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Relationship Marketing -Please post your answers as you are a customer

Author harindra
#1 | Posted: 30 Jul 2007 02:13 
Hi All,

I work for a online reservation company. (we do bookings for all over the world)We are going to introduce a loyalty program to our customers who have done lot of bookings with us. we have a 24/7 customer support. Customers can call our toll free numbers any time,any day if they want help. Some customers phone to do bookings as well.
I work for the call center as an Quality Assurance Executive.
I was given a task to come up with ways we can treat and build relationships with customers who fall under this loyalty program.

Can you all help me with this?
1.How can we treat this customers differently to other customers?
2. If you are a customer what would you expect from our customer support line?

Please post your answers to these two questions.
If everybody can answer to my second question I can carry it as a survey.

It would be a great help for me.
Thank You

Author suzanne Mohammed Nasr
#2 | Posted: 30 Jul 2007 04:39 
The customer must be treated correctly to try to resolve the problem presented. Know enough information on the product or service provided.

Author ayaree
#3 | Posted: 30 Jul 2007 19:22 
Harindra, it sounds like there is a marketing component to this task, and I assume that your company wants to leverage the contact between your CSRs and your customers as one way to build and grow the loyalty program.

So that leads me to pose the inevitable question: is there an incentive to staying with your company as the solution? Does one already exist? What do you know about the customers that fall into this loyalty program? It sounds like you want to treat them like VIPs (Very Important People). What are the top 3 or 5 things that the CSRs are doing for these customers? Can these customers benefit from an added value in support that may not be available for every customer in your current infrastructure? No idea what that added value might be, could it be outbound calls to verify or confirm details? Some added touch? When do these VIPs appear? This sounds international, what is the mix of added value you are going to be able to provide (ie, if you do something that requires extra handling, you need this in different time zones across the 24/7 environment).

I guess I tried to cover 1 and 2 in the paragraph above. More on 2 though: if the service is offered 24/7 and I am not in the same time zone, I guess I would need to find the same services available, and that means the same talent. When I call in to a center, I need to be provided with clear menu options that include my reasons for calling and that don't make me wait. I need knowledge in the person I reach. Sometimes I need to be guided with that knowledge more than others. Sometimes I know exactly what I want and I don't want to hear a robot reading from a script that makes me feel like money spent on procedures are more important than the money I am spending.

Author ayaree
#4 | Posted: 30 Jul 2007 19:24 
Well, oops, there is obviously a marketing component to your question, give the title. Bedtime for me, perhaps.

Author harindra
#5 | Posted: 30 Jul 2007 21:50 
Hi Ayaree

Thank you so much for your comments. I have already taken down notes of your feedback. Very useful!! :-)
Well,we are giving discounts and they get points for each booking they do and they can claim these points back. There are other fringe benefits too which are taken care by the Marketing devision.
All the customers who have done more than three bookings for the last year will fall into this and we want to start the programme with these customers who fall in to this criteria.
when they contact the call center sometimes we request for them to send an email for us to carry on the request. I suggested that we should minimize the work that they need to do in such instances so they feel they are given privileges.
I want to know what else I could suggest for these customers. Management wants us to be proactive and we have to come up with new ideas.
I have already given instructions in terms of answering the phone calls.(e.g call them by the name,empathize with the customer ,..)
Any other way that we can make them feel special when communicating with them?

Thanks all for all the comments...please post me your comments :-)


Author ayaree
#6 | Posted: 2 Aug 2007 17:49 
Harindra, I haven't got a ton of extra ideas to bring to the table at the very moment. I think you are on the right track about not creating additional work for these customers who fall within this special loyalty category. I'm not a Marketing guru, but in the last 20 years I think I have seen so many displays and campaigns that indicate "Gold" or "Platinum" or "VIP" that maybe the use of the terms has become deflated over time ("Who cares?"). If that's correct, then that probably means it's tougher to make someone feel special and stick with you. But I don't think it's impossible either. When I walk into a restaurant I have been counting on for quite a while and there a veteran staff members that have served me, they exercise CRM (which would not be a new topic for you) by bringing me a drink or a newspaper or a starting snack that they have heard me ask for many times: they recognize me, and they're going to lift a finger and show me they do and seek another good tip from me by making sure I am not going to feel like I am suddenly in a different place.

These customers that continue to come back to you should have all the necessary recognition components that are available within budget to make them keep coming back. Not sure of the customer profile mix, but Joe Individual (like me at the restaurant) has his recognition needs; Derek Smallbusinessowner has his recognition needs; and Travis Franchiseoperatorwithinacorporateenvironment has his recognition needs. Maybe there is some ground to be gained with Travis if his recognition includes a way for him to look like he saved his piece of the district some money. And can others like Travis compete at that recognition? If the recognition involves a communication piece, the CSRs would need to be aware of the status of that customer, the messaging needs to be consistent and linked across all methods of communication that customer will experience. Not sure if that works in any way in your context.

When it comes to the extra fringe benefits that are fulfilled by the marketing division, I raise a caution (I also think of the worst, which is a bleak thing to do, but it's the way to go when executing plans in my book). Need to make sure there is not a huge gap of knowledge or handling bewteen what the CSRs are doing and what Marketing are doing. The essence of the recognition (for the sake of the loyalty program at 12,000 ft) cannot have any hiccups. The Messaging on paper, in the words of a CSR, the relevant details about a recognizable customer etc need to be tied together.

Sorry if that's too slim, can't think of more just now.

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 Relationship Marketing -Please post your answers as you are a customer

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