New book: The Dark Side of CRM

I just received my copy of the book ‘The Dark Side of CRM – Customers, relationships and management‘, which I co-edited with Bang Nguyen and Lyndon Simkin and can be ordered here.


The book tackles the duplicitous practices and undesirable behaviours that affect the relationships between firms and customers. Building relationships with customers enables a firm to learn what they want, through continuous interaction and increasing customer intimacy, and to find ways to add value while increasing competencies and skills. However, some practices, such as binding contracts, hidden fees or confounding clauses, exploit customers and damage the relationship. In addition, some practices, such as price discrimination, may be deemed unfair and lead to dissatisfaction. Likewise, rushed and careless use of social media to engage with customers may damage rather than enhance the relationship between the firm and its customers.

It’s not just firms that veer to the dark side, however. Customers, too, can undermine the relationship and, so, the book explores themes such as consumer rage, revenge behaviour, or opportunism. The book even contains a chapter that looks at the use of customer relationship management principles by criminal organisations.

Not only is the topic highly original, but the book also brings together contributions from many of the leading exponents (practitioners, as well as academics) of Customer Relationship Management, and, so, is packed with rich insight and interesting reflections.


Here is an overview of the book’s contents:

PART I: INTRODUCTION This part sets the scene and provides a commentary to the separate contributions in The Dark Side of CRM.
Chapters Titles Contributor(s)/author(s)
Chapter 1 Introduction to The Dark Side of CRM: Customers, Relationships and Management Bang Nguyen (East China University of Science and Technology), Lyndon Simkin (University of Coventry) and Ana Isabel Canhoto (Oxford Brookes University)

This part revolves around research studies focusing on customers’ responses towards the dark side of CRM. It explores consumption behaviour and the psychological underpinnings in the customer decision-making process.

Chapter 2 Customers: CRM and Customer Management: Identifying and Confronting Dark Side Behaviours Pennie Frow (University of Sydney), Adrian Payne (University of New South Wales), and Louise Young (University of Western Sydney) and Ian Wilkinson (University of Sydney)
Chapter 3 Customers: Perceptions of Fairness and Unfairness Lan Xia (Bentley University)
Chapter 4 Customers: CRM and Social Media Adam Rapp (Ohio University) and Jessica Ogilvie (University of Alabama)
Chapter 5 Customers: Negative Word-of-Mouth, Misbehaviour, and Revenge Venessa Funches (AUM – Auburn Montgomery University)

This part examines different relationship marketing and management studies from extant economic, consumer behavioural and psychological theories and research. It presents important aspects of social indicators influencing relationships in varying contexts.

Chapter 6 Relationships: Good vs. Bad Relationship Framework Donald J. Lund (University of Alabama), Irina V. Kozlenkova (Michigan State University) and Robert W. Palmatier (University of Washington)
Chapter 7 Relationships: Opportunism, Transparency, Manipulation, Deception, and Exploitation of Customers’ Vulnerabilities in CRM Gilles N’Goala (l’Université Montpellier)
Chapter 8 Relationships: The Dark Side of Business Relationships: An Overview Ibrahim Abosag (SOAS, University of London), Dorothy Ai-wan Yen (Brunel University) and Caroline Tynan (Nottingham University)
Chapter 9 Relationships: Dark Side of CRM: Brand Relationships and Violent Extremist Organizations Mike Breazeale (Mississippi State University), Erin Pleggenkuhle-Miles (University of Nebraska Omaha) and Gina Ligon (University of Nebraska Omaha)

This part covers the management perspective of CRM’s dark side and includes companies from a wide range of industries. The focus is on identifying and overcoming the dark side at the management level.

Chapter 10 Management: Right Marketing to Wrong Customers? Rethinking Conventional CRM Strategies Denish Shah (Georgia State University)
Chapter 11 Management: Recovery From CRM Implementation Pitfalls: Integrating Learning Behaviour From Failures Bang Nguyen (ECUST) and Allen Xiaoyu Yu (Shanghai University)
Chapter 12 Management: The Dark Side: Customers vs. Companies Liz Machtynger (Customer Essential), Martin Hickley (Customer Essential), Merlin Stone (Customer Essential), and Paul Laughlin (Customer Essential)

This part rounds off The Dark Side of CRM, suggesting some emerging themes and priorities.

Chapter 13 Conclusion to The Dark Side of CRM Bang Nguyen (East China University of Science and Technology), Lyndon Simkin (University of Coventry) and Ana Isabel Canhoto (Oxford Brookes University)



If you would like to know more about the book, get in touch with me. I am also happy to do a talk for your class or team, if you teach or work in this area.


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