Extending related services and products for Coffee Bean customers
The survey conducted identified that majority of the Coffee Bean Café and its competitor Starbucks’ customers are the youth and young adults. Most of them are students, office employees, and young managers. One aspect that has attracted the young generation to Coffee Bean shops in Singapore is their conducive, quiet, and unobtrusive atmosphere, which the young people seem to enjoy (Zinzius p.171).
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One aspect with young consumers that was also identified in the survey is that majority are not price conscious, which means that they are attracted to the Shop’s other quality services and products even if their prices may be high. At the same time, it has to be remembered that the young generation have high expectations specifically with how they communicate and gather information and their paramount desire is that the specific knowledge should be accommodated (Greenberg p.20).
Young people demonstrate that they are technology-savvy where technology has become part of their product and continue to use technology for communication and personal productivity (Greenberg p.20).
Statistical data have been generated, which show that 97% of young people own computer, 94% own cellphone, 76% use instant messaging (IM), 34% use websites as their primary sources of news, 49% download music using peer-to-peer file sharing, 75% have Facebook account, and 60% own some type of portable music or video device such as iPod (Greenberg p.20).
Coffee Bean Shops have embraced technology by having in place Wi-Fi connectivity. Statistics from the survey indicated that there is positive correlation between customers’ frequency of visiting and conducive environment that has excellent Wi-Fi connectivity. Coffee Bean Shops have embraced technology by having in place Wi-Fi connectivity that is totally free (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf p.1).
However, with this particular technology, the Coffee Bean Shops continue to experience problems that emanate from absence of trained troubleshooters to