Category: Communication

CRMIT successfully participates in Touch Tour Mobile APP Conference

We are pleased to state the CRMIT has successfully participated in the Touch Tour Mobile APP Conference that was held on 17th and 18th of November, 2012 at Tidel Park, Chennai. This conference was jointly organized by Microsoft, which was the platinum sponsor and 5 User Group India & Pluralsight, which were community partners.

Touch Tour is a community-driven event aimed at bringing the entire mobile community together under a single platform, thus making it more enriching and fun filled.  There were lots of interactive sessions in this conference that talked about mobile app. design and development with professionals from the community getting an opportunity to showcase their applications. Most of the participants at the conference were mobile app designers, mobile app developers, HTML/CSS/JS Ninjas and other professionals, who had the penchant and desire for developing mobile applications.

The first day of the session was highly interactive, wherein there were lots of technical sessions addressed by some of the eminent speakers in their respective areas of expertise, throwing light on some of the latest technological advancements in the mobile applications space.  Representing CRMIT, one of our senior directors addressed a technical session on Mobile UX, providing some valuable insights and updates in this area of specialization. The session was highly informative and engaging, delving on the various aspects of Mobile UX experience, supported by easy to understand examples. The session was well received and appreciated by all the participants, who attended in large numbers.

The second day of the event had two parallel workshops that were limited to around 20 – 40 participants. These workshops had provided an opportunity for the participants to interact with the speaker and acquaint themselves with the latest tools and technologies. Overall the event was highly successful that provided a strong platform for various professionals to show case their applications, share knowledge on contemporary and emerging technologies, develop new professional contacts, learn new tools & tricks to turn their apps into business and much more.

With lots of interactions, presentations and great moments to cherish at the Touch Tour event, CRMIT fondly looks forward to many more such events in the days to come.

Google Chrome & Customer Experiences

Let us say, you are reading a long article from your favourite website. It goes on and on, you like it, but there is no time, you need to leave NOW. Otherwise you won’t be able to catch the bus to reach home.

With heavy heart, you shut down the computer, leave your office, get inside the bus, find a cozy seat… Ah, Bliss!

But, this comfort lasts only few minutes. Suddenly, you are bored, really bored. It will take at least 45 minutes more to reach home. ‘May be I can finish that article now?’

So, you take out your smart phone, open the internet browser and start searching for that article. No luck. Even after many different combination of keywords, you are not able to find it.

This is crazy, just a few minutes back you were reading that article, now you are not able to locate it. Looks like you can’t read it till you reach office tomorrow morning, switch on the same computer, and use the same browser, so that you can find the article from “Recently Viewed Items”.

Oops. This is bad Internet experience. Just because I switched to a new device (Smart Phone), I lost all my internet browsing history. Not fair!

Google realized this and they have come-up with a cute little concept called “Browser Sync” across devices. This means, irrespective of where you access internet from (Your office PC, home PC, Smart Phone, Tablet PC, any other device), your browsing experience remains the same, as long as you use Google Chrome as your browser.

For example, I may be reading a long article in PC, continue reading it in phone, go home and share it with my friends via a different PC. Tomorrow, I may be sitting with a client in their office, suddenly remember this interesting article and show it to them by opening it in their laptop… All these browsers are synchronized with each other, so that I have the same internet browsing experience wherever I am.

Now, let us not worry about the technicalities on how Google achieved this. Instead, we need to focus on how this changes the way we experience internet.

Each device we use to access internet, is a new channel. All of them connect us to the same internet, we access the same websites, but the browsers installed in those machines, make it a ‘silo’ experience. Means, Browsing internet from my computer, is different from Browsing internet from my phone, they are two disconnected experiences.

With “Browser Synchronization”, Google has totally removed this complexity. Irrespective of which channel (device) I use, my browsing experience remains the same. I can start my journey in one device, continue in another, and finally conclude it in a totally difference device. Smart!

Let us take this example to a real world scenario : I open a newspaper and there is an ‘interest’ing advertisement about a new scheme where I can get better returns on my Fixed Deposits.

I like it, decide to invest some money in this scheme. I visit the Bank’s website for applying.

Surprise. There is absolutely no information in the Bank’s Website homepage about this advertisement I just saw. I search a bit, Not able to find it.

