Required Reading: Getting Back to Relationship Basics

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Most customers today want more than products; they want relationships. In Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior (Dearborn Trade Publishing), author Pamela Danziger presents evidence that we have left the age of "cocooning" and have entered an age of connection--a trend that will push consumers to construct more meaningful relationships with suppliers and retailers. This means that businesses are going to have to fashion more emotionally appealing and entertaining shopping experiences, as well as offer rational justifiers to seal a purchase. Danziger peppers the book with charts and figures that support her theory.
  • CRM Unplugged: Releasing CRM's Strategic Value (John Wiley & Sons), by Philip Bligh and Douglas Turk, reminds readers that CRM success requires getting back to the basics of building relationships. By providing a dose of no-nonsense tactics backed by real-world examples, Bligh and Turk remind us that CRM is about collaboration before it is about technology. Customer wins don't arrive by mere loyalty--they thrive on persistent communication and thorough customer insight. Take an inside peek at how organizations are really achieving value from their CRM project, as well as at why some companies have been less fortunate in their initiatives.
  • Customer Relationship Management: Concepts and Tools (Elsevier), by Francis Buttle, may seem like your average textbook on CRM fundamentals, however, it is anything but average. With a diligent exploration of strategic marketing, operations, human resource, and IT management, this book captures everything from customer privacy issues to trends in customer-supplier relationships to common misunderstandings of CRM. Buttle provides a proportionate look at both the technical and the human interaction aspects of CRM, incorporating relevant, compelling case studies within every chapter for an in-depth understanding of the topics.
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