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Archive for the category “CRM”

The Genius of Amazon.com

I have been watching the travails of a mum trying to buy her son a Beyblade stadium on her Facebook Page. After perhaps visiting at every possible brick & mortar store in town, she descended on eBay and triumphantly declared that she had found the item. Not too soon though. A few weeks later another post informed us that eBay had returned her money because they ran out of stock. Aggarhh!

Having a young son myself, I have been making discrete enquiries of the said item. I browsed through eBay, found the stuff and left it for another day. Yesterday, after eBay returned the money, I searched the web and found some stocks available on Amazon.

Once again, I did not buy the item. Browsed around and left. I have done this tonnes of times on many online sites including Amazon. But yesterday was different. A few hours later, there was this email in my inbox from Amazon. With a full listing of all the available Beyblades and accessories. With a pointer to more.

Now we are all aware of search marketing and contextual advertising. I think this is the next level. Dynamic content delivered discretely into inboxes the moment a marketer discovers that someone is looking. Once again this is not new. There are enough services that track clicks and nurture leads. Just that I had never received such an accurate and timely eMail from anyone like this. And I have been logged into Amazon like forever.

It somehow felt new. A lot more intuitive and personal. Perhaps a lot of us have experienced it better. Yesterday I did.

And I may just buy the Beyblade stadium my son’s been dreaming about.

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A Great Customer Service Letter

Jackie Huba at Church of the Customer blog writes about her recent experience with Apple customer service and how this once again proves why the company is such a great brand. She has reposted a follow up letter that she received from Apple service:

Dear Jackie,

This is Stacy, with a courtesy follow-up. I haven’t heard from you and wanted to make sure that your request was handled to your satisfaction. You’ve truly been a remarkable asset to the iTunes Store Family and as such I don’t want to leave you without any type of resolution, so if you do not respond, I will be closing this request. I hope that you continue to enjoy the iTunes Store and would like to thank you for being such a wonderful member of our family.

Please remember if you require any further assistance I’m only an email away. Have an awesome day!

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Stacy
Tier 1 iTunes Store Support

While she thinks it may be a form letter, she is impressed at the use of emotional words; truly remarkable, family, wonderful, awesome. More on the Church of Customer blog.

Driving loyalty through customer experience

Most companies you ask want to run a loyalty program of some kind. If only things were this easy. At DestinationCRM Christopher Musico seems to have the answer. “Want customer loyalty ?”, he asks, “improve customer experience is his answer”. He quotes recent Forrester studies that co-related customer loyalty and customer experience. While the association of the two may sound like a no brainer, Forester analyst Bruce Timkin, who was leading of one of the studies, says that no quantifiable numbers had ever reinforced the connection. Read more in DestinationCRM.

Bank Of Twitter

Bank of America becomes yet another bank to embrace Twitter with a customer service stream. Manned by customer relations specialist David Knapp, customers can tweet him if they have problems with their accounts or general questions. Wachovia, which in August started an account to seek out and serve customers on this micro blogging platform, now has over a thousand followers. While some banks have active twitter accounts, there are others who have created accounts and not followed up on it. Read more in Finextra.

Do you have a customer experience management checklist?

1 to 1 Marketing Editor Ginger Conlon was at Strativity Group’s two-day customer experience management (CEM) certification course and came away with a list of things to do for companies looking to make CEM a part of their DNA. She suggest that companies value customer not from a market share perspective, but from a relationship perspective. “How many unprofitable customers”, she asks, “are you doing business with in the name of market share?” A one-size-fits-all is the enemy of any customer-centricity program. And unfortunately for many companies, it’s the prospect not the customer who’s king. When companies are asking customers to be loyal to them, they have to be ready to reciprocate. One of the interesting examples she cites is that of Apple and iPod, when they launched the device, they also made iTunes available–in other words, a complete customer experience: a device, software, legal downloads, and more. Apple was never in the music business, but they had to re-imagine the music business so that they could become the dominant player in the device market. So, when considering what more your organization can do, ask yourself, “Are there mature and tired markets, or just tired executives? She also suggests that for companies to roll out successful CEM programs, they need to listen to customers, and to ensure that every employee in these companies learn that customers are their most valuable asset. Read more on the 1 to 1 blog.

Open-Source Data Mining

Free tools are everywhere, but nothing could come close to the power that Maltego could unleash. Billed as an open source analytics tool, Maltego is already getting rave reviews around the world. Maltego lets just about anybody do the kind of data mining that in the past only fraud investors, government specialists and hackers typically could do. Since Temmingh released the first commercial version of Maltego this past summer, even several national intelligence agencies have made use of the software, he says. Like with all new age ideas, the basic version of the software is free, download and play around here. And the commercial version costs under US $500. Read more from Forbes Magazine.

Better Customer Service, Better Loyalty, Better Profits

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, U.S. companies lose half of their customers every five years, with two-thirds of them claiming that customer care was their reason for leaving. Pleasing people, on the other hand, really pays off: Studies show that improving customer loyalty by 5% can increase profits by a whopping 25%. More in the Motley Fool.

What Next For Obama’s 3 Million Database?

If you were one of the 3 million who received an e-mail or text message from the president-elect right before his acceptance speech in Grant Park thanking you for your support, you know that his outreach/marketing efforts and use of that database won’t end with his election.

Barack Obama and his marketing machine achieved unprecedented success in their use of direct/database marketing for a politician.

“We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next,” the personalized message from Mr. Obama read.

As effective as the database was during the election, many direct-marketing professionals said it can be even more important during his presidency.

Read more about how Obama could use Direct Marketing, his database and social networking during his presidency, from an Adage article….

Update: The first steps in engaging with people arounbd the world has already been sown, with a Change site

CRM 2.0

Paul Greenberg is one of the foremost thinkers in the CRM space. In his book CRM at The Speed of Light, he writes of how CRM needs to move from “managing” customers to managing customer engagement. “You need to change the way you deal with customers, because they’ve changed the way they deal with you,” he says. Organizations today should no longer be just “producers” or manufacturers, but instead should be aggregators of customers’ creative activity. As customers look beyond industry experts for help, when they are buying things, to “someone like me”, the Laura Fitton example in the main story on the left ideas like CRM 2.0 will stand to deliver. From the 1to1 blog.

Wither Loyalty?

1 to 1 magazine has some sobering news for practioners of loyalty programs. That in an era of high prices, there’s very little that a customer cares about a brand that he or she loves. From 1 to 1 magazine.

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