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Case Studies

Amazing Amazon: The Largest Online Mall

Jeff Bezos clearly understood that maintaining customer loyalty is the key to becoming successful. The three vital points that was part of this strategy was to listen, invent and personalize.

To improve customer satisfaction, Amazon did three major things in 1999. Firstly, they wanted to increase the revenue per customer – which was illustrated by releasing product lines once in every six weeks. Secondly, Amazon used the Customer Fulfillment Networking strategy - source directly from publishers than from wholesalers. After that Amazon used the cross-docking method by using the forecasting and optimization solutions from i2 Technologies - reducing costs per sale, build loyalty by investing in technology solutions like Net Perceptions, Supply Chain Optimization, Purchase Circles and all product search and integrating them into dynamic commerce. Thirdly and most importantly, Amazon provided navigation ease and excellent purchase experience for customers not only online, but also backed that by delivering goods either on the same day or the next business day. With a commitment to fulfilling customer requirements, Amazon created effective b-web relations with distributors and suppliers along with Inventory Management.

By 2009 Amazon became one of the very few companies that had quarterly profits even during the recession. The success factors - convenience to customers, wide selection of products, service and price. Since its online inception in 1995, Amazon has been consistently providing competitive prices to its customers.

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Singapore Airlines: Flying High with Customer Loyalty

SIA has continued to provide excellent service to customers, investors, partners, and staff. From the very beginning, SIA had envisioned a completely branded product or service. Throughout its history, it has relied on technology, innovation, genuine quality and excellent customer service. At the same time, it has remained true to its brand attributes. It places the passengers’ needs first, serving above and beyond the ordinary. Most importantly, SIA recognizes the fact that innovation has a short life span. Hence, it continues to invest heavily in R&D to remain distinct.

SIA has been able to manage its brand through every interaction and experience. One distinct aspect of its experiential brand strategy has been the in-flight hospitality and warmth. In fact, Mr Yap Kim Wah, SIA’s Senior VP (Product and Service) has stated that “We have a high reputation for service and that means that when someone flies with us they come with high expectations. But still we want them to come away saying ‘Wow! That was something out of the ordinary’.”

Apart from being one of the most profitable airlines in the world, SIA is the world’s youngest fleet in the air. It has been routinely voted as the ‘best airline’, ‘best business class’, ‘best in-flight food’, and ‘Asia’s most admired company’, and many more such awards. It was ranked 33rd in Fortune's World’s Most Admired Companies rankings in 2009 too.

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Shopper's Stop: Start Something New

At Shoppers’ Stop priority is given to customer convenience with customer friendly signage, alteration desk, customer service desk with gift wrapping service and off course most importantly the exclusive First Citizen Members’ lounge to name a few. First Citizen is one of the very significant loyalty programs of Shoppers’ Stop. First Citizen program has 1.5 million active members across India. With this program customers become part of the First Citizen club where they have to submit an application form along with the application fee of Rs. 150. Membership to regular customers is provided in three stages – Classic Moments, Silver Age and Golden Glow. The core customer for First Citizen program fall under the age group of 16 to 40 years.

First Citizen Program contributes nearly over 50% of Shoppers’ Stop sales annually. The rapidly growing First Citizen Program clearly proves the fact that Shoppers’ Stop has been able to successfully connect with their customers through their service and special promotional offers which has converted many of them into loyal customers.

Shoppers’ Stop has converted the concept of retail into an experience, an indulgence. To gain an insight into the international practice of customer service and new retail concepts, Shoppers’ Stop became the member of Inter Continental Group of Departmental Stores (IGDS) becoming the only Indian member among the 29 other celebrated retailers of the world.

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Tesco: Every Little Helps

Tesco believes in the importance of listening to all stakeholders: giving weightage to customers, suppliers and employees. Tesco has a large employee pool and makes it a point to get their feedback on what works and what doesn't. They take a partnership approach with suppliers and believe that open and constructive relationships are key to strong supply chain. And it also makes an effort to listen to communities where they set up outlets so that they can understand local issues and concerns and work with communities.

The biggest challenge in initiating Loyalty schemes is to find something that appeals to everyone – for Tesco their customer base is large and varied from a toddler to an 80-year old.  Tesco bridged this gap by introducing different schemes for each member of the family: Tesco Kids Club, Tesco Baby and Toddler Club, Tesco Healthy living Club, World of Wine Club, etc.

Where most companies use the data gathered to tailor only the marketing message, Tesco went further to make the operational and strategic changes that customers wanted. Clive Humby adds, "Tesco has became the first organization to use customer insight to actually run its business well. In the past, people just used customer data to make their marketing more effective." Armed with the data about their consumers, Tesco can second-guess their needs, and tailor its product and service offerings accordingly.

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