Retailers Can Bank On This: “The Truth Cannot Be Disguised”

Peter Weedfald speaks on SCRM

I continue to be amazed… that in the year 2014 there are still a multitude of global companies who have not mastered nor employed/deployed a viable SCRM (Social Customer Relationship Management) data base mining foundation. Perhaps if we officially change the acronym CRM from “Customer Relationship Management” to “Customers Really Matter” executive leadership will then vision, build and deploy SCRM, finally realizing customer intimacy must always begin with relevant one to one discovery before engagement.

They will realize this one-to-one tectonic platform delivers the highest ROI and ROR (return on reputation,) ensuring competitive growth and highly profitable engagements. Oh yes and let us not forget, will also deliver happy, highly valuable lifetime customers who will pull for your brand and products through their own social engagements. Just as important, SCRM is much more than a digital data container designed to mine consumers and build extensive relationships. SCRM is a philosophy which should be painted, orchestrated and guerdoned to all consumer engagements whether in brick retail locations or amongst the clouds. Perhaps inside every retail store, leadership should tutor floor sales associates on SCRM. In the brick environment SCRM should smartly stand for “Serving Cures Retail Mediocrity.”

Any questions, just tap on your brakes and steer over to the great example of Jeff Bezos highly competitive and hyper-profit-fueling SCRM machine at Perhaps with respect to Jeff, CRM really stands for “Customers Realize More”… more selection, more service, more support, more savings, more value, more free shipping, more tax savings, more one-to-one relevance, more concern for consumer happiness, more time saved: more repeat customers.

So, what’s the point? The point is clear: Since customers in good economies want more, just imagine what they want in downtrodden economies. One industry I am sure we all wish would take a SCRM lesson from Amazon are our banks. To be clear, banks are retailers. They think, look, market and profit like any retail organization in brick, online. How I yearn someday for just one of my banks to run their business like Amazon. How I wish they would find a way to make me and my family matter. Connect and council across assets, recommend ways to help in the language of wealth accumulation and selection, understand what is relevant to my family, to our personal goals, to our financial problems, to our financial opportunities.

Peter Weedfald is President of Gen One Ventures, a sales, marketing and brand-product consulting company. He has served as SVP, Chief Marketing Officer of Circuit City, SVP of Sales and Marketing in North America for Samsung, and SVP of global marketing and EEVP, GM & Chief Marketing Officer for ViewSonic.
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  • John Dickinson

    Real intellect here Peter… had to read twice, but I get it… seems so many company’s have flapped about CRM or SCRM and your right, I still have zero relationship with my bank, my favorite restaurant, my 6 retail stores. I hope they are reading and listening to you Peter!

  • Marty Tupper

    Very interesting. Your article stimulates my thinking regarding our own CRM system and our capabilities to pull consumers to our brand and products, not just push to them through email programs. Do you have any data on open rates or purchasing when consumers pull to a brand?

  • Bob Dedecker

    Great retail example, banks. I also have the same experience as you Peter and your examples really amplify our CE in-store experiences. CRM has been alive and kicking for 2 decades and I still have not felt or benefitted from as a consumer. Hopefully your article will spirit smart change. Hopefully my family and I will eventually benefit from a caring retail environment.

  • Robert Heiblim

    Nice post as usual Peter. Quite agree that this is a must do, regardless of one’s own personal affinity to things. The past may look nice in the rearview mirror, but we only live in the present and act for the future

  • mikepalazzolo

    Very pertinent points. I believe that both manufacturers and retailers are so brow-beaten by competition and price compression, fighting for their lives, that most do not even think about these types of "relationships". However, even with an excellent CRM program, you must always treat your customer as gold with both product & customer service or any CRM will not matter.

  • Jack Zorski

    A lot of very good points and metaphors. The best for me is TV advertising from banks or frankly any other product or service on TV. Seems 30 seconds of metaphors without offering us the reality of the product and or value is the standard way ad agencies have trained brands to articulate value. Sad as I am sure like me, I ignore the majority of ads, especially from banks!

  • Frances A

    I’ve read several of your articles and checked your LinkedIn (and set you a request to connect). Please keep writing and please reach out and help a few of the companies who really need your help and advice. And yes, there are quite a few.

  • Steve Faber

    Peter great piece. There is a huge misunderstanding in the business community. I call it newcustomerits; otherwise defined as the propensity of businesses to chase new customers, when selling to their existing ones delivers a far better ROI and is sadly underutilized.

  • Rudy Vidal

    Peter, I appreciate your piece and especially your examples.
    I spend much of my day thinking and speaking with people about customer engagement and the need to align our policies, processes and intentions with our customers’ values. As you pointed out, there is only one way to do it; getting to know them and what they value.
    Businesses large and small, as well as entire industries have not made this transition and when faced with reality, they usually opt to compete on price, which hurts the entire value chain. If only they could see that commoditized markets (almost all industries) do not respond well to efforts to differentiate on the product level or price for that matter. Loyalty is not rational, it is emotional. As long as we offer rational differentiation (features, speed, price, etc) which can be emulated by the competition, we will always end up talking about price. PRice is always important, but it is not the reason I am loyal to Amazon, or BMW or the NYMets.
    Thank you for your words and clarity.
    Rudy Vidal

  • Gary Vosburgh

    Agree 200% regarding the sluggish consumer engagements have with we the consumers. My bank has never attempted to build a relationship either face to face or electronically. You would think banks would master and deploy apps to us for preferred services. You would think banks would have a database of our geo-demographic life styles, our needs and wants in life, a database that painted our value to them over time in terms of financial services. Your right, banks are retailers and banks do not seem hungry for our business, our money or our family’s future. A huge, wasteful and shameful loss for banks. No wonder so many banks are eaten by other bigger banks. No wonder consumer bank loyalty is weak at best.

  • Peter Weedfald

    Thank you Rudy and really well said. I like your words: "Loyalty is not rational, it is emotional, as long as we offer rational differentiation." And to your words Rudy we the consumer do not ask for much. We ask for the dignity of knowledge, service and support for our hard earned money. We ask this to begin a loyalty journey with a brand, a retailer, a bank we really want to have. We are creatures of habit and enjoy consistency. We also enjoy being fawned, cared about and knowing our retailer really cares about us, our families, our best experience. The lifetime financial value of consumers must be a retailers over arching goal. The lifetime happiness of consumers must be a retailers over arching emotional capital, especially for banks who hold the keys to our wealth accumulation and comfort for our families, our futures. Not rocket science., Rather, excellence in retailing that advantages a hungry company that cares about their customers, cares about their own employees, cares about carving out a best of breed competitive brand advantage. Thank you Rudy, really well said!