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June 1, 2007 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | WineDirect Admin

Practice What You Preach: Lessons from the Trenches

In an effort to educate myself (and stimulate online sales), I decided to implement one of the tactics that we promote to our clients - call your top customers. As a representative of one of our favorite wineries (with their permission of course), I pulled a list of their top 25 customers. I sorted them by total spent in the past year, then distinguished club members from e-commerce customers. Next, I developed my “spin” on the purpose of the call which went a little something like this:

“Since you are one of our best customers, I wanted to call and thank you. I also wanted to remind you that in two weeks we will stop shipments until mid-August due to the summer heat. If you are interested in stocking up on our wines for the summer, I can recommend a couple of great bottles and take the order for you over the phone or you can order from the website and use promo code LOYALTY to receive an x% discount…”

Some observations/lessons learned that would have saved me some time:

  • Keep their customer record open during the call and intelligently refer to their order history, i.e. she buys a ton of Merlot!
  • Fill out incomplete information in their customer record. For example, many phone numbers were not in general info, but I pasted them from the credit card info. Seems minor, but this helps in the customer reports that you run.
  • If you have a lapsed wine club member, i.e. the past 6 wine club runs were canceled, remove them from the wine club to streamline your current loyalists.
  • Make sure that you club exclusive products are up to date and visible to your club members when logged in.
  • And finally, remember that the purpose of the call is to thank them and give them special attention, information, and an offer, just for being a loyal customer.

The results:

  • 25 calls placed during a two day period - morning was best.
  • 3 phone numbers were wrong
  • 16 voicemails were left with the gist of the message
  • 6 people talked to live
  • 2 said thanks but they are stocked up
  • 1 said thanks and that he was heading to the winery this weekend
  • 3 people gave me orders

In 1 hour of prep work and 3 hours of calls…drum roll please….I sold 2.5 cases of wine resulting in about $1000 over the phone. Hopefully there are some residual online sales as well.

Dialing for dollars is one thing, but the real take home for me is that each person I talked to felt as if I knew them and I was looking out for their best interests over the summer.

Happy customer; happy winery; and happy IBG.
 

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