We dance ’round in a ring and suppose.
But the secret sits in the middle and knows.
Robert Frost, The Secret Sits
One of my favorite people is Elinor Frost Francis Wilber, one of Robert Frost’s granddaughters. We have been close friends and neighbors for many years and when our children were young, they would sit in her living room and listen as the poet laureate said this poem. They didn’t know he was a poet laureate; he was just a grandfather. In this poem, Frost could have been talking about twenty-first-century marketers dancing around the altar of customer relationship building, making suppositions about why so few companies are getting the return they expected on their CRM initiatives.
The secrets do, indeed, sit at the center of customer-oriented CRM initiatives. The cases and examples in this book are meant to show you how companies are beginning to find ways to empower their customers. You don’t have to be in the same business as in the examples; the concepts in each case are the important lessons.
Change is never painless, and the progression advocated in this book will not be simple to achieve. The practice of CMR is a journey, as yet uncharted. I hope you will find this book to be a road map that makes it easier for you to pioneer this new frontier.
 William Safire, “Witnessing an Intrusion Explosion,” San Diego Union-Tribune, May 3, 2002, p. B10.
 Jim Ericson, “The ‘Failure’ of CRM,” line56, E-Business Executive Daily, August 2, 2001, p. 3.
 William J. McEwen, “Is CRM All Hype?” destinationcrm.com, May 2, 2002, pp. 2, 3.