The 2022 CRM Industry Hall of Fame: Harley Manning

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Harley Manning, a former vice president and research director at Forrester Research and founder of the firm’s customer experience practice, has retired after 24 years managing a team of Forrester analysts who cover a wide range of customer service-related topics. In his time with the firm, Manning also compiled Forrester’s annual Customer Experience Index (CX Index), which measures how well companies’ customer experiences strengthen the loyalty of their customers, and extensively researched the business impact of CX.

Manning also founded Forrester’s annual Customer Experience Forum and co-authored the book Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business, a comprehensive study of why customer experience is fundamental to the success of every business. His research, analysis, and opinions have appeared in The Harvard Business ReviewForbesThe Economist, FT.com, Fast Company, Investor’s Business Daily, and Direct Marketing News. An accomplished speaker, he has keynoted major business conferences around the world.

Manning came to Forrester in 1998 after spending 18 years designing and building interactive services for companies such as Dow Jones, AT&T, MCI, Prodigy, and Sears. While at AT&T, he worked for a time in the former Bell Labs, where he collaborated with scientists researching applied artificial intelligence and was awarded two patents, including one for “System and Method for Maintaining a Knowledge Base and Evidence Set” in 2001.

Manning joins a host of other CRM industry standouts named to CRM magazine’s Hall of Fame. This prestigious list includes author, analyst, and managing principal of the 56 Group, Paul Greenberg (inducted in 2010); current Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (2007), who in his days in the private sector founded RightNow Technologies, which was eventually acquired by Oracle; Sheryl Kingstone, an analyst then with the Yankee Group (2006); Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff (2005); Oracle founder and chairman Larry Ellison (2004); SAS founder Jim Goodnight (2004); Barton Goldenberg, founder and president of ISM (2003); Tom Siebel, chair and CEO of Siebel Systems (2003); and Pat Sullivan, creator of Act! and Saleslogic (2003). We even honored Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple, with a Hall of Fame nod in 2012.

“Harley Manning is an obvious choice for CRM magazine’s CRM Hall of Fame,” Greenberg says. “He has been a pioneer in the world of CX as one of the first to the market in identifying the business standards of CX as Forrester’s lead analyst. More than that, even, he has ignored all the hype and fostered the best practices and playbooks that actually have meaning for businesses.”

Now retired, Manning is reportedly working on another book.

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