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: Batch: Session Day & Time: Group Colour: A3 IIMP Thursday - I Fl. Blue
Section B: Assignment Details: Assignment Topic: Training Topic & Session: Submission Date & Time: Company visit Coming Battle for Customer Information Wednesday – 01:00 p.m.
Section C: Group Members: No. Name Div. & Roll No. C-33 C -17 A-51 B-18 PC Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y PN AB Grade A A A A A A A A A A A A
1. Nikhil Misal 2. Gulshan Goklani 3. Madhura Shelar 4. Devika Datta
5. Archanakaur Jhamtani B-28 6. Aakash Kamble 7. Pankaj Patil 8. Pankaj Chavan 9. Vineeta Goenka 10. Atul Jadhav 11. Amruta Jagdale 12. Ravi Awade B-29 B-46 C-11 A-15 B-22 B-24 B-03
CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
ASSIGNMENT NUMBER: A3
The Coming Battle for Customer Information [Infomediaries]
BATCH: IIMP, 2008-10
GROUP NAME- FLUORESCENT BLUE
1. The Need for InformationAll most all companies thrive and flourish on customer information and feedback. Companies use this data to: Targeting Most Valuable Prospects.
Customization of products and services
Boost customer satisfaction
Maintain existing customers
Identify new opportunities for forthcoming products or services
a) Target their most valuable prospects: A data base of customer information is key in deciding the targeting and segmenting of a company’s products and services. Targeting helps the company focus all its recourses on potential, likely customers and hence insures sales and profitability. b) Customization of products and services: Detailed accounts of the tastes and preferences of customers helps in the company to customize certain products and services for certain customers. This additional feature adds value to the company thereby insuring customer retention and satisfaction c) Boost customer satisfaction: By understanding what the customers like and need, the company can focus on providing and improving those products and services to insure increased customer satisfaction d) Maintain existing customers: Detailed information on customers helps companies in providing products and services that are needed by its customers. Thus by satisfying its customers at all times, the company, with the help of this data, can retain its customers by always keeping them satisfied. e) Identify new opportunities for forthcoming products or services: Data containing the likes, dislikes, tastes and preferences of a varied range of customers helps the company isolate opportunities for creating new products. This data is used to identify what the customers need and to create and offer that product or service.
2. Future Challenges in Collection of Customer Information:
a) The current trend in the collection of customer information reveals that the customers are becoming increasingly agitated in divulging information about them selves. b) The customers are also becoming increasingly aware of the commercial value of their personal information. Hence there will be a visible shift in their casual approach towards revealing information. c) The customers in the future will begin to demand certain additional benefits in exchange of their personal information.
3. The Emergence of Infomediaries:
a) Formed from a combination of the words information and intermediary, an Infomediary is a Web site that gathers and organizes large amounts of data and acts as an intermediary between those who want the information and those who supply the information. b) There are two types of Infomediaries. Some Infomediaries offer consumers a place to gather information about specific products and companies before they make purchasing decisions. c) The Infomediary is a neutral entity, a third-party provider of unbiased information; it does not promote or try to sell specific products in preference over other products. It does not act on behalf of any vendors. d) The second type of Infomediary and one that is not necessarily Web-based, is one that provides vendors with consumer information that will help the vendor develop and market products. e) The Infomediary collects the personal information from the buyers and markets that data to businesses. f) The advantage of this approach is that consumer privacy is protected and some Infomediaries even offer consumers a percentage of the brokerage deals. The term Infomediary was coined by John Hagel in his 1996 article entitled "The Coming Battle for Customer Information" in the Harvard Business Review.
What information do companies collect about customers? How do they collect this information? What use do they put it to?
COMPANIES VISITEDMERCEDES BENZ, STATE BANK OF INDIA & P SQUARE
Person met: Mr.Jeji Matthews Designation: HOD-Sales
a) Mercedes-Benz maintains its own database of customers as well as prospective customers. b) Thus there are two types of databases in the same central system.
