CRM in action

I`ve received mail sent from the desks of Jeff Bezos and Christo Davel. It could be because I am a unique and beautiful snowflake. On the other hand, it must just be really good CRM.
Read time 3min 00sec

I received mail from Jeff Bezos the other day. I admit, it came as a bit of a surprise at first, but as I clicked the link that would take me to the great man`s words I thought, why shouldn`t I receive mail from E-commerce On Legs? My credit card wouldn`t have batted an eyelid at the prospect, and after all, I do on occasion speak to the celebrities of the IT world.

But of course, it wasn`t anything like that. Bezos had "written" to let me know that Amazon had been testing a service called "free Super Saver Delivery" in the US for more than a year, and that customers had loved it.

Davel concluded the mail by saying those things which people, especially in their role as customers of a financial services institution, really want to hear.

Basheera Khan, editor,

The service`s success in the US had led to it being tested in the UK over the Christmas season; purchases amounting to more than lb39 - and by this they mean anything purchased from Amazon itself, and which required the customer to take physical delivery - would be delivered free of charge.

UK customers reportedly took to free Super Saver Delivery like ducks to water, hence the mail to Amazon`s UK customer base to let them know of the change. All this despite the fact that Amazon has spent upwards of $30 million on free delivery in the fourth quarter of 2002, and is expected to shell out $100 million to cover the costs in 2003.

But that`s secondary to my point, which is further illustrated by the mail I received from Christo Davel, CEO of 20Twenty Financial Services (and 20Twenty customer), a couple of weeks ago. There wasn`t any major news to announce, wrote Davel, but there is truth in the saying "no news is good news".

He went on to elaborate, "no news" because there`s been nothing to tell 20Twenty customers that we don`t already know, and "good news" because despite all the uncertainty of the last year, 20Twenty is still up and running, albeit somewhat hindered by the weight of curatorship.

Davel concluded the mail by saying those things which people, especially in their role as customers of a financial services institution, really want to hear. We`re thinking of you. We wish you the best of luck for the year ahead. Thank your for your continued belief and support. And you`ll be kept in the loop, regardless of what happens.

In both these cases, though it`s doubtful that the words were penned by either Bezos or Davel (then again, who really knows what goes on behind closed doors at these Internet companies?), they were intended to serve a purpose, and serve it they did.

As a customer of both Amazon and 20Twenty, I receive all the regular announcements regarding ongoing developments, which I normally skim and discard without sparing a thought. I have read and registered the information contained in these particular mails, simply because they appeared to have been sent from the very top of the chain, and that alone is an occurrence worth noting.

And that, Gentle Reader, is inexpensive, well conceived and above all, successful customer relationship management in action.

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