So, I call their support center. provide details on who I am, and ask for details on how to open a Fixed Deposit using this scheme. Even they are not aware of the changed rates and promising to get back to me asap.

Now, I am frustrated. These guys want my business or not?

Problem is, I am moving between channels : Newspaper, Web, Phone : Each channel may be very sophisticad, may have excellent technology backbone, Yet, they are not connected. Each has its own way of providing information and they are not synchronized yet. As a result, I am not getting a consistent experience.

Instead, Imagine this case :

  • I see a Newspaper Advertisement
  • This Advertisement has a special URL
  • Instead of going to the regular website (http://www.mybank.com/) I go to this URL (http://mybank.com/newFD)
  • It provides me all the details about the advertised scheme
  • I can fill out a form to express my interest
  • This form gives me a Unique Code, The same code is SMSed to my phone number
  • I walk into the branch, Give this Unique Code to them from my phone
  • They have a prefilled document with all my details, where I need to just sign, provide my cheque and the account is opened… All done in 60 seconds

Now, we can go a step ahead and make it 100% electronic, but that is not the point here. Even in the second example, I switched between multiple channels (Newspaper, Web, Physical Branch), still my experience is consistent, which saves time for everyone, avoides errors, and improves the overall customer satisfaction.

Google has done it with a common browser across multiple devices. Companies need to start thinking what / where / how they can “Sync”, so that the “Customer Experience” is improved.

Naga Chokkanathan

Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published In : http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/google-chrome-customer-experiences/

Market Segmentation & Mass Emailing

In the last few months, I observe that Email Newsletters from Indian Brands are improving a lot, in terms of design / look and feel / quality of content etc.,

However, these mails are not targeted right / smart. Most of them (even the biggest brands) still treat this as a pure, high power Mass Emailing system, with zero brains. They want to mail couple of million people, and hope that even a slim hit rate will give them huge business returns.

This may be true, but the fact is, they don’t seem to understand / appreciate what they are missing. Mass Emailing is much more powerful when combined with smart market segmentation.

For example, let us say I need a rare book on history, which is out of print. The only way I can read it is, by borrowing it from a library or an individual.

Approach 1:

I have 250 people in my Personal EMail Contacts List, one of them may have this book, Why not send a mail to all those and ask? It doesn’t hurt, and doesn’t cost a dime.

Approach 2:

Out of these 250 people, only 20 people are interested in reading history books. Let me send a mail to only those 20 people

As far as I am concerned, Approach 2 is much harder than Approach 1, because I need to manually hand pick those who are history buffs. But when I do that, I am writing only 20 mails instead of 250, and, my chances of success are much higher.

But does it really matter? Emails cost $0. Why invest that extra time in hand picking 20 people out of 250? Just blast a mail to everyone and see if someone responds.

This is exactly what many brands are doing, even today. Let me illustrate a good example from my own personal experience.

Recently, my bank started sending “Net Banking Basics” kind of educational newsletters. They have wonderful graphics and text to each ABCs of Net banking to customers. Nice initiative.

But guess what, they send this newsletter to all their customers. Including those (like me) who are using Net banking for the last 10+ years.

For me, these mails are frustrating / silly. Why waste my time with “How to login to your net banking” kind of Emails, when I am doing it almost everyday? Worst part, My bank knows I am a regular Net Banking user and still sends me these mails as if they are issuing bit notices on the street, Carelessness? No Value for your customer’s time? Big mistakes!

This is the problem with wrong targeting (or “No Targeting” in this case). Unlike my personal “Rare Book Search”, this “Net Banking Basics” mails should only be going to New Customers, or those who rarely / never use Net Banking. For all others, they are a waste of time.

Not only that, most of the Mass Emailing solutions charge you money, based on the number of Emails you send. From that perspective, Every single mail that my bank sends to me on “Net Banking Basics” is a waste of time, resources AND money.

Instead, what should they be doing? My suggestion is this:

  • Design 2 newsletters : “ABCs of Net Banking” and “How to do more from your Net Banking?”
  • Create 2 Segments of your customers : Newbies to Net Banking, Advanced Users of Net Banking (How? You have the net banking login particulars, USE IT!)
  • Target Newsletter #1 to Segment 1 and Newsletter #2 to Segment 2

Sounds too simple? Even Silly? Believe me, many brands are not doing even this simple segmentation and are happily sending Mass Emails, which bring a negative customer experience.

