Why bad CRM can cost you money

Steven | management,Random Thoughts | Monday, 15 February 2010

Bad as in: bad implementation, lack of, ..

Just a little rant :-)

In my mailbox, an invoice from Luminus (beware, you’re uber modern browser might not support this state of the art website .. I thought we left these days behind us), a utility company delivering gas and electricity in Belgium. We use them for gas.

With my invoice I got a flyer (glossy, color, 2 sided) explaining me the benefits of a day/night regime. To use these benefits, you need a meter with a double function. My first reaction was: what, they know I have this! Second thought: damn, I’m not buying electricity from them .. these meters are only for electricity.

Bad CRM, and a costly affair. Here’s why.

  • They know who to send this to. If they know how to invoice me, they know what products I use. In this case, send it only to electricity clients without the day/night regime. Sure, most people won’t even pay attention to it, but if that’s your excuse, you’ll never gonna win “marketeer of the year” do yo?
  • Printing these flyers cost money. Why print flyers for people who can’t do anything with it? It’s not like a street action where you don’t know who’s receiving . You KNOW the person at the other end of the letter, at least you should know. Is your excuse it’s more costly to target the messages than to just send everybody the same shit? Update your systems, you’re falling behind! I don’t want to be a client of an outdated utility company. What’s next, no gas? Is your excuse to use this as an awareness campaign? Wrong message! I know you’re delivering electricity as well. The fact that we only consume gas should’ve rang a bell: we did our homework.
  • What’s happening next is confusion. I was confused, but I sorted it out. What about all these other people who aren’t well informed. They might have the double meter, but with your flyer, they started doubting: do I actually have it? I thought I had? Am I paying way too much the last couple of years? .. These people are at best confused for a moment (good customer experience eh?), at worst they start calling (or blog/twitter/facebook/.. about it). I can imagine call center hosts aren’t free as well?

I know this isn’t a big deal, and like I said, most people toss it away anyway, but I keep on being disappointing when I see stuff like this.

The good news is: this can be turned around. Good CRM can save you money, let alone make you a lot of it.

One quick example, when we moved, we obviously failed in notifying everyone to update our address. One of the companies we forgot was Delhaize, a supermarket (my favorite one). How did I found out? Well, suddenly, there was a highly personal message added to my ticket, saying something like: Mister Verbruggen, we noticed the folders we’re sending you are rejected every time. Is there any chance you might have moved? If so, you can easily change your address by doing bla bla ..

Wow! This is the kind of integration I like. From a bouncing folder to a central database and integrated in the register! Please don’t tell me you don’t know if I’m a gas or electricity client, because Delhaize just set the standard. This is what I expect, and everything else will be considered as a failure.

Jamie Oliver’s mission

Steven | Random Thoughts | Saturday, 13 February 2010

I just watched Jamie Oliver’s 2010 TED talk. Stunning! This is a must see, 20 minutes to change the world.

Jamie’s Wish:
“I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

The talk got him the TED prize. Rightly! It’s literally one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen, in form and content. Look mom, not a single bullet point! Watch and learn.

But I’m wasting your time here with my chit chat. Watch the video NOW.

After seeing it, ask yourself: what can I do? You can do a lot, if only don’t be an ignorant fool. Know what you eat, and if you have kids, lead by example. Fight the system from the inside out.


Google buzz

Steven | Google | Tuesday, 09 February 2010

This could be something big!

Still not enrolled in my gmail though, so I’m very curious to check it out. I hope this could be a new way to spread and filter messages. We’ll see.

BTW: anybody still remember Wave :) I believe buzz has a better chance, if only because it’s integrated in gmail, and not again a separate platform.

The Virtual Strike

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns,Random Thoughts | Monday, 08 February 2010

There’s something happening in Belgian ad world this week. The site of some major agencies are on a strike.

On a strike?

Yes, it’s a protest, organized by an organization called ACC, a self-regulating organ that tries to outline the way pitches should be organized here in Belgium. A noble goal, really. As you might know or not, a pitch is a process where an agency is in competition with other agencies, trying to win the account. As you can imagine, a pretty intense process that indeed can suck-up quite some resources, creativity, money even .. so yes, I do believe in some kind of regulation. Rules the ACC promote are for example: only 4 agencies, don’t steal creation, .. pretty straight-forward ideas to be honest, but as you can imagine, clients don’t always feel the same.

And this is what the strike is about. To bring a clear and simple message: don’t abuse.

That’s why you’ll find the websites of these agencies replaced with an open letter, that you can find after the break (screenshots, the text isn’t copy-paste friendly .. let’s not get started about share-ability)

A post about passion

Steven | Random Thoughts | Sunday, 07 February 2010

I pity this guy!

Evert-Jan De Kort

I pity this guy because he’s so passionate about chocolate he can’t turn it into his profession. He can’t because joining the established chocolate manufacturers here in Belgium is just below his standards. It’s not that it’s all bad .. but this guy only settles with the best. Top notch. No compromises.

I pity this guy, because when he tells me if he didn’t had a wife and kid he probably would’ve moved to Canada or some other place where he could do something real with his talent and passion, I know he’s not lying. He’s telling this in a non regretful way, he’s just stating the facts. He frames his passion.

I pity this guys, because when it comes to chocolate, people are ignorant. They think they know what he talks about, except they don’t. So he has to convince them, one soul at the time.

I envy this guy, because I know he will turn it into his profession, one way or another, one day or another. I know he’ll find a way to cash in on his passion (cf Gary Vaynerchuk), because that’s what he does.

I envy this guy, because he’s walking the talk. He’s doing it, whatever conditions; wrong place, wrong time. He’s not one of these morons, like me, always blabbering about good ideas, never executing them. He’s doing it, one step at the time.

This guy is Evert-Jan de Kort. His parents must have known he’d be capable of doing 2 things at the time when they gave him 2 first names. And I wish him all the luck in the world!

Oh yes, I’m writing this post in the first place, because I attended a Whisky-Chocolate tasting last week. Evert-Jan teamed up with Whisky Import Belux (another guy following his passion, although whisky is a bit easier than chocolate), and we were able to taste some excellent products and combinations. Good times! Evert-jan’s project is called Choqoa, and if you want to know about chocolate, anything, just ask him