I recommend the following books only because
they align with some of the ideas that I used in my CRM and
lead management practice. Click on the images to order from Amazon.
Customer Relationship Management: Getting It Right
by Judith W. Kincaid
Published by HP Books and Prentice Hall PTR
This is the type of book
all CRM practitioners would love to write, except that author Judith
W. Kincaid has done it - and with finesse. Only a practising CRM manager
who has been through an implementation will understand what I mean
after reading this
are so many articles and books out there that bear no resemblance to
one's own experiences in the trenches.
Those authors appear to have sat in an ivory tower while composing their compelling
arguments, but you are often left wondering if they have personally
tested their theories. In fairness, some of those experts are
describing only one piece of the jigsaw puzzle, whereas you, the practitioner,
are left with the realities around you. You have to
"get it right", which is how Kincaid has aptly pitched the
Here is the structure of the book:
Part 1 - CRM: Is It Right for Your Company?
Part 2 - CRM: Planning it Right
Part 3 - CRM: Building It Right
Part 4 - CRM: Using It Right
Part 5 - CRM: Keeping It Right
Appendix A Glossary of Terms
Appendix B Tools and Templates
Appendix C Self-Assessments
Appendix D Information: The Raw Material of CRM
The term "CRM" has a limited meaning for people who are not CRM managers.
For example, you would be forgiven if you thought that it is some expensive
software requiring teams of sweatshop IT developers. Some might focus
on the 360-degree customer view or lifetime value. Although these are
valid and important components, the CRM manager has the rest of the picture
to deal with. Such realities include company structure, politics, top-down
support, inter-departmental understanding and cooperation, funding, and
so on. Kincaid covers all of them, as shown in the table of contents
The CRM manager is not the only omniscient person in the company who
feels that others don't understand the breadth and depth of the subject.
The IT manager, for example, has many other challenges on her plate,
in addition to the CRM project. Kincaid addresses such
topics with balance, giving all company participants the opportunity
to see their own problems in
perspective. There are numerous organisation charts in the book that
serve to illustrate the relative positions of key people or processes.
One of my bugbears has been the issue of data quality.
We all know that people move, die, change employers, and so on. Some
people do not fill out forms fully, or paper forms are keyed in incorrectly,
leaving an incomplete jigsaw puzzle for the CRM manager. Bad data has
a tendency to become expensive for the company, so one has to develop
strategies to minimise and eradicate it at an early stage. Kincaid goes
one step further, for example, and calls for system quality as
well. Makes sense, after all: without the latter you would be pushing
the proverbial uphill.
Kincaid's background as a Director of CRM Services at Hewlett-Packard
shows, for example, when she discusses "Think Global, Act Local" and
refers to the challenge for a US-headquartered company to address a global
customer base. She advises the creation of a central customer information
management organisation for the complete customer database.
The book contains copious tables, checklists, illustrations and cartoons,
which make the book easy to skim through before settling down to reading
it from cover to cover or to jump to a specific topic. The tables contain
sample text, so that you are not left guessing what type of content might
go in them. Each chapter ends with some Questions for Reflection, such
This book belongs on the bookshelves of all CRM managers and business
executives who need to solve real-world CRM issues. There is a good
deal of practical advice, direction
and structure that will get your project rolling in the right direction.
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