1) Type of information collected from the customer: a) b) c) d) e) f) Name, Address, City, Phone Numbers, Email address Company name Annual turnover Repeat customer Designation Personal profile includes: • Marital status • Spouse’s name • Birthdays- self, spouse, children
• • • • • • • g) h) i) j) k)
Sports played & watched Airlines traveled Newspaper & magazines read Hobbies enjoyed Club membership Credit cards owned Favourite TV channels
Other premium vehicles owned Total number of vehicles owned Chauffer Details: name, telephone number, Mobile number REFERRALS (to share the joy of owning a MERC) Account Type : • Government • Non-government
2) The way in which they collect this information Mercedes-Benz collects this information after the sale is done i.e after the customer has bought the car. The customers are given a form to fill which includes these details.
a) Use of this information to Mercedes-Benz:
• • Mercedes-Benz rigorously follows CRM activities. As Mr.Mathews said, “Our greatest strength lies in using this information to stay in touch with the customers and let them know about new products and offerings. We also make sure to send greeting cards, bouquets, gifts, etc. to our elite customers on their birthdays, anniversary, silver jubilee, etc.” This helps Mercedes to develop a bond with their customers. • Also Merc uses the REFERRAL information as the Prospective customer information.
PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMER’S INFORMATION
Who is a prospective customer ? • According to Mercedes-Benz, a prospective customer is one who is likely to buy their product in the next 90 days or so.
Sources of information of Prospective Buyer: 1) Intermediaries: • Mercedes-Benz collects the data of prospective buyers from different associations, organizations & finance partners. • It does not hire any third party for collecting this information. It does all the activities on its own.
(e.g: Builders association)
Organizations (eg: MACCIA)
Financial Partners means the different banks that provide insurance cover and finance to the customers for buying Mercedes-Benz products. They provide the information of High net-worth individuals (HNI) who are prospective buyers for the company. Also it uses the information furnished from Association of Doctors, Indian Dental association and other such associations.
Mercedes-Benz does not hire any company or third party for the collection of data of prospective customers.
2) Media: • The company makes use of the media to know about the people who can go for their products. • Mr. Mathews said, “We send bouquets, gifts and cards to different people who have bagged different prestigious awards (eg: CNBC awards, Economictimes awards,etc) in different fields on our company’s behalf. This helps us to create a brand image in the minds of our prospective buyers.”
3) Use of Information: 1) Customer’s information: • The company uses the customer’s information to wish them on their birthdays and anniversaries. • This helps them to bond with the customers better. This in turn prompts the customers for repeat buying. • Also they use the information to keep their customers updated about the different products and services that they offer. 2) Prospective Customer’s Information: When the company has the information about their prospective buyers, they try to interact with them by inviting them to different events, functions, etc which are as follows: • Gazal evening • Musical nights • Indoor sports • Painting exhibitions • Road shows • Auto exhibitions • Free test drives at their home, etc. CONVERSION RATE: “The standard conversion rate for the company till date has been 22%-23%” , said Mr.Mathews. Conversion rate indicates the percentage of customers formed out of prospective customers.
State Bank Of India
Our experience at STATE BANK OF INDIA: We were privileged to meet the Dy. Chief Marketing Executive(Pune), Mr. Ravindra .M. Lele. He was very helpful in providing all the information we required. He also appreciated our efforts in showing keen interest in gathering such vital information. The information provided by him is discussed below:
Information gathered from SBI:
1. SBI has a separate Customer Relationship Department. 2. SBI has a wide network of 11,000 branches across the country yet it maintains database of all its customers. 3. Each branch has a separate department which maintains information of its customers. 4. The software used by SBI is BANKLINK. Due to core banking it has centralized database system. 5. SBI considers each of its service as special. 6. SBI does not depend on any infomediary. They believe that such vital information supplies by an outsider may be inaccurate at times. 7. They keep their customers updated through its special website: www.sbitimes.com. 8. They strongly believe in maintaining direct contact with its customers.
