Organizational knowledge is enhanced through effective use of the information collected. Knowledge management hence rests on two foundations - utilizing and exploiting the organization’s information and application of people’s skills, talents, thoughts, and imagination (Broadbent, 1998). Human expertise is utilized for business advantage. Customer relationship management (CRM) focuses on the needs of the customer and integrates technologies and business processes (Bose, 2002). The process is the same as KM where knowledge about the customers is captured, analyzed and utilized to enhance the product or services to the customer. CRM thus revolves around marketing and deep analysis of customer behaviour. The knowledge acquired about the customer can be a powerful tool in not only acquiring new customers but even for the retention of the existing customers. It can help segment the customers based on their lifestyle and purchasing habits (McKim & Hughes, 2001). Thus, KM enhances customer relationship and hence to serve the customers better, knowledge of the customers is vital. Therefore, an integration of Km and CRM has led to the development of the customer knowledge management (CKM) model (Gebert, Geib, Kolbe & Brenner, 2003).
1b. ICT is very vital for the successful implementation of CRM. ICT ca help extract huge amount of information on the customer and it enables measuring the relationship value at each stage of the relationship. For effective implementation, there must be a customer database, a communication channel and an application of relationship management (Park & Kim, 2003). This can convert one-time buyers into loyal customers. In the digital economy, ICT has changed the way businesses function. There is increased transparency of information even though this has also led to new competitors and new products in every field of business (Koerner & Zimmermann, 2000). With the help of ICT, new industry structure and business models