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Customer Relationship Management


Merlo O.

Course director




The profitability of a business increasingly depends on its ability to build and sustain strong relationships with customers and other key stakeholders. Effective relationship management has become of critical importance in any industry and is thus an essential skill that managers need to master.


This course discusses how to manage customer relationships for superior financial performance. The focus is on manging relationships with both external customers (e.g., consumers, buyers, agents) and internal customers (e.g., employees, colleagues, different functional areas and departments). The course offers powerful insights, best practices, and some of the latest ideas on how to manage relationships for profit, and how to sustain trust and loyalty over time. Through lectures, workshops and case study analysis, students examine methods for building enduring customer relationships, ways of nurturing trust and commitment, and communication strategies that enhance customer relations and loyalty.


This course strengthens students’ ability to build and maintain profitable relationships with customers, which is a critical managerial skill. It will also provide them with the tools to be more influential, initiate positive change in their organisations, and contribute significantly to the development and implementation of effective customer relationship initiatives. The course is also relevant to anyone wishing to broaden their strategic toolkit and looking for both well-established and new ideas to improve business profitability. It is particularly important to anyone entering the services industry, where direct contact with customers and strong relationships are essential.





The first part of the course lays the foundations for understanding the business case for CRM, the economics of customer relationships, customer behaviour, and key elements of strong relationships and loyalty. The second part focuses on the specific strategies, tactics and communication tools that can help build customer intimacy, establish enduring relationships, and turn customers into partners, advocates and loyalists.


Key topics include :

  • Fundamentals of Customer Relationship Management
  • Demystifying CRM: what effective CRM truly entails and why CRM initiatives fail
  • The business case for CRM and the economics of loyalty
  • Linking CRM to financial outcomes
  • Implementing a CRM programme
  • Understanding customers’ key buying criteria and turning customers into partners
  • Communication tools for effective CRM
  • CRM and internal marketing
  • CRM and digital
  • Service quality as a critical element of CRM
  • Customer relationship management strategies, tools and tactics
  • Why customers leave and how to retain them
  • Satisfaction management: the difference between a satisfied and a loyal customer
  • Drivers and outcomes of strong relationships
  • Identifying desirable and sustainable customer-related sources of financial profits
  • Metrics to assess relationship strength
  • Loyalty programmes: what works and what doesn’t
  • Managing word of mouth, customer participation and co-creation
  • Customer engagement strategies
  • How CRM strategies can backfire
  • When things go wrong: Service recovery and the potential opportunities it represents





Coursework (30%) and final exam (70%)