Different authors have been investigating the essence of impersonal communication, and most of them express similar views on the subject. For example, according to Wright (1986), interpersonal communication as “involving only a few people, often similar to one another in important respects, known to a communicator whose messages are addressed to them privately and are constructed and conveyed directly rather than through the complex formal organization of mass media” (Wright 1986: 10). Rogers and Schoemaker (1971: 252) regard interpersonal communication as a “face-to-face exchange between two or more individuals”.
As other researches mark, the impersonal communication involves relations between the sender and receiver. However, there can be situations when impersonal communication does not require face-to-face communication because messages can be received through all kinds of devices, for example Internet like in the case of launching a hotel’s website. The task of communicating with the help of website is very challenging, and all of the issues need to be addressed carefully. CRM technologies are particularly important for addressing in the development of the strategy of hotel websites.
The correct choice of technologies contributes to the success of the company as the relationship with customers gets stronger. “The objectives of the CRM process are to shape customers’ perceptions of the organization and its products through identifying customers, creating customer knowledge and building committed customer relationships. ” (Greco, Ragins 2003: 25). Strategies of companies in the hospitality industry are all consumer-oriented; therefore, it is very important to ensure the interaction with customers is developed on the highest level.
CRM can help in that greatly. Generally, CRM “is a business strategy that attempts to ensure every customer interaction (whether for sales or service) is appropriate, relevant, and consistent- regardless of the communication channel” (Khirallah 2000: 22). Interactions with customers of hotels can be efficiently optimized only through the use of CRM tools. “CRM is a core business strategy for managing and optimizing all customer interactions across an organization’s traditional and electronic interfaces” (Fournier 1998: 355).
Wise (1999) and Greco and Ragins (2003) mark that the communication with stakeholders of the hotels can be particularly effective through the well-established website. “An effective web site, for example, can help build relationships between an organization and its stakeholders” (Weiss 1999: 19). “Without a doubt, customers are the primary stakeholders of any organization. CRM can be used to gain clearer insight and more intimate understanding of customers’ buying behaviours, thus helping to build an effective competitive advantage. ” (Greco, Ragins 2003: 25).
Without the application of CRM technologies, many e-marketing strategies of hotels will be destined to fail in the market. Weiss (1999) argues that “CRM drives relationships and purchases (both online and off) and drives brand loyalty by fostering trust. ” (Weiss 1999: 19). Sowaiskie (18) suggests that “CRM is driven by three factors: 1) consumers empowered by information, technologies, choice, globalization and deregulation; 2) increased competition; and 3) the Internet and e-business, which facilitate the emergence of new distribution channels and enhance sales and marketing as well as service effectiveness and efficiency.
” (Sowalskie 2001: 24). Many companies in hospitality industry as well as in other industries have turned to this strategy. Creation and maintenance of successful relationship with customers is a very important task for organisations in hospitality sector at this point because competitors are offering many new services and companies with a large market share can lose some of their customers. CRM tools can protect market leaders from that.