They Love Me, They Love Me Not
Ah, St. Valentine's Day. My favorite holiday. Aside from being another great excuse to indulge in chocolate, for me Valentine's Day offers the opportunity to find creative ways to remind loved ones that they're special.
In a way, every day is like Valentine's Day for companies using CRM to show customers how valuable they are. Does your company use CRM primarily to cut costs and improve efficiencies, or does it also, truly, use CRM to enhance customer relationships? If your company is in it for the relationship, I'd love to hear your story. In fact, I will mail a box of Godiva chocolates
to the five readers with the best specific, anecdotal example of how your company uses CRM to bolster customer relationships. We'll even turn the winning narratives into an article for the magazine--so be sure you have a customer willing to be interviewed, or have hard numbers (e.g., a percentage increase in incremental business) to support your story. The deadline? February 14.
Email your stories to gconlon@destinationCRM.com.
This month is also a good time to reflect on whether your company is doing anything that jeopardizes customer relationships. Recently, for example, T-Mobile gave me a reason to find a new telecom provider. I went to purchase a Handspring Treo 270 for use with my T-Mobile service, only to discover that it would cost me $200 extra to keep my current phone number. If I were a new customer I would pay $499 for the Treo; but as a current customer, I would be charged $699. (Sprint, on the other hand, charges $499 to current and new customers.) So I am being penalized for being a T-Mobile customer.
T-Mobile customer service gave several excuses for its pricing policy, and offered me a partial credit toward my account once I buy the Treo. Although I appreciate the manager's generosity, the only way I will not feel ripped off is if I pay the "going rate" of $499.
Undaunted, I emailed (as a consumer, not an editor) John Clelland, senior vice president of marketing for T-Mobile USA Inc., asking about its pricing. I was pleased to receive replies the following morning from Clelland and Glenn Pingul, executive director, customer marketing, saying they would look into the matter and get back to me in two days. I await their emails optimistically.
Today it is harder than ever to retain customers and build sales. So take time this month to examine whether your policies and business strategies are designed to build customer loyalty or to send customers to the competition saying, "They love me not."