Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) starts from the premise that price is not the sole reason a customer will pick one company over another. Given the rush to cut costs to the bone and the perceived need for dramatic offers in every email marketing campaign, this tends to go against accepted wisdom. But just run with it for a while.
Take, for example, me. I recently bought an external hard drive for back-up purposes. I searched on-line for the cheapest price I could find, so conforming to the stereotype I suppose, but then I went onto the website of my favourite computer parts retailer.
I have been on its email marketing list for some seven years and in that time have never had reason to complain. I misunderstood one email marketing offer and the item did not conform to my expectations. I phoned their customer service and got an apology. I was sent free of charge software to bring the spec up to what I had expected. That is as bad as they have been.
However, and there is always a however, one aspect makes them slightly less than perfect. Their prices are hardly ever the lowest around. There have been the occasional campaigns that proved too good to miss, an offer I could not refuse, but generally 2 – 2.5% above the base-line is about as good as they get.
I tried to think of why I was quite happy to pay the extra as I went through their very clear and simple payment page. It is difficult to pinpoint. However, here are some of the reasons:
1. Except for the occasion I mentioned, everything has been exactly as described
2. Delivery has always been on the day and times specified
3. Their returns procedure is simple and straightforward
4. They have a non-premium help-line and the few times I have needed assistance they have solved my problems quickly, and without patronising me
5. Their staff, either on the phone or via email, are very prompt in answering and helpful
6. Every marketing email I get is of interest
CRM works on me. It keeps me on email marketing lists, and that’s worth a lot to the company.