Customer Relationship Management


Customer & Company Interface

The position of customers is increasingly strengthened by digitalization. Digitalization not only provides customers with better information, it also makes them more confident and enables them to network on a large scale – among themselves and with companies. New digital technologies influence their information basis, decisions and actual purchases and thus bring about changes in behavior. Optimizing the growing number of interfaces to the customer is becoming increasingly difficult for companies and depends heavily on the stage of digital development companies are currently in. Our research shows that digitalization strongly influences established customer relationships and customer processes. Therefore, it is more important than ever to focus on and research the wishes, needs and behavior of customers.
Our expertise team in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is dedicated to a comprehensive examination of the interfaces between companies and their customers in five research areas. In these areas we drive research forward, publish scientific and practical contributions, offer opportunities to teach and learn, and support external partners in developing and implementing solutions to their individual challenges.

Data & Privacy

Not only social media, but also the advancing digitalization in general enables companies more and more to store and evaluate the increasing amount of available customer data in order to gain competitive advantages. A major challenge for companies is to ensure an appropriate level of data integration and data quality in spite of vast amounts of data. Customers are also aware of the possibilities offered by digitization, sensitive to data protection and decide on the release of their data according to individual calculations. The research focus on Data & Privacy is on the one hand on the measurement and economically reasonable improvement of customer data quality as important success factors for companies. On the other hand, approaches are being pursued to make the customer’s privacy calculation more transparent, for example by investigating the effects of data protection measures on customer satisfaction. You can find more detailed information on this topic in our data protection brochure. Exciting thematic interfaces arise with our expertise team in IT Security & Data Privacy, which illuminates the topic from a more company-focused perspective.

Interaction & Integration

The research area Interaction & Integration analyzes developments and changes in the relationship between companies and their customers in digital and electronic markets. Research projects in this area are devoted to new possibilities of customer interaction in multi- or omni-channel environments, the integration of customers into business processes, and the integration of companies into customer processes. The aim is to design such processes more efficiently along the value chain while at the same time increasing customer satisfaction. In addition, the effects of technological developments such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Internet of Things (IoT) on the interaction between companies and customers will be investigated.

Social CRM

Social media form a special environment for customer interaction and integration. Social networks create many different combinations and extensions of the basic communication channels: from the company to the customer, from the customer to the company and between customers. The research field of social media is addressed within the Social CRM research area. Previous research contributions in this area not only analyze the new communication flows that have emerged in this environment, but also question in particular the relationship between companies and customers within social networks. They decipher present phenomena and deal with the position and role of individual customer types. Constant new developments and phenomena such as echo chambers and the handling of fake news within social media ensure that the research focus Social CRM is always in line with the current state of research and continuously expands it.

Ethics & Sustainability

A key factor influencing customer satisfaction is value-oriented, sustainable corporate management that pursues social and ecological goals in addition to economic goals. For some time now, the topics of sustainability and corporate responsibility have been receiving a great deal of attention in science and practice. The increasing demand from customers for more sustainability is the source of many research ideas and questions in practice. These are grouped together in the research area Ethics & Sustainability, which focuses on the integration of sustainability in CRM. In addition, the research projects examine the effects of ethical considerations and convictions on customer decisions as well as ethical aspects of automated, algorithmic decisions.

Customer Experience

With regard to customer experience, there are numerous factors influencing customer satisfaction and behavior that are examined within this research area. The decisive factors and their effects can be very different. For example, while cultural differences can influence the perceived quality of a service and consequently customer satisfaction, the increasing digitalization of information and offers leads to a changed shopping behavior and the so-called “hybrid” customer, who shows different behavior in different situations. Furthermore, some of our research projects deal with the fact that customers do not always behave rationally. They are often subject to a strong emotional influence that guides their decisions. The questions within this research focus are primarily addressed by means of empirical research approaches. The aim is to examine and analyze the entire customer journey and to better understand new areas such as Proactive Services and IoT Commerce.


Our activities

The Research Center FIM deals with relevant real-world problems both in publicly funded research projects and in applied research projects with partners in industry. Together with our partners, we develop unique and novel solutions based on our insights into the current state of research, our practical experience and the interdisciplinary and enthusiastic nature of our team. Selected projects are:

  • RAPS GmbH & Co. KG:
    Design and development of digital services for the butchery trade
  • Airport Munich:
    – Shadowing study for a better understanding of passenger behavior
    – Economic evaluation of the customer experience
    – Support for a tender for primary surveys to evaluate passenger-related services and passenger structures
    – Development of an integrative quality management concept
  • MAI ILQ (2018 – 2021):
    Inline production and quality control during cutting and milling of metallic and CFRP production applications
    Project’s objective: Data analytics and IoT-based value enhancement in metal-cutting processing by means of cross-company, sovereign data exchange without violation of know-how as a basis for AI-based Industry 4.0 production processes and inline quality control.
  • Stadtquartier 2050 (2018 – 2023):
    Future-oriented redesign of two urban districts in Stuttgart and Überlingen (funded by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF))
  • ODH@Bochum-Weitmar (2019 – 2022):
    Open District Hub e.V. (ODH), Project in the urban residential quarter Bochum Weitmar (funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy)
    Project’s objective: Development of an energy-efficient residential quarter using locally generated renewable energy and intelligent systems


The following studies, whitepapers and books were developed on the basis of research work and in cooperation with partners in industry:

Data privacy: Necessary bureaucracy or competitive advantage in dealing with digital customer data?