9. They believe in the concept of ONE POINT SERVICE i.e. all services under one roof.
What information does SBI collect from its customers?
Information is the fundamental currency of any successful organization. It is the primary source through which it maintains long term relations with its customers. 1. SBI collects information like : a. Name, b. address c. contact number d. e-mail id e. Pan card number f. Identity proof g .photographs h. information about nominee i. income group j. occupation k. date of birth l. age m. family details.
How does SBI collect information from its customers? Now-a- days customers are hesitant to share any information with the organizations .But this is not the case with SBI. This is because customers have lot of faith and trust with SBI and so willingly disclose information.
1. SBI collects information at the time of opening of account. 2. It also collects information through its widespread network. 3. It collects this information through its Customer Relationship Department. SBI does not make use of any external team for getting information about its customers as it believes in direct relations with its customers.
How does it use the information? SBI uses the information collected in a beneficial way as follows:
1. Direct marketing for new product announcement. 2. Special promotions for the year 3. Target marketing 4. Developing customer relationship 5. Developing new products for the customer 6. Accounts planning They also use the customer information to find out the problems and grievances which customer faces. The customers can inform the company about any difficulty faced by them through their specially created website www.sbitimes.com or they can inform the authorities directly. All the grievances are redressed immediately without any delay.
C] THE START UP-
Met With: Mr. Atul Poharkar, Co-Founder and Director: P Square. Company Brief: P Square was founded in 2008 by Mr. Nilesh Palresha and Mr. Atul Poharkar with an objective of entering the e commerce segment. The company aims at bridging the existing gap between Service Providers and their Potential Customers, by providing authentic information via the internet. It envisions establishing itself as a strong and competent player in its segment, by expanding operations nationwide. About iCrave: iCrave is a lifestyle portal for Pune, aiming at providing fast, accurate and up to date information about the Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, Clubs and Recreation segments. It successfully integrates the various critical aspects viz. Relatability, Navigability and Interactivity, essential for a destination promoting portal. Maintaining visual appeal of the website without compromising on the ease of navigation helps us achieve a high Website User Friendliness Index (WUF). SMS alerts on upcoming events, parties and sales, numerous contests, user reviews and active forums make the website an interactive one. iCrave currently aims at a target audience of 16+ years. Management Profile: • • Atul Poharkar, Co-Founder and Director: Nilesh Palresha, Co-Founder and Director:
Client List: Covering more than • 15 Nightclubs, • 25 Recreation Options, • 30 Hotels, 200Restaurants and • 400 Shops, all over Pune, • iCrave has a strong database of each of its segment.
1. Does your organization maintain the database of customer’s information? A: Yes 2. Which relevant information of customers do you collect and why? A: Information such as Names, Email Ids, Age, Contact No and Gender forms a part of the basic information collected. However, information about customer preference on various segments and facilities forms the primary information. The information is used to design various aspects of the website by giving due importance to high scoring preferences. 3. What are the various ways of gathering information? A: Hiring people/agencies to collect information from the TG by personally meeting and explaining the survey. Telephonic surveys. Surveys designed in the forms of polls are of great importance. 4. Now-a-days customers are very hesitant to give information, how do you convince them/ obtain information? A: Have not come across any instances as such, at least not on alarming magnitudes. However, if the TG of the survey can connect to the questions framed in the survey, as in if they are convinced that the outcome of this survey could make things easier for them in the future, I think that would hold the key to convincing them. 5. Do you actually have to offer the customer some discounts or value added services so the customer will willingly furnish his/her personal information. A: No 6. Does your company offer special services to customers who willingly participate/ give information? A: No 7. Do you have intermediaries helping you as a link between you and customer to gather information? A: No
8. Apart from privacy, what do you think are the reasons why consumers hesitate to disclose their details? A: I think the misuse of the personal information as in the contact details i.e. the dissemination of information at random and not being aimed at the right specific TG, is causing significant irritation to the consumer 9. In terms of technology, does your company have any special software installed or blogs to gain updated information of consumers? A: No, but we are looking at starting polls on our website so as to make the survey a more interactive experience with the user having the freedom to take it or not. 10. Do you have a separate customer relationship department? A: No
Deductions From The Questionnaire: 1) Type Of Customer Information Collected: Information such as • Names, • Email Ids, • Age, • Contact No and • Gender • Forms a part of the basic information collected. • However, information about customer preference on various segments and facilities forms the primary information. • The information is used to design various aspects of the website by giving due importance to high scoring preferences. 2) Way in which they collect this Information: They collect this data from the customers in the following ways: • • • • • Hiring people/agencies to collect information from the TG by personally meeting and explaining the survey. Telephonic surveys. Surveys Polls.