Zero Segmentation / Brainless Mass Emailing is not only a bad strategy, it can even create bigger problems. Here is another example, again from my Bank’s Newsletters.

One of their recent Newsletters had this Subject line “Use Net Banking and Get a Travel Bag Free”.

Wow, Free gift, I opened the EMail immediately and learnt that all I need to do is Login to my Net Banking account, Request for a statement and that’s it, I get a Travel Bag.

But wait, there is a fine print, This is only applicable for first time users of Net Banking.

Oops, Tough luck. Bye Bye Travel Bag.

Now, what goes through my mind?

  • Why send me an offer for which I don’t qualify (Bad Or Zero Segmentation, We already discussed it)
  • You are giving a free travel bag to a newbie logging in to Net Banking for the first time, But no gift to me, who is a regular user of Net Banking, Unfair!

Of course, I understand the motivation behind my bank giving away this gift to attract more and more Net Banking customers, but the point is, they shouldn’t have told this to Regular Net Banking users, which leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

Again, the culprit is Zero Segmentation. If only the bank sent that “Free Travel Bag” offer mail to only those customers who never used Net Banking, I will never know about that offer / feel bad about missing a freebie.

OKay, we covered Bad Segmentation / Zero Segmentation, there is a third category, its called “Unfit Segmentation”.

Few days back, I got a newsletter from a super market. It was in Kannada, a regional language spoken in the state where I live (Karnataka, India).

I really liked the idea of sending marketing newsletters in regional languages, I don’t remember any other brand doing it.

But, the problem is, My super market never asked me whether I could read Kannada. Thousands of people living in Karnataka, can’t read the local language. All those will get zero value from this newsletter.

So, What went wrong? My guess is this:

  • The store has decided to segment customers based on the state they live
  • They designed a newsletter in each state’s regional language and sent it across
  • For example, if you live in Karnataka, you get a Kannada newsletter, If you live  in Tamilnadu, you get a Tamil newsletter and so on (Nice!)

When compared to my Bank, this is Smart Segmentation. They haven’t mass mailed something to everyone, proper segmentation is done and each segment got relevant content.

But the problem is, they totally missed the fact that I may be a Tamilian who is living in Karnataka. In that case, this rule will send me a Kannada Newsletter, which I can’t read / use / buy.

So, the segmentation strategy adopted by this supermarket is Good, But unfit for their requirement (Newsletters in more than one language). They should have gone for something like this:

  • When people register in your super market, ask them “Preferred language of communication”
  • Create your segments based on this information and send newsletter accordingly
  • Means, irrespective of where I live, if I prefer “Tamil” as my language of communication, I will get the newsletter in Tamil

To summarize:

  • Zero Segmentation is bad, and creates a negative customer experience
  • Depending on your marketing requirements, choose your “customer information” on which segments will be based on. Wrong Segment / Unfit Segment is as bad as Zero Segmentation

Naga Chokkanathan,

Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published In : http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/market-segmentation-mass-emailing/

Social CRM For Service Teams

One common source where people are sharing content online more than ever is certainly the social networking environment. This is the largest source of direct, honest and outspoken opinions and community assistance. While this real time social media thing is global, uncontrollable and dynamic that lets your prospects and customers talk about you online, it is definitely serving like a helping aid to Service Teams, as well.

While customers talk about issues that you may not be even aware of, using right tools you can actually uncover the posts that talk about various issues, problems or may be grievances about company products and services. This can facilitate you in enhancing your customer support and service.

Social CRM provides you an opportunity to automatically convert these customer posts into service requests into the existing support application for a better follow up and track.

Now, what kind of social media posts for customer support routine can assist you? It may be a complaint, suggestion, any positive feedback or may be an additional service or product offering.

Once you identify the kind of post that can help you further in the matter, social CRM can convert it into a service request and route it through the existing workflows. Most of the organizations answer these posts as first come, first served manner, but you can choose to answer these according to your high value customers or may be high rated products. But whatever you choose, that should be based on business needs and not social media dynamics.

With the scoring mechanisms of social CRM, efficient and timely segmentation of actionable posts becomes easy. So, while managing service requests and taking proficient actions accordingly, you can also enjoy various other benefits of social CRM like platform flexibility, greater influence over conversation, better accommodating complexity of customer relationships and achieving deeper customer engagement.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Stock Of “Kudos”

Oracle Fusion CRM has various interesting features, once of them called “Kudos”.

