Experiencing Customer Relationship Management in Action


Recently I had some unique experiences, which has proved that  organizations in India are keen to manage long-term relationships with their customers.

The first instance is from one of the largest telecom provider.. Reliance. I have a fixed landline for almost 6 years now from Reliance. The handset that they provide is pretty pathetic and hardly lasts a year or two under normal operating conditions. My handset also developed some problems and i took it to the nearest outlet. I was prepared to pay for a new handset (i have paid for then last 2 times). When i reached the outlet, the store manager had a look at the handset and told me that i will have to get this replaced and it will cost me approx. 900 INR. I was prepared for this, so this did not come as a surprise. He then took my telephone number and went ahead to check if i was a genuine customer. i gave him my details. He entered them on his System and checked few details. He asked me to wait and in the meantime called someone. I overheard the conversation. This store manager was talking to some regional guy and telling him that a Platinum Customer has walked into his store with a faulty handset, what should he do? After a brief conversation the man returned and handed me a new handset and told me that i need not pay for this. I was surprised. Companies like these have not only built a CRM solution but also use them intelligently to create a next level of customer experience.

Next comes another Telecom operator…Vodafone India. I have been using their services for almost 2.5 Years. Always a very prompt customer when it comes to making payments of my bills. Last month i forgot to pay my bills by the due date, this would be the first instance in the last 30 months. 3 days after the due date i receive an SMS from Vodafone. The SMS did not remind me that i have forgotten to pay the bill and that if i do not pay by some date strict action will be taken against me (Do not get surprised, i once received an SMS from Airtel which stated that a Police Case will be filed if i did not pay my bill of 500INR). The SMS stated, “Please Clear all your outstanding amount by 5PM today and avail a cash discount of 75INR in your next bill” Wow !!! what a way to remind the customer.Wow!! what a way to strengthen the bond with your customer.Wow!! what a way to tweak messaging based on the customer profile. I consider this as one of the best use of customer intelligence to help retain and provide happiness to your customers. I believe Vodafone truly follows its motto “Happy to Help” in all that they do.

Such instances should be considered as true success of the CRM initiatives. As a consultant, I generally face questions around  ROI of a CRM investment. I always site such examples in response. In both the examples above, the organizations were convinced, that maintaining the customer is equally important. They utilize their systems to churn out intelligent insights and not just capture information. A true CRM is not a system which captures your customer information and helps you identify him/her uniquely, CRM is a passion and a committment to understand your customer better and provide him/her an unmatched pleasure in all the interactions that he/she has with you. 

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About Amitesh Srivastava
I have over eight years' experience in IT and Business Consulting. I have been involved in business analysis, consulting and client management for reputed clients across life sciences domain, and possess good understanding of various commercial systems managing pharma sales and marketing processes

2 Responses to Experiencing Customer Relationship Management in Action

  1. amranjan says:

    Good to see the changing Customer experience in India. In US , for similar situation and customers with good history , the provider will at most waive off the late fee for past due bills.

  2. Harsh Garg says:

    Yeah… just topically though for Indian telecom… wonder how this game changes with the introduction of MNP.

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