– Thoughts on Strategy and Management

Your best CRM system

Since many, many years an amazing number of articles, books and studies discuss CRM systems and their importance or effects on corporate success. Furthermore companies did spent large amounts of capital for implementation, training and very often for consulting when introducing CRM systems. But sometimes the best CRM system is a very good value for money, hopefully well self-directed “simple” system. You might be wondering about what kind of system I am writing? As explained in my last post on Eddielogic I would like to present some observations from our last vacation in April this year. So – sometimes the best CRM system is your employee.

As I said in my last post we travel to Majorca once a year. Since 5 years we make our car reservation with the same rental firm; since 6 years we always stay in the same hotel. Since a few years we receive a “welcome back” greeting fruit basket from the hotel management. That is a really nice attention from our perspective and gives us a warm welcome. I guess that the hotel’s database indicates our booking frequency. That is very good feature to increase customer loyalty for a vacation hotel; I know some very nice hotels in Germany (which are far more expensive) that are not able to identify us as their former customers and to demonstrate any sign of “welcome back”.

But let me put some emphasis on the rental firm. The firm offers that you can pick up your rental car at the airport.

The benefit is to be independent in terms of transit busses. You make the reservation online at home, go to the meeting point, sign your contract and pick up your keys. That is very simple, customer friendly process and time saving. Three years ago we used this service the very first time. Last year we decided to order our car the same way and arrived in the morning (7.30 am) in Majorca. The “rental firm representative” was waiting for us at the meeting point (the company does not have an office there, their staff members wait for you at a specific point it the arrival hall). Well, we considered that he was the same person from the year before; but that is easy since we have a vacation trip just once a year. He looked at us and said “I know you from last year….You know how that works….You know where to find your car….Have a nice vacation”. I do not know how many customers he services per year. But our recognition was a nice surprise that we had not expected. It gave us a welcome back feeling to this beautiful island. This year again we selected the same rental firm, of course. After one day we discovered some minor technical problems of the car (a convertible) that should be fixed. Hence we wrote an email to the rental firm on Sunday evening. After 20 minutes we received a call-back from the rental firm. The company was very sorry for these issues and told us that we could receive a new convertible in the morning next day at a time that would suit us best. The new convertible would have another car class (hence the car would be a little bit more expensive), but under these circumstance the firm would not charge us. Our offer to pay the extra rent was declined. Next day we arrived at the specified rental station. The staff there was informed and we received a new rental car.

So what are the major benefits of VANRELL’s approach to treat their customers? Represented by its employees the rental firm achieved a relationship marketing approach. We can define relationship marketing as a long-term, continuous series of transactions between parties. This occurs when each trusts the other to deal fairly, helpfully and reliably. When this type of relationship is build both parties will have several benefits. For the rental firm and for us (as their customers) negotiating time and costs are reduced; furthermore the pattern of transactions becomes more predictable and secure. We do not know whether VANRELL’s price is the lowest price on the entire Island. It might be that its price is very competitive, but it might that another rental firm beats this price. There is no need for us to consider this, since we feel fairly treated and prefer the reliability of the company and their services. Hence we can save time and avoid any kind of stress (there is no need for us to shop around to find a better deal). We pick up the car at the airport and our vacation can start. The company has recurring customers in the early season, which do not start price negotiations.

…And last but not least, these customers make recommendation marketing. In the case that you want to rent a car on Majorca – choose VANRELL.

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