Customer Relationship Management: Making Hard Decisions with Soft Numbers

By Goldsmith, Ronald E. | Journal of Leisure Research, Third Quarter 1997 | Go to article overview

Customer Relationship Management: Making Hard Decisions with Soft Numbers


Goldsmith, Ronald E., Journal of Leisure Research


Anton, J. (1996). Customer relationship management: Making hard decisions with soft numbers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, (ISBN 0-13-438-474-1), $34.40, hardcover, 183 pp.

Managers, consultants, and academic theorists alike increasingly stress the contribution of long-term customer relationships to the ultimate success of service businesses. In so far as the hospitality, tourism, and leisure industries are services, no one who works in or studies these areas can be unaware of the growing interest in customer relationships. Popular accounts by successful managers such as Jan Carlzon's Moments of Truth, Tom Peters's many books including Liberation Management or Terry G. Vavra's Aftermarketing: How to Keep Customers for Life Through Relationship Marketing, and the recommendations of Christopher Gronroos in his Service Management and Marketing have brought about a revolution in the theory and management of services. Thus, few observers would disagree that long term customer relationships lie at the heart of current services theory and practice. But once convinced of the importance of managing customer relationships, how should the manager of a service business proceed to implement a systematic customer relationship strategy? Jon Anton and his colleagues at Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality have tried to describe this relationship in a new book. They present a clear and comprehensive blueprint for measuring customer satisfaction and using this information to improve business practice.

This how-to book is addressed to two audiences: (1) managers who wish to implement customer relationship programs but don't know how to proceed and (2) students wishing to learn specific techniques for customer relationship management that they can apply after graduation. This preeminently practical text proceeds logically and systematically, beginning with two chapters on the philosophy of customer satisfaction. The major themes are that loyal customers are valuable to service businesses because it costs less to retain them than to gain new customers, they provide disproportionately more revenue than most customers, they generate positive word-of-mouth, and they are good sources of product improvement information. A final theme is that enhanced customer satisfaction leads to improved employee morale and performance. Moreover, although most managers are comfortable with and, in fact, demand accounting information as a normal part of management information systems, many managers view customer satisfaction and retention information as unavailable or too vague for actual decision making purposes. Anton discusses these concerns and presents cogent arguments for measuring customer satisfaction using both qualitative and quantitative methods and then using these "soft numbers" to promote customer relationships.

Chapter three briefly describes how managers can use qualitative techniques such as focus groups, customer advisory panels, and the critical incident technique to learn how and why customers are satisfied or dissatisfied with a service provider. The central portion of the book is contained in the next five chapters describing the use of surveys to quantitatively measure a variety of satisfaction/dissatisfaction elements. To enhance the usefulness of these measures, Anton describes in detail ways to link customer perceptions of service value to internal, employee-focused measures of performance, so that managers know precisely what to "fix," reengineer, or reward internally to bring about higher levels of performance and satisfaction.

Several elements make up the system. Anton recommends first understanding in detail the key attributes underlying customer expectations leading to satisfaction and to value assessments. Questionnaire design, sampling, and survey methods are briefly described and accompanied by examples of the paraphernalia of survey research, including coding and entering data. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Customer Relationship Management: Making Hard Decisions with Soft Numbers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.