were extracted and gathered in a comprehensive list to offer a united framework to design Customer Relationship Management (CRM) processes. Finally, a case study will show the applicability of the proposed model. With this paper, we enrich research by a valuable process framework for developing well-designed reference models.


CRM Reference Models; Process design; AHP; QFD


Nowadays, business process management has been widely adopted to improve efficiency, reduce the cost, and raise the quality. Along with time, plenty of business process models have been accumulated and become important intellectual assets that represent the business handling procedures of the organizations (Gao et al, 2017). In fact, process modeling is an indispensable task in the discipline of Business Process Management (Avila, 2018).In another words, globalization, customer orientation of companies, knowledge management and also rapid changes and development, and modern information systems have provided much complexity and functionality (Calpic and Bernus, 2002).

Many scholars hold the view that previous models usually are blueprints of recommended practice and, thus, are sources of reusable and efficient business processes on organizations that can model their own business. Their main purpose is to streamline the design of enterprise models and enable organizations to apply ‘Best Practice’ knowledge. Whereas, they do not fully explain how to identify and design organizational processes, and difficulties arise when an attempt is made to implement a CRM project in a company using reference models. Since low-quality reference models can be damaging for the organization, a considerable number of works focus on guiding the development process to achieve a better RM quality (Oufkir et al, 2017; Andreas and Frank, 2016; Matook and Indulska, 2009; Thomas, 2006). Whereas, modelers do not have the teaching or the experience necessities to create process models of high quality (Avila, 2018). In general terms, this means a necessity to identify reference models to develop process modeling. The present research focuses on designing a conceptual framework of processes based on CRM reference models using AHP and QFD techniques.

In this paper, we established two research questions:

RQ1 What are general and CRM reference models in the literature to develop a valuable process framework?

RQ2 How can organizations choose their business processes from the reference model using a systematic procedure and based on their strategic objectives?

To solve RQ1, a review of the literature about reference models and process modeling is necessary and for RQ2, our case study is performed based on our proposed process framework. Moreover, this paper has two main objectives: Objective 1: Identify and describe CRM reference models in order to develop a comprehensive process framework. Objective 2: Providing CRM processes to organizations based on their strategic objectives. None of the previous objectives has been explored in detail in the past, making this research a significant contribution to understanding the overall context of the area and promoting the process reference models. This research can best be treated under six sections. At first, it gives a brief overview of the recent history. Then in the second section, some factors to assess model quality are distinguished and six reference models are selected. Following this, in section 3 the models are prioritized by the AHP technique and the processes of the first three top-rated models are extracted and gathered in a united framework. To perform the proposed framework in a case study, the CRM objectives are studied (Section 4). Once they are identified, the strategic objectives of a manufacturing company named “Pand Caspian Company” are determined and section 5 is prioritized by AHP technique. Here, according to the rated objectives of the company, its processes from the proposed framework are prioritized using the QFD technique. Ultimately, section 6 covers the discussion.

Limitations and further research

Our research has some limitations which inspire us for future work. On the side of our systematic review, we are unable to guarantee the exhaustiveness of our search, as this is impossible (Brocke et al., 2015). Despite a lot of reference models being introduced in previous studies, most couldn’t be used practically used due to close source, and also we didn’t have access to the content of some practical models. Therefore, we were forced to consider some criteria to choose the reference models such as access to the model, being practical, and updating of the model. Another limitation of our search is that gaining more information needs much time and budget. In future work, it’s important to investigate other reference models to develop a better framework. The research would have been more relevant if a wider range of reference models had been explored. Since there is no Iranian CRM software in Iran and few companies buy their software very extensively from outside, therefore it would be a great idea to localize such software by further practical research. In addition, the authors would like to suggest that companies can use the procedure in identifying and designing their processes. Finally, this study would have been more useful if the process framework was applied in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software. So, a more comprehensive study would include a CRM process framework customizing CRM software, especially for Iranian companies.

About KSRA

The Kavian Scientific Research Association (KSRA) is a non-profit research organization to provide research / educational services in December 2013. The members of the community had formed a virtual group on the Viber social network. The core of the Kavian Scientific Association was formed with these members as founders. These individuals, led by Professor Siavosh Kaviani, decided to launch a scientific / research association with an emphasis on education.

KSRA research association, as a non-profit research firm, is committed to providing research services in the field of knowledge. The main beneficiaries of this association are public or private knowledge-based companies, students, researchers, researchers, professors, universities, and industrial and semi-industrial centers around the world.

Our main services Based on Education for all Spectrum people in the world. We want to make an integration between researches and educations. We believe education is the main right of Human beings. So our services should be concentrated on inclusive education.

The KSRA team partners with local under-served communities around the world to improve the access to and quality of knowledge based on education, amplify and augment learning programs where they exist, and create new opportunities for e-learning where traditional education systems are lacking or non-existent.

FULL Paper PDF file:

Developing customer relationship management (CRM) processes using standard frameworks and MCDM techniques



Saeid Emamgholizadeh 1,*, Ahmad Jafarzadeh Afshari1 , Maryam Shabani Bahmand1




Developing customer relationship management (CRM) processes using standard frameworks and MCDM techniques

Publish in

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management Studies



PDF reference and original file: Click here


Website | + posts

Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

Website | + posts

Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

+ posts

Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.