Chapter 3: Managing Customers

Chapter Summary:

In this chapter, we explore the techniques marketers use to manage customers. We begin by defining what a customer is and why they are important to an organization. We then look at what tools and strategies must be in place to manage customers skillfully, including the crucial requirement that marketers work hard to build relationships with their customers. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of how servicing customers after a relationship is established (e.g., after a purchase) is often just as critical as the marketing efforts that were needed to begin the relationship.

Key Issues:

  • What is a Customer?
  • Customers and the Organization
  • Challenge of Managing Customers
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Customer Service and Marketing
  • Trends in Customer Service
  • Customer Service Technologies

Cited References:

  1. For many businesses, COVID-19 extended the time frame to judge if someone is an existing customer. For example, a dental office may still have a large number of existing customers though many had not sought even basic care for over a year due to the virus.
  2. For more on customer lifetime value see: “Customer Lifetime Value.” Wikipedia.
  3. Jenny Gross. “Retail Therapy: Zappos Offers to Listen to Pandemic Worries.” New York Times, May 31,2020.
  4. In addition to the activities listed, customer service may perform other tasks, such as helping customers place orders, gathering customer feedback, and assisting customers with switching services from another provider.
  5. For a review of CRM products for small businesses see: Molly K. McLaughlin, Rob Marvin and Gadjo Sevilla. “The Best CRM Software of 2020.” PC Magazine, April 10, 2020.