Title page for ETD etd-10172005-135604


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Van Eeden, Tertia Sophia
URN etd-10172005-135604
Document Title The use of Internet-based communication in support of long-term customer relationships in a period of corporate change
Degree DPhil (Information Science)
Department Information Science
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof J C Cronje Committee Chair
Keywords
  • Internet communication
  • Internet marketing
  • Internet customer services
Date 2002-09-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The research addressed the factors contributing to the success or failure of an Internet-based communication web site in assisting business-to-business companies to create, establish and/or enhance sustainable customer relationships.

To achieve the outcome, a web site was designed, developed, delivered and evaluated to assist a business-to-business company to create, establish and enhance a sustainable corporate image as perceived by their primary clients.

The design, development and evaluation of the web site consisted of the following sub-processes:

 A review of relevant literature: firstly to reflect upon communication through the wired world, and secondly to determine how the information revolution influences the way people think, work and live.

 A survey of the literature dealing specifically with new strategic marketing perspectives, in order to identify the demands placed on a company's business strategy by the new strategic marketing perspectives, and to determine what these strategies are.

 A survey of the literature dealing with information design and the web usability of Internet-¬based programmes with a view to designing and developing a web site for a business-to¬ business company which complied with various design specifications that influence the effectiveness and accessibility thereof.

 Finally, designing and evaluating the web site to identify potential usability problems. The three evaluation methods used were paper prototyping, machine prototyping and usability testing. The rationale being to identify major usability problems and to obtain measure from intended users and a usability expert on the effectiveness, efficiency and user-interface satisfaction of the web site.

The web site was used as basis for compiling a survey questionnaire to test the degree to which respondents strongly agreed or disagreed with statements on the following features of the web site:

 Communication

 Relationship building

 Customer service

 Design

 Usability

The questionnaire also covered aspects on computer and Internet usage experience, access and literacy of the respondents. The survey questionnaire was sent to the target population of primary clients of the participating company, the group of intended end users.

The empirical results obtained indicated that employing good information architecture that is based on customers' needs, as well as the iterative development of a web site could assist a business-to-business company to create, establish and enhance a sustainable corporate image as perceived by their primary clients.

© 2002, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Van Eeden, TS 2002, The use of Internet-based communication in support of long-term customer relationships in a period of corporate change, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10172005-135604/ >

H689/ag

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