3) How they use this Information: a) Since icrave.in is a website that deals in providing information about the latest products and services, it uses customer information to determine: • customer preferences • tastes • likes • dislikes • needs • current trends • latest fads • customer behaviors • traditions b) Based on this the website utilizes this data to enhance the demand, need and popularity of their web site by Providing the customers with the information they require. C) This thereby helps increase their profits.
APPLYING THE ARTICLE
What additional customer information will we collect? How will we obtain this information keeping the hurdles in mind? What use will we put that additional information to?
Since we visited 3 companies, namely • Mercedes Benz from private sector • State Bank Of India from Public sector • P Square- A start up we believe is similar to and has the potential to be a web based Infomediary In the future. We will take each company one by one and address the following questions1. What additional customer information will we collect? 2. how will we obtain this information keeping the hurdles in mind and lastly, 3. What use will we put that additional information to?
1) What additional customer information will we collect? A) Customer Buying Behavior for High End Luxury Goods: • • • Since Mercedes Benz is a high end luxury product, a lot goes into purchasing its products. Understanding the complex Customer Buying Behavior especially with respect to high end luxury products can be immensely beneficial As it will give a great insight into the minds of the customer, we would collect information regarding the buying behavior of customers with respect to high end luxury products.
2) How will we obtain this information? We can obtain this information by the following means: • Research • Secondary research: Detailed study of current and past data available on buying behavior of customers with respect to high end luxury products. • Deductions based on past sales data. • Primary research: to go out and collect relevant data by interacting with customers via interviews, polls, questionnaires, internet etc. 3) What use will we put that additional information to? • This additional information will give a great insight into the minds of the customer, • We would use this information to understand what drives a customer to purchase our goods and thus, • Use this information to leverage sales and increase our profits. B) Feedback: A Measure of Service and Customer Satisfaction: Mercedes does not have a structured feedback system hence, • We will collect information regarding the level of satisfaction after purchase of the product.
• • • • •
The reasons for this satisfaction Services provided by the company post sales Any additional features needed Suggestions from users Requests for customization
2) How will we obtain this information? • Through feedback forms, • e mails, • letters, • telephone follow up’s, • Interviews at the time of vehicle servicing etc. 3) What use will we put that additional information to? • Improving quality of service • Improving customer experience • Retention of customers • Innovation • Customization • Attracting new customers etc
STATE BANK OF INDIA
1) What additional customer information will we collect? A] Customer Satisfaction Feedback: • SBI currently does not have a structured customer feedback mechanism. • Thus in order to satisfy the customers, their feedback is extremely important. • This helps in increasing the quality of service provided. • Retention of existing customers. • Tapping into potential customer pools • Customization of products and services. etc 2) How will we obtain this information? • Feedback forms • Interviews • Surveys • Tele calling • Market research • Analyzing past database about customers and their behavior 3) What use will we put that additional information to? This information will be useful in the following areas. • This helps in increasing the quality of service provided. • Retention of existing customers. • Tapping into potential customer pools • Customization of products and services. etc B] Transaction based Interpretation: Q2) How will we obtain this information? • By maintaining an updated database system • Questionnaire • Interviews • Surveys
Client preferences Market research
Q3) What use will we put that additional information to? • By maintaining a database of the purchase behavior of customers. • This will enable the bank to predict the future purchase patterns of customers • This will also enable the bank to add value by providing additional and unique services. • Mailing greetings to customers on happy occasions: eg, congratulation cards on the birth of a child along with a broacher on child insurance policies, educational loans etc. • Elite customer cards eg: platinum,gold and silver cards for different levels of customers. • Providing regular updates through SMS’S.
