How the Book Is Organized - Customer Relationship Management

I’ve tried to be rational about how this book is organized, but I have to say, this is one daunting subject.CRM is much more complex than it used to be, which I’m sure thrills you all, given that it never was terribly simple.The model for enterprise-customer relationships has been turned on its head to a large degree, which means there are new ways that businesses need to act and new ways that customers are demanding to interact.

I’ve organized the book accordingly.There are five parts in this book, each of which has several chapters.Most of the book is the printed edition you have in your hands, but there are several digital chapters available at

Part I:The Era of the Social Customer
This section is devoted to giving you the big picture-what the change is, why it’s occurred, and what it means for business, customers, and CRM as a discipline.While I’d love to do an entire socioeconomic treatise on what’s going on, I can’t.First, I’m neither a sociologist nor an economist.Second, because this is a book on how to define and apply CRM as it needs to be defined and applied in 2009 and beyond.However, Part I does cover social, economic, and psychological elements of the change because they are necessary to understand business as the customer is reconstructing it.The chapters are organized around the biggest picture you can get-the definition of CRM as seen by industry leaders. We’ll cover the new business models and how they are assembled, the permutations of CRM and the disciplines that are becoming prominent in parallel with CRM, such as customer experience management—a rotten name if I ever heard one—and the also ineptly named but important vendor relationship management (VRM).

Part II:So Happy Together—Collaborating with Your Customer
The customer’s ownership of their personal experience with a company means that the company has to accommodate it.But how? This section will highlight the strategies for customer engagement and collaboration and the tools that are of value in realizing the programs. As in all past editions, there will be a group of tools and vendors that will be highlighted if merited, and the actual technology, processes, and methodologies will be covered, describing how the company needs to collaborate with their customers, not just manage relationships with them. This time around it’s called “Superstah!”—for all you Molly Shannon fans out there.This section is where you get to see all the cool stuff—the usergenerated content, the social networks, blogs, wikis, podcasts, social software, the mobile life we are now leading, the way to view the generations involved—and how this should be integrated into contemporary CRM strategies.

Part III:Baby Stays, Bathwater Goes—CRM Still Needs the Operational
This is the old-fashioned stuff.This entire section is devoted to the developments and evolution of the operational side of CRM that we’re all so familiar with. That means how it impacts sales, marketing, and customer support, and also how it extends to the back office, especially the supply chain, whether you think of it that way or not.

Part IV:Different Strokes for Different Folks—CRM Goes Vertical
Not only has CRM incorporated collaborative features, it also has become increasingly specialized.Vertical applications are particularly hot and becoming more important as company after company realizes that their industry has some very specific ways they do things.Particularly exciting sectors for vertical CRM are health care, financial services, and entertainment (including sports), where the customer engagement is highly emotional.Most important for CRM’s vertical stripe is the public sector, both on the agency/administrative side and in the political realm. Public servants and candidates are realizing that their constituents increasingly demand participation in their destinies. The institutional trust that’s necessary for these public service groups to survive is based on their constituents’ willingness to grant that participation.

Additionally, even though I’d be hard pressed to look at the small and medium business market as a “vertical, ”I do look at it here because it fits best in the scheme of things.But rather than the standard junk you’ll get from most CRM tomes about the “SMB market, ”I’m going to do something that is sacrilegious when it comes to acronyms.I’m going to distinguish between “small” and “medium.” There will be no more lumping them together, no sir.

Much of this section will be digital with the exception of the public sector chapter.Go get ’em.

Part V:Looking at the Framework
There’s a lot to making CRM decisions and there are a lot of ways to implement CRM programs. This is the most extensive part of the book, covering the transactional and interaction sides of the story. You’re going to be treated to looking at strategies, programs, customer experience mapping, mission and vision statements, organizational change, process development and mapping, privacy, compliance, governance, metrics and analytics, and the technologies that support all that.

Then, briefly, we’re going to lightly trip through how to implement CRM, including picking the right vendor and the right technology, from the software and services to the architecture and delivery models to the data models.

What does that mean to you? Before I tell you what it should mean, a brief story.

I went to Northwestern University back in . . . err . . . a while ago.My inclination has always been literary, so needless to say, I was not a stellar science student.I majored in journalism, and my science courses were somewhat elementary, though required.One that I took was called “Physics for Poets. ”Even though I admit this grudgingly, I kind of liked the course and thought, hey, there’s nothing wrong with learning science this way.

That is the way I am going to present that always-confusing subject of technology.There will be no geekspeak. None.I’m covering only the subjects that you need to know because

  1. you need to know them,
  2. they will affect the cost of your CRM deployment, and
  3. it’s actually interesting stuff when the language used is not programming (or Latin).

For example, there is a chapter entitled SOA for Poets (SOA is service-oriented architecture), which is of course an homage to my college course and should give you just enough to understand what SOAs are.

That how the book is organized.Now let the games begin.

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