Scientific publications

In this area of expertise, we have published the following research papers in academic journals and at international conferences:

Consumer Motives for Peer-to-Peer Sharing
in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 2018
Hawlitschek, Florian
Teubner, Timm
Gimpel, Henner
Understanding FinTech Start-Ups : A Taxonomy of Consumer-Oriented Service Offerings
in: Electronic Markets, 2018
Gimpel, Henner
Rau, Daniel
Röglinger, Maximilian
Der unbekannte Kunde : Potenziale der Integration von Kundendaten
in: HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 2018
Gimpel, Henner
Schmied, Fabian
Stöber, Anna-Luisa
The Disclosure of Private Data : Measuring the Privacy Paradox in Digital Services
in: Electronic Markets, 2018
Gimpel, Henner
Kleindienst, Dominikus
Waldmann, Daniela
Daten monetarisieren
in: Neugebauer, Reimund: Digitalisierung : Schlüsseltechnologien für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Springer Vieweg, Berlin, 2018
Gimpel, Henner
The Upside of Data Privacy – Delighting Customers by Implementing Data Privacy Measures
in: Electronic Markets, 2018
Gimpel, Henner
Kleindienst, Dominikus
Nüske, Niclas
Rau, Daniel
Schmied, Fabian
Between Death and Life : A Formal Decision Model to Decide on Customer Recovery Investments
in: Electronic Markets, 2018
Kleindienst, Dominikus
Waldmann, Daniela
Customer Experience Management : Kontinuierlicher Kreislauf
in: BankInformation, 2017
Gimpel, Henner
Customer Experience Versus Process Efficiency : Towards an Analytical Framework About Ambidextrous BPM
presented at: 37th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Dublin, Ireland, 2016
Afflerbach, Patrick
Frank, Leonhard
Customer Satisfaction in Digital Service Encounters : The Role of Media Richness, Social Presence, and Cultural Distance
presented at: 24th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Istanbul, Turkey, 2016
Gimpel, Henner
Huber, Johannes
Sarikaya, Serkan

In addition to its project activities, the FIM Core Competence Centre is committed to promoting the exchange of knowledge with colleagues from research and practice. Selected activities are:

  • The value of data in businessm research and society/Frankfurt/efl Spring Conference (2020): Lecture on a techno-economic perspective on the confidential handling of data
  • European Conference on Data Analysis (ECDA 2019), Bayreuth: Involvement in the programme committee
  • DigIT Banken & AI, Wiesbaden, 2018: Scientific chair and moderation
  • 26th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2018), Portsmouth, UK: Engagement in the Tracks „Social Media in Business and Society“ and „Financial Technology (FinTech), Blockchain and the Internet of Value“
  • 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2017), Guimarães, Portugal: Engagement in the Tracks „Service Innovation, Engineering and Management“, „Social Media in Business and Society“ and „Financial Technology (FinTech) and the Digitization of Financial Services“
  • DigIT Finance Digital Disruption & Transformation for Banks & Insurance, Frankfurt am Main, 2017: Scientific chair and moderation
  • Double-Conference Digitale Transformation & Digitale Customer experience, Berlin, September 2016: Scientific chair and moderation
  • 24th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2016), Istanbul, Turkey: Engagement in the Tracks „Service Innovation, Engineering, and Management“ and „Social Media in Business and Society“
  • DigIT Finance Digital Disruption & Transformation for Banks & Insurance, Wiesbaden, 2016: Scientific chair and moderation

University of Augsburg

  • Customer Relationship Management (Lecture, Bachelor)
  • Customer Relationship Management (Seminar, Bachelor and Master)
  • Case study seminar “The website as a strategic tool for SMEs“ (Seminar, Bachelor)
  • Sustainable Management (Lecture, Master)
  • Supplementary program Digital Leadership Academy (Bachelor and Master)

Further information can be found on the page Teaching.

University of Bayreuth

  • Customer Relationship Management (Lecture, Bachelor)
  • Customer Relationship Management (Seminar, Bachelor and Master)
  • Case study seminar “The website as a strategic tool for SMEs“ (Seminar, Bachelor)
  • Sustainable Management (Lecture, Master)
  • Supplementary program Digital Leadership Academy (Bachelor and Master)

You can find further information here.

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Henner Gimpel

Professorship for Industrial Engineering and Management

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Röglinger

Professorship for Business Informatics and Value-Oriented Process Management

Dr. Valerie Graf-Drasch