You can see this via Navigator > My Portrait. If you don’t see Kudos option, click on the downward arrow in this page, and expand the portlet called “Kudos”.

This page shows all the “Kudos” (or Praise) given / received by the current employee across the organization. It says on which day the person gave (or got) kudos to (or from) whom, and for what reason.

This doesn’t add too much of value as a CRM application, but is a very valuable HR function. There are many other similar features in this page such as Career Planning, Development and Growth, Experience and Qualifications etc., These shows how powerfully Fusion Apps are integrated across.

Sports and CRM

Sports & CRM Applications : This Works Great

Don’t feel surprised if an organization suddenly seems much more familiar with your tastes and preferences.

Yes, this is actually grabbing attention these days. Recently, a well-known professional baseball team from Boston deployed a Sports CRM app. It rolled out the application in luxury sales only, which resulted in 20% more conversions and the senior operations analysts believe that it will increase much further this year now that they have become more familiar with the system.

Features in the Sports CRM applications incorporate usual range of functionality, which can be oriented as per the needs of a sports team. It not only provides customer service in a single system but also allows users to track and manage different information including finance and sales.

For instance, the team can now easily access the inventory management module like premium seating and event venues. With the help of better customer data and predictive analysis, developing promotional material and marketing programs has become very easy for them and they can effectively target specific customer groups as per their gaming and seating preferences.

Prior to deployment of the CRM system, the team was dependent on its own home-grown databases that included excel files, but post deployment, the system gave them a better view of what could be booked when certain seats were available. But the best part is in terms of customer knowledge that allowed the team to know about the preferences of the customers. CRM systems not only make it easy to manage your customer data, but you can also maximize the amount of data that can be put in the CRM system to make it comfortable for your customers, as well.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

New Customer for CRM++ Reports Scheduler application

We are happy to share the good news that CRMIT will be implementing our CRM++ Reports Scheduler application for a leading Insurance services provider in South Africa. The application will be implemented in all their sites across the country.

CRMIT’s CRM++ Reports Scheduler is an useful background application for Oracle CRM On Demand implementations. It is an effective Web 2.0 application that takes your CRM On Demand report / dashboard experience to the next level. This custom application helps CRM users to automatically schedule their reports. Based on the frequencies set by the users, the reports or dashboards are automatically run at the right time, and sent as email attachments (in various formats) to their respective inboxes. This not only avoids the need for users to connect to CRM every once in a while, just for the sake of running a report or two, but also acts as an automatic online archive / backup of snapshot reports over a period of time.

As an added advantage, CRM users can also send these reports to external people (non-CRM users). This makes it easier to share relevant business data with other stakeholders, even when they are not part of your CRM system.

For more information on the Reports Scheduler application, and to watch a demonstration video please click here. If you need further details or would like to request for a free demo / trial login, write to us at st@crmit.com

http://crmplusplus.com/Reports.html

Beware Of Inactive Inboxes

We have a curious problem in our apartment, Not something which can be resolved by calling a plumber or electrician.

There are 8 flats in this apartment and we have a small association of owners. We meet once in a while and discuss things such as maintenance fee, current issues, possible solutions etc.,

In paper, this sounds good, But in reality, it’s near impossible for us to gather all the house owners (just 8 of them) in one place. So, we kept postponing these meetings and many issues went untouched.

One fine day, we decided to sort this by using the power of internet. Someone created an Email group, asked all the owners to join there and we started interacting regularly. As we could read / respond to Emails offline at our convenience, this was very useful and we all liked it.

All, except two.

One of these owners, had an Email ID, But never used it. So he missed all important updates and was always raising a flag on every issue ‘when did you discuss this? I am not even aware of it!’

‘But we sent you an Email.’

‘Sorry, I don’t check my mail at all, you should have called me in phone and informed.’

Another owner, didn’t even know what an Email is. In fact, he never touched a computer in his life till date. So, he missed all updates too.

Thankfully, the other 6 owners had active Email IDs, and were checking / responding to Emails. But we could see some mismatches in the frequency of checking Emails, for example, couple of us checked Emails every few minutes, while others did it by end of the day, or even end of the week. As a result, we couldn’t make any decisions fast enough.

