Published in 2006 and with further printings in 2007 and 2008, this is a relatively recent book and probably the best on the subject from a number of perspectives. Although it's billed as a handbook, it's not in the "handbook for dummies" style, but rather a thoughtful description of practices in the industry, giving an overview of how to go about CRM. Adrian Payne is a professor and practising consultant with a background in relationship marketing, service development and quality techniques, and his approach is a process oriented one, and this is a useful way to approach it, because processes is what you will be doing.
Very much takes an organisation strategy approach, recommending that the organisation transforms to take advantage of CRM, and again this is right. Even for those with less capability to change the organisation it is full of content that can help you to improve products, services and communications, however.
While it does not deal extensively with the processes by which CRM can go online into web space, it does very much take account of the multichannel approach which includes online and e-business channels. Again, like other books, for the detail you have to go somewhere else. It gives a much better than average description of value creation, how to develop more value for the customer being the highlight (having said that, I think there's more to be said on customer experience and value creation than you will find in any CRM book), with a solid description of segmentation and customer valuation. It covers all the main application areas such as salesforce, outlets, telephony, direct mail, e-commerce, m- commerce and the integration and interaction between them. While the details of technology implementation are not its goal, it does describe information management process and the key elements that make it up with good introductory sections on all the different kinds of technologies and analytical tools. It also has a solid section on performance assessment, again with some direction for where were you would go for more detail.
It includes 14 case studies and sufficient depth to get the basic principle, although those involved in some of these, such as Halifax, would say that their practices have moved on, not always for the better, since the time of writing.
Like just about every other CRM book, it is weak on the brand and on integration with IMC practitioners and planning. So we don't yet have an integrated planning approach to campaigns and relationship programs and therefore we don't have an integrated evaluation model. Campaign planning is also a relative weakness: it doesn't really take you on a step-by-step process through the development of the campaign, probably because his speciality is more organisation and marketing strategy than marketing communication planning and the tactical processes (indeed Don Schultz, who introduces the book makes exactly this claim as a benefit), but getting the tactics right is actually fundamental to good CRM. So if you're a senior manager in buying this, buy another book also for your team on how to actually design and implement campaign.
The book is designed for the executive but would work as a textbook in support of an appropriate course. Graphics are black-and-white
on 22 February 2006
As the American's say, this book covers the topic from Soup to Nuts. There's so much twaddle written about CRM which is either just unsubstantiated opinion or hype from a vendor.
This book is neither.
It covers CRM thinking from strategy to value creation to the details of implementation. What's more, it's all based on well researched cases from the author's research.
Strongly recommended for anyone who needs to understand how to make CRM work.