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Relationship management

The author succeeded when he tried to deal with readers as if they are his own customers. The ‘questions and answers’ style was a perfect choice to make readers enjoy reading the book. Especially, when he picked the most critical questions that could come to businessmen’s mind -when he thinks about CRM-, he succeeded to have the reader’s attention right from the first moment.

For example, when he started by asking the reader “is CRM the answer to your business success? ” (p. 9), he touched the bottom-line of the topic right from the beginning when he made this CRM-business alignment. He took an effective approach to convince the reader with the importance of customer relationship management, when he asked the reader (the businessman) to “consider the things that annoy you as a customer” (p. 11). Then, he listed all possible annoying things for customers and it was an effective way to convince any businessman to replace the simple contact management with customer relationship management.

Showing the fact that “CRM maintains or increases success it doesn’t create it” (p. 9) right from the start, put the reader on the right track to realize that the CRM is not the only foundation for

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his success and it won’t be a solution for all his problems. The two axis diagram was brilliant idea to show the customer status (satisfied- dissatisfied). With this diagram, the reader could easily realize that “the price of the product or service is not the main factor that customers take into their consideration when they make the purchasing decision” (p. 13).

And before going into details, the author just make his argument when he asked the reader “if everything were just down to price how would BMW, Prada or Marks & Spencers food hall ever stay in business? ” and he didn’t wait he just shot the answer “it’s about value and how the customer feels about you comes down to the reaction of two elements, the product and the relationship” (p. 13). When he moved to ‘customer loyalty’ concept, mentioning the example of J. Sainsbury against Wal-Mart was just perfect to show how “losing a customer to a competitor could be devastating” (p. 17). Also the example of Fine Wines Ltd.

Was appropriate example to show that customers are different from each others and a successful businessman should value each one of them in special appropriate way to achieve loyalty and to make a business value. His advices is more practical if compared with other books, because he didn’t depend only on his own thought or tips, he also provided links or contact details for additional information.

For example, after encouraging businessmen to ask their customers ‘dangerous question’ –such as what is missing or what he didn’t like- to “help them understand the market and their customers better” (p. 18) he provided the reader with the person who can help him/her with this service. After convincing readers with the importance of customer relationship management -with his interesting ‘question and answer’ style-, the writer provided a simple recipe to achieve this CRM strategy through certain steps (or tips) such as customer feedback, valuing customers, keeping in touch, offering something useful, and call to action.. etc. Then, he moves to the ‘sales management’. This part is –unfortunately- not on the same level as it is with the CRM part.

However, there is a key insight derived from this section that “building confidence and trust from the customer at the very first interaction enhances the possibility of a sale by an enormous amount” (p. 30). CRM tools section needed more elaboration. Because after the author convinced the reader with the importance of CRM, it is logical that the reader will needed to figure out the best CRM solution; but the level of details in this section wasn’t enough to enable me to make this step due to lack of required information. Maybe, a comparison table showing main features of those solutions could be better.

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