CRM basics from Caribbean street performers
Happy New Year to all my readers!
As all northern folks who look to get a winter break in the warm waters of the Caribbean, we just returned after savoring our piece of heaven. There were hordes and hordes of tourists – from cruise ships, flocking from airports, from all parts of the world, etc.
On one of the beaches they had street performers doing all sorts of things – swallowing swords, eating fire, other pyrotechnics, etc. The way some of the performers conducted themselves to get the spectators to throw in money into their TIPS jar was nothing short of CRM basics 101.
One of the street performer – a man juggling balling pins on a unicycle, also balance some pyrotechnic with his mouth – was amazing. He focused on the Core CRM processes:
- Generate demand – He stood adjacent to the arrival of cruise locations and had flames lit up in the sunset-laden beach area to get everyone to be curious enough to swing by
- Engage Customer – When he started his juggling act with bowling pins, he invited a front row standing kid to come up and throw to him one by one the bowling pin while he balanced on a unicycle> he talked to the kid quite a bit and complemented him on his throws.
- Acquire new customers – He would yell at oncoming folks and passersby. He chose a location which was conducive to folks stop by as they enjoyed their ice creams or lemonades.
- Service customers – He brought stickers for kids and lulled them to watch his flame and juggling
- Deal with Globalization – He spoke a few Mandarin words to the Chinese travelers – “Ni hao”. Asked a kid and heard he was Italian and mentioned greetings in Italian.
- Embrace the Viral Effect of Social CRM – He yelled at people making his video and taking pix to send to fried through Facebook or even YouTube.
As someone said, “Customer service is not a department, it’s an attitude”. The science behind it – the framework for such capabilities has three main components:
1. Insight-driven Marketing
Esther Dyson summed it up in the magazine strategy+business (December 2009): “People spend a
lot of time online not looking for something, or at least not for something that can be bought or sold. Marketers need to understand that the Web is not about them; it’s about us. Marketers and media sites keep thinking, ‘Well, if we can only tweak our banner ads right, we can get the same success rate as Google.’ But they can’t, because a banner ad is usually shown to someone who is not looking for the item advertised.”
2. Customer Segmentation and Targeting
This the ability to classify or cluster customers / prospects based on certain business rules or inherent customer data behaviors and buying patterns. This is made possible through customer insight, data mining, segmentation, and prognosis. The key to creating customer segmentation and to targeting the right customers is to have adequate insight and to drive interactions with customers as per that insight.
3. Customer Touch Point Transformation
These days customers interact with companies at many touch points—call centers, online, mobile apps, point of sales in the case of the retail industry, etc. In order to offer a complete and holistic experience for the customer, the company should look at contact touch point transformation at every level and have a decent integrated contact-management system
With this basic framework in mind, one has to recognize that some of the recent world phenomenon makes this even a bigger mandate:
- Exponential expansion of media options makes targeting consumers far more complex
- “Cash-rich, time-poor” consumers are demanding more relevant offerings, experiences and communication
- Consumers are far more technology-savvy and more active in controlling the consumption cycle
- Demographic and social changes are creating a more diverse, fragmented consumer base and buyer values
- Products/services, stores and messages are proliferating and becoming increasingly commoditized