A Practical Guide to CRM: Building More Profitable Customer Relationships, by Janice Reynolds, softcover, 285 pages, 2002,$34.95


Read about customer relationship management, CRM technology, automation, and software selection

In today's global economy the customer has more and better choices than ever before, bringing on one of the biggest challenges the business community faces today- customer loyalty and retention.

To thrive in today's customer-driven economy a company needs to give customers what they really want.  They don't just want the best prices, selection , and service; they want a relationship.  CRM (customer relationship management) technology is designed to collect, store, and analyze data about customers, optimizing marketing, sales, customer service, back-office operations and new product development.  Yet, technology can't do it alone.  In practice, CRM is a business strategy that evokes a corporate culture where the customer is the center of the corporate universe and CRM technology is what enables that business strategy.

While CRM may start out as a means of linking different customer-facing functions, it must end up changing the way the entire company thinks about customers: who they are, what they want and how they can be better served.

This book explores how to:

  • Develop and use a CRM strategy to integrate all channels and media of customer contact from the Internet through field sales into one system.
  • Know the customers and focus on their needs to better deploy resources and achieve lower costs, higher revenue, and increased customer loyalty.
  • Use CRM tools to increase profitability.
  • Link CRM tools with sales partners both up and down the value chain.
  • Choose the right customer-focused strategies and the right CRM systems.
  • Implement and deploy CRM for the best results.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is CRM?
    • A Different Corporate Culture
    • The Internet's Influence
    • CRM Architecture
    • The One-to-One Philosophy
  2. The Evaluation Process
    •  The CRM Team
    •  Determine the Objective(s)
    • Perform a Needs Analysis
    •  The Prospects of Success
    •  What's the Best Strategy
    •  Cost Considerations
  3. Preparing a Business Case
    •  The Construction Process
  4. Creating the CRM Strategy
    • Where to Begin
    • Understanding the Technology
    • The Road to Success
    • Avoiding Potential Land Mines
    •  Key Strategy Issues
  5. A Program of Projects
    • Project Management
    • Program Management
    • Corporate Oversight and Control
  6. The People Factor
    • Managing the Changes
    • Communicate
    • Training, and More Training
    • A "Change Management" Plan
  7. Increasing Customer Loyalty
    • The Reality
    • The Problems
    • The Fix
    • Benefits
  8. Know Thy Customer
    • Assessing the Customer Base
    • Customer's Roles
    • The Customer Experience
    • The Customer's Perspective
  9. The Many Flavors of CRM - An Overview
    • The History
    • Current Events
    • The Choices
    • Technology in Evolution
    • Software Selection
    • Hosted Solution
  10. Marketing
    • CRM to the Rescue
    • Marketing Automation
    • Finding the Right Fit
    • Something Old, Something New
    • Benefits
  11. Sales
    • Planning
    • Sales Automation Choices
    • Vertical Solutions
    • The Human Element
    • Benefits
  12. The Call Center Evolution
    • The Stampede to CRM
    • CRM and Traditional Call Center Architecture
    • Haste Makes Waste
    • Evaluating CRM Systems
    • Field Service
    • Call Center Staffing
    • Costs and Benefits
  13. The Importance of Data
    • The Customer Data Architecture
    • The Data Storehouse
    • Data Access and Analysis Tools
    • Data Mining Tools
    •  The Web
    • Managing Data in the Mid-sized Business
    • Knowledge Management
  14. Hosted Solutions
    • What is a Hosted Solution?
    • Acronym Alphabet Soup
    • Why use a Hosted Solution?
    • Differences between Hosted Solution Models
    • Benefits
    • The Concerns
    • Trade-offs
    • The Decision Process
    • Integration Woes
    • Costs
  15. Partnering for Success
    • How to Find a Tech Partner
    • Consultants
    • Systems Integrators
    • The Selection Process
  16. The Vendor Selection Process
    • Understand the Vendor Community
    • Vendor Selection
    • Request for Proposal
    • Pre- and Post-RFP Tasks
    • And the Winner Is.....
    • Negotiations
  17. Implementation and Deployment
    • Implementation Philosophy
    • The Implementation and Deployment Plan (I & D Plan)
    • Middleware
    • Avoiding the Pitfalls
    • Security
    • Final Deployment
    • Training
    • Post-Implementation
    • Costs

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Last modified August 2, 2005