1) What additional customer information will we collect? A] Will customers be willing to sell their information for benefits or rewards? 1) How will we obtain this information? • Surveys • Interviews of existing client base • Marketing the idea of an Infomediary to customers • Marketing the benefits of an Infomediary to companies. • Events etc 3) What use will we put that additional information to? • Scoping out avenues for a new added venture such as an Infomediary will help broaden the horizons for P Square. • This information will be used to assess the feasibility of investing into an Infomediary. • As P Square is half way there, this information could be beneficial in adding another business venture to their already existing one thereby • Increasing revenue. B] Will companies be wiling to purchase customer information from infomediaries?
2) How will we obtain this information? • Surveys • Interviews of client base • Marketing the idea of an Infomediary to customers • Marketing the benefits of an Infomediary to companies. • Events etc • Promotions etc 3) What use will we put that additional information to? • • • • Gaining added business avenues Increasing opportunities Increasing revenues Acting as a broker of information thus adding an additional business venture.
WE CARE FOR BOTH, THE SERVING AND THE SERVED OUR MODEL FOR AN INFOMEDIARY
Our Vision: Our vision is to become a leading infomediary globally by ensuring that the information of the customers is best utilized thereby creating mutual trust and satisfaction. Our Mission: Our mission is to sustain and grow a long term relationship with our customers as well as our clients and thus act as the best link between them. INTRODUCTION: Just like the infomediaries will emerge to help people negotiate the best deals with companies for data about their transactions we would like to develop an infomediary model catering to the needs of the automobile sector at first targeting all the three segments of customer viz. Premium, Middle, Lower segment. This could help the companies identify their most loyal customers and target them with the customized services. Our company would profit from the registered business clients over time and at the same time would attract more and more satisfied customers for these businesses with the help of continuous feedback system.
Companies tied up with the infomediary
BLUE OCEAN Infomediar y
FEATURES: • Blue Ocean will operate across India. • The various businesses which can register or tie up with the infomediary are 1. Auto Dealers For example, a) Premium class: Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW, etc. b) Middle class: Ford, Hyundai, etc. c) Lower class: Tata, Maruti Suzuki, etc. Other dealers in 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers, LCV’s will also be included. 2. Auto Insurances 3. Tours and travels 4. Rent-a-Car businesses 5. Motor driving schools 6. Auto maintenances 7. Spares parts 8. Used Car Dealers 9. Customized maps for GPRS 10. Safety Tutorials and Travel Gears 11. Modification services • It will contain information about local as well as corporate businesses. • It will get calls from customers for information regarding various companies’ products and services related to the automobile and allied sector.
WHAT SERVICES WILL BE PROVIDED? • Blue Ocean will offer 3 types of services- telephonic, personalized services and website. • Blue Ocean will offer free listing of various interested companies as well as exclusive services will be given to the businesses ready to pay premium charges. a) Free listing: Companies will be listed on the server/website of our infomediary but the prospective customers will be informed only on rotation basis. b) Premium listing: Here the company will have to pay premium charges wherein they will get an added advantage over free listed companies.
WHAT INFORMATION WILL BE COLLECTED? • While collecting the information from the business customer, information like a) Company profile b) Area of operations c) Products and Services offered d) Contact person e) Mobile number f) Landline number g) Fax h) Email id i) Address • If a customer asks a query to the operator the results generated are usually sent by sms and email. For this purpose the information taken is. a) Name b) Mobile number c) Email id d) Business based enquiry or individual enquiry • • This information will be stored in the database for further reference incase the same customer comes up with an enquiry again. To avoid spamming and wrong numbers the information of the query generated will be sent to the customer by SMS. By this the authenticity of the customer will get checked.
