Success is just a matter of knowing the right “secrets” or Paul Greenberg’s CRM at the Speed of Light reviewed

Two new books for review
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Success is just a matter of knowing the right “secrets.”

Just having read Paul Greenberg‘s CRM at the Speed of Light, I realize how many secrets can be hidden in one field of expertise and in one book. And I  admire writers who are able to reveal their expertise in a fascinating way. Paul Greenberg belong to those authors and professionals.

I  often worked in organizations that have bought (or worse were brought by consultants) into the CRM concept, but never were able (or willing or capable) to  fully implementing their CRM philosophy. But even with a limited deployment these organizations were often able to take  profitable advantage of customer data collection,  analytics and segmentation.  From the early years of the last decade  Internet-based customer engagement tools arrived,enabling organizations and marketeers to compete more aggressively.   These developments took place in a a context in which the relevance of marketing became less and less each year.

And now times are changing fundamentally.

The emergence of the on line world, communities and social media has become  a real game-changer. Pushing away traditional concepts and demanding organizations to adapt. The on line world is changing the customer experience.  Customer expectations have become much higher and a fundamental power shift implying a dominant role for the customer, who has other demands.

Paul Greenberg was willing and able to rewrite his already seminal work to reflect the birth of social CRM. Paul refers to this definition of social CRM:

CRM 2.0 is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, processes and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.

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This paradigm shift – who owns the conversation  – is the reasons why the Social CRM-concept  will  become a key component of many organizations.

The book focuses on best practices in this yet to be developed area of expertise and how the concept can create value for customers and organizations. The book is however not a how to guide for implementing Social CRM

Being aware or becoming aware of the major  shifts in marketing and customer service is now imperative. For those who expect fundamental shifts  in the near future,  Social CRM as a concept  is  a worthwhile objective for adapting to the massive changes in any sector (the book also included a chapter about government but to be honest I did skip that).

The author proofs again to be well aware of the significant benefits of using Social CRM. Many cases of  employment of  some CRM tools are outlined ( although the degree of relevance varied considerably for me).

The core

Greenberg reflects on the fact that customers seize control from business.  With great insights, great stories and great information Paul analyzes the impact of major developments on vendor/customer relationships. It is all about changing relationships. Relationships, dominated by customers requiring organizations to connect and collaborate in different ways.  Paul is willing to shares his insights with regard to social media and ways how to adapt to them.

The author invites u – in wordings and style – to join a collaborative conversation. And by means of including many mini-conversations he enables any reader to engage.

My rating

4,5 stars on a scale 0-5.

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This all-in book is an  adequate description of some of the most extraordinary business challenges and offers informative lessons for every business leader and professional.

CRM at the Speed of Light  is clearly a product of intellectual and management passion, a profound vision and an urge to communicate in a renewing, refreshing and stimulating way.  Paul Greenberg explains in the first part that the era of the social customer has come. He explains why collaboration with the customer is a prerequisite but also that CRM is still operational.

Lots of  mini-conversations  that inspires or intrigues  one, presented clearly.

I really loved  in particular the emphasis on the customer and collaboration. And the way IT is discussed (yet, it is also about IT).  As a professional and as person one of my 2010 resolutions will be elaboration the gained insights on  a daily basis and make sure it creates success on the department, professional and personal level!

This book is a must reading for anyone who is interested in connecting to the changing context in your business world.

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