Article | MIT Sloan Management Review

Putting the 'Relationship' Back into CRM

by Susan Fournier and Jill Avery


Many managers think that the way to capture value through relationship marketing is to focus on the 'good' customers and get rid of the 'bad' ones. But there is a lot more to best practice relationship management than maximizing revenues on individual customers and minimizing costs to serve. How can companies build better relationships with their customers? Findings include: 1.) Get to know who your customers really are and what they need and value. 2.) Be open to the different types of relationships that people form with your company and your brand. 3.) Recognize that relationships can't be one-sided; accept responsibility for difficulties.

Keywords: marketing; CRM; customer relationship management; brand building; brand management; customer lifetime value; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Marketing Strategy; Brands and Branding; Consumer Products Industry;


Fournier, Susan, and Jill Avery. "Putting the 'Relationship' Back into CRM." MIT Sloan Management Review 52, no. 3 (Spring 2011): 63–72.