To summarize, eventho’ we had an Email group and discussing things, there is no assurance that all the concerned people get updated promptly. This brings down the overall effectiveness of the Email Group itself.

If this is the case with just 8 members, imagine what will happen with Marketing teams trying to push messages to hundreds of thousands of customers in their CRM Database. You may be sending a beautiful Email Newsletter, but 20% of your contacts may never open it, another 20% may open it late, effectively spoiling your party.

With “Social” messages, the risk is even higher. Most of your contacts in the CRM Database, may not be active in Social Media / check updates regularly, What is the point in touching base with them at great expense? May be they need to be contacted in a different channel?

To take care of this serious communication issue, it is advisable for marketing organizations to start analyzing their existing contacts and split them into different buckets such as:

  • Email Aware
  • Email Active
  • Social Media Aware
  • Social Media Active
  • None

This is just a sample, we may have more buckets like this, but the point is, if we know how active the contact is in various channels (by just asking them, “What is your preferred mode of communication? Email / Phone/ Twitter / Facebook / Others?”) we can push the same message to different people in different channels and expect a higher HIT Rate.

For example, a single campaign message may go to 20% of my contacts via direct mail (Post), another 20% in Email, 40% by Social Media etc., based on the bucket where they are. This way we ensure that a message has a higher chance of making an impact, by not falling on an inactive inbox / facebook wall.

Naga Chokkanathan

Senior Director, CRMIT

(Originally Published in http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/why-not-beware-of-inactive-inboxes/)

Understanding Service Delivery Gaps

The earlier article on Excelling in Service Quality would have helped you to identify the five elements of service quality (Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy, Responsiveness) that you have to focus on to exceed your customer satisfaction. But what is more interesting to understand is to know what creates the Gap between the perceived levels of Service Quality VS the expected level of service by the customer. The Gaps model helps you to understand that better by splitting the gaps into four different constituents. Understanding these gaps, measuring and narrowing down the gaps would help you to reach the ultimate objective of exceeding your customer expectations. The below picture summarizes the Gaps model where Customer Gap = Gap 1 + Gap 2 + Gap 3 + Gap 4

Gap 1 generally arises due to difference in understanding of customer expectation by front end analysts who elicit customer requirements. You can consider this as not knowing what the customer expects / the knowledge gap. This can happen due to multiple reasons like capability of the Analyst who elicit the customer requirements, not interacting with the right mix of customer contacts, not listening the customer, Language / cultural barriers, not asking the right questions, too many layers of management etc

Gap 2 arises due to translation of analyst understanding of customer requirements to service specifications / design. This is the services design and standards Gap. This primarily happens due to constraints (technology, people, process) that limits your ability to map the customer needs, not so flexible in-house processes to adopt to customer needs, lack of capability in translating the requirements specs to a well rounded design etc

Gap 3 is due to difference in the way the design is done against how it is actually executed. This is the services performance gap. This primarily happens due incompetence of delivery staff, process non compliance, employee-company conflict, high empowerment leading to people taking ad-hoc decisions etc

Gap 4 is due to difference in what is promised to the customer against what is actually delivered to the customer. This is due to you not in a position to deliver what you promised to the customer. Most obvious reason could be false promises by Sales / Marketing staff to the customer, poor expectations management etc

Unless you have tight measures to manage each of the Gaps by having right checkpoints, audits, surveys, reviews etc you may not be able to reduced the Customer Gap which is the difference between the expected service of the customer and perceived service.

Venkatesan Sundaram

Senior Director, CRMIT

(Originally Published in : http://venkysundaram.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/understanding-service-delivery-gaps/)

What To Monitor In A Tweet?

One out of every three Twitter users talk about brands in their tweets and that’s a fact. This is a good way to keep an eye on your brand. A tweet may look very small and even insignificant, but actually there are so many things that you can monitor in a single tweet. There is lot of business information that can be driven from this amazing social media tool. You can know a lot about your customer and their feelings by just carefully observing the tweets they write. Check out this picture, which talks about various things you can track from a single tweet.

There are various factors that can be considered while looking into a tweet of one of your customers or prospects and this can be mapped to your CRM data, as well. While Twitter not only works as an opinion poll, it also helps people to build an instant “backchannel”. And if your prospects are online most of the time, monitoring the tweets and responding to them promptly, can immensely help with business development and augmenting customer service.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT