Magazine article CRM Magazine

Secret of My Success: Mail-Order Expert C & H Clubs Found a Way to Make CRM Really Deliver

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Secret of My Success: Mail-Order Expert C & H Clubs Found a Way to Make CRM Really Deliver

Article excerpt

* Why CRM?

We have six product lines, starting with the Beer-of-the-Month Club, but we allow customers to mix and match--we can ship you beer one month and then cigars the next, or any kind of configuration.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

We need to be sure we have good addresses. Five of our six products are perishable or require an adult signature. So it's important that someone is there to receive the shipment. If it's cheese, for example, and we've got a bad address, by the time it comes back to our fulfillment center, it's toast. It's not going to be reshipped. We've lost the product completely.

* What other problems were you facing?

For [every package] where UPS has to make a change because the address wasn't in [its] system exactly as it was on our shipping label, we get charged five dollars. With between 15,000 and 25,000 boxes going out every month, we were racking up some substantial charges--between $1,000 and $1,500 a month. That's what really justified using the QAS [address-verification] product.

* How did you select a vendor?

Actually, QAS found us. We didn't know this solution was out there. We didn't even seek competitive services. The key was that they let us demo the software for three months before we officially bought the product. So we had three months of data that showed us we were actually reducing our costs.

It came down to the numbers. For a relatively small organization--we're a $7 million company with fewer than 20 employees--the licensing fees are upwards of $8,000 to $10,000 a year. I like to make sure those reoccurring, annuity types of costs are justified.

* What obstacles did you encounter?

Mail Order Manager is our primary CRM system. QAS integrates with MOM, but what it hasn't integrated with naturally--although they tell me that it will--is our shopping cart. When I raised the issue with the folks who host our Web sites, they had an issue with how large the QAS database is. They didn't want to put that massive database on our server with our shopping carts for fear of degradation.

Also, when we take orders off our Web sites, we don't actually run the credit cards; we batch-import them into MOM daily. …

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