• November 1, 2007
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

RDS Delivery Delivers on Service

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According to its Web site, RDS Delivery Service assures its customers that deliveries to the Tri-State Area and the five boroughs of New York City will be completed within one to two hours of pick up. But delivery isn't the only thing RDS has to focus on: It's also about managing customer relationships. Not only does RDS Delivery handle over a thousand customers, but it is constantly making contact with prospects and reaching out to other networks. Larry Zogby, president of RDS Delivery Service, knew it was time for a technology "refresh." For 10 years, he had been using Maximizer only for database management because, he admits, he was "afraid of learning something new." Like many other heads of small and midsize businesses (SMBs), Zogby felt that he was too busy to undergo all the education and trials necessary to successfully implement a new CRM tool. But at a breakfast last year with Wintec Group Inc., Maximizer's New York-based partner, Zogby saw an opportunity to finally automate and manage RDS's customers and prospects better. After deploying Maximizer Enterprise Edition, RDS saw a significant expansion of its customer base. Moreover, it was able to gradually increase its unit price without losing any customers. RDS has one customer service representative to handle the manual campaigns (i.e., sending postcards, brochures, and gifts); Maximizer automatically handles each account and executes the appropriate email campaign roughly once a month. "We're always in their faces...but it's a methodological, strategic approach," Zogby says. Using Maximizer's user-defined fields, RDS has specialized campaigns in addition to its customer campaigns; these include efforts designed for inbound-outbound prospects, lost customers, and customers' circles-of-influence. While the initial costs of graphic design, copywriting, and strategizing have remained constant, Maximizer has reduced the cost of human resources by 70 percent, Zogby says. "Imagine you have five employees, 200 accounts each. You're paying them $30,000 to $40,000 just for them to do account maintenance. I don't need that anymore -- I have Maximizer," he says. By directing marketing and account maintenance into the CRM application, upper management can devote more time and energy into further strategizing and sales can focus on bringing in new customers, knowing that the company's existing customer base is well taken care of. Zogby says one of the most important gains from Maximizer is the leverage to increase contacts and, in turn, increase conversion. "I could never have this much reach without a tool," he says. Zogby accomplishes this feat in three ways. First, he keeps his customers happy so that they will not only continue to use RDS Delivery, but also because he can rely on them as word-of-mouth marketers. Second, Zogby continues to join specific groups through which he can get to know them and thus be introduced to their networks. "I'm able to talk to 70 people with a touch of a button," he says. "As soon as I enter them into Maximizer, they get to know me as I go to lunch." Last, when RDS cannot provide a particular service, Zogby sends the customer to a competitor with whom he has a strategic partnership and a financial agreement. RDS still maintains close contact with the customer -- a capability his competitors have not yet implemented -- so he's not losing opportunities for future interactions. Zogby also emphasizes how marketing automation has significantly improved other companies' perception of RDS's value: Firms receiving RDS's campaigns are impressed enough to think, "If they're marketing to us like this, their service must be great," Zogby says. Without the tool, Zogby admits that he would never be able to maintain the consistency and reliability he believes is critical to customer satisfaction. Just as it took RDS Delivery 10 years to finally implement a full CRM system, Zogby admits that "it takes courage to [commit to a program]. People want that immediate ROI." However, he is confident that the payoff is well worth it: "If you're not ready to buy from me today, I know my competitor's going to screw up and I know you're going to buy from me because we've been courting you for the last six months -- all without much effort." THE PAYOFF By using Maximizer, RDS Delivery has been able to:
  • increase unit prices without losing any customers;
  • connect with more prospects and networks than ever before; and
  • reduce the cost of human resources by 70 percent.
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