Category: Tips & Tricks

4 Unconventional CRM Strategies For Touching Base With Customers

(Source : http://blog.planningpod.com/2012/08/16/4-unconventional-crm-strategies-for-touching-base-with-customers/)

1. Invoice Notes
2. “How Can We Improve?” Calls
3. Open House / Party
4. The “Project Completion” (Or “Transaction Completion”) Thank You

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KANO Model for Customer Satisfaction

Recently, our Senior Director Mr. Venkatesan Sundaram delivered an interesting session on “KANO Model for Customer Satisfaction”. It was a fun filled session with lots and lots of interactions, practical examples and tips.

#CRMIT senior director Venkatesan delivers a session on "Linking Product / Service Design to Customer Satisfaction"

Find below a Short Mind Map explaining this useful concept. You can click on the picture to see it in full size / download it for future reference.

Hidden Pricing Power

Donald V. Potter discusses many tips on pricing, in his classic article “Discovering Hidden Pricing Power”, published in “Business Horizons” magazine, during November, December 2000. His inputs to go beyond the standard rate cards, % discounting, fixed price and T&M models, so that you have the edge when trying to make that sale.

Here are some useful tips from this wonderful article:

  • Bundle Benefits
  • Unbundle Benefits
  • Offer alternative service levels and price points
  • Link Future Purchases to Current Transaction
  • Understand the components of the cost better to keep cost and price moving together
  • Shift some of the price to suppliers
  • Set Prices Selectively, Not across the board
  • Move Prices in Smaller Increments
  • Raise Invisible Prices
  • Match Price Moves to the Market
  • Use Discounts strategically to build relationship with important clients
  • Price Against The Leader (Price it down when leader is reluctant)
  • Follow the leader (Move the prices up, if leader increases)
  • Seek out new segments that tolerate high prices

Venkatesan Sundaram,

Senior Director, CRMIT

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/

Customizing Oracle Fusion CRM

We have prepared a short video, which talks in detail about “Extending Oracle Fusion CRM”. It covers information about the MDS Repository, Engine, Various layers where customizations can be done, how these are stored in the repository and how they are retrieved at the runtime to provide different experience to different users.

Customizing Oracle Fusion CRM

We will be coming up with more advanced videos on Oracle Fusion CRM in the coming days. For more details and to answer any of your queries, feel free to reach us at st@crmit.com

Oracle Fusion CRM Reporting

Oracle Fusion CRM comes with a comprehensive Reporting Module, which is very easy to use, flexible, yet powerful enough to capture all your reporting needs.

If you are already comfortable with Oracle’s BI (OBIEE Or CRM On Demand Answers) way of creating reports, this should be very easy for you, there is basically not much to unlearn / relearn as you can see from the steps below:

Step 1 : Go to “Navigator” > “Tools” > “Reports and Analytics”

Step 2 : From the left navigation, click on “Create” Icon, It opens a popup screen

Step 3 : Select your Subject Area, Reporting Wizard Starts

Step 4a : Select Columns / Organize them as per your requirements

Step 4b : Name your report, Select Views (Table / Chart / Both), Decide on the layout

Step 4c : Edit Table

Step 4d : Edit Chart

Step 4e : Filter your records (to display limited information in your report), Sort them based on one or more fields (Ascending / Descending)

Step 4f : Define Conditional Highlighting (If any)

Step 4g : Define Location : My Folders / Shared Folders / Subfolders & Save

Step 5 : From the left navigation, Click on the folder specified in Step 4g, Click on the report name, Click on “View” to view the report, Or “Edit” to edit the same

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