GUIDELINES: • Special discounts and value added services are given to the premium registered business customers only. No any benefits are enjoyed by the regular customers who call for sorting out their query. • The system will be totally automated for short listing the companies to be free listed on the rotation basis. • Blue Ocean would have to pay onetime fee if the message is delivered to the customer, higher fees if the customer actually considers the information and then even higher fee if the customer avails the service.
Blue Ocean will maintain software which captures a broad range of financial data about the user. Moreover we will be maintaining much broader profiles of their own activities, preferences and transactions. Blue Ocean will maintain a continuous process of updating the customer information. On the website there will be edit listing option. From there any business customer can edit their information. After this a mail will be sent to the server. A team at Blue Ocean will then verify the same by calling up the client. After this the information will be changed and updated.
PLANNED PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITES: • To promote the business of Blue Ocean and to increase its business span we will have SMS campaigning. In this a record of enquiry generated is kept. This presentation is then shown to the freelisted company for whom it was generated. This helps to convert the company into a premium client. • For the first few prestigious customers we would be charging the company with 75% of the actual amount. • Blue Ocean will print brochures and send it to the companies they want to tie up with. • Hoardings on buses and key locations of the city will be put up to make the customers aware of the same. • Conducting free seminar to introduce our infomediary in the market. • Spare Parts Rent-aCar Used Car
Auto Insuranc BLUE OCEAN Auto Dealers
VALUES WE OFFER: 1. Any enquiry generated with blue ocean will be responded with 4 premium listed business and 1 free listed business. 2. 10 customers will be chosen at random daily and will be requested to give their feedback about our service and the changes they expect from us. 3. We would be helping the companies reduce their marketing and research cost by intimating the companies of the changes customers expect from them. 4. Blue Ocean assures that the information of both end customers is not put to any misuse for any tangible value offered. 5. The people converted by the business clients into their customers are provided with updated and new offers. Here Blue Ocean will regularly take updates from the businesses and look forward to convey this information to customers.
FUTURE PROSPECTS: • In the long run infomediaries will emerge to help people negotiate the best deals with companies for data about their transactions. Instead of focusing only on a specific set of information we would actually exploit cross category information thereby ensuring that our infomediary grows vertically thus managing more integrated and comprehensive profiles. • This will cater to the need of all other business sector and classifications. Financials of Blue Ocean Capital Investment Statement S.no 1. 2. 3. Registration cost Deposit Equipment cost a. Computer (2*20,000) b. Printer c. Fax machine d. Telephone Total equipment cost Furniture a. Computer table (2000*2) b. Chair (250*8) Total furniture cost Total cost Particulars Amount(Rs) 8500 40,000
40,000 2,000 3,000 500 45,500
4000 2000 6000 1,00,000
How will we generate revenue? a. Each client will be charged a registration amount of Rs. 1000/ - or Rs. 500/- depending upon the size of the business and the services they provide. b. For every lead given to the client we will charge a lead price of Rs. 50/- and Rs. 100/depending upon the company. c. For every conversion we will charge a conversion price of Rs. 100/- and Rs 200/depending upon the company. d. For every visit to our website we will be receiving nominal revenue.
To understand the working of an infomediary we visited Just Dial. Our learnings from Just Dial are as follows:
From the working of justdial we got valuable insights on how an infomediary works and techniques of overcoming the barriers encountered while collecting the customer information. As the system itself has got loopholes there are many complaints of misuse of the company information. Such cases are found in Mumbai. Here people made fake inquiries and then troubled the businesses by calling and trying to sell different products. So we have tried to overcome this problem by keeping a feedback system in place wherein calls are made at random to check the satisfaction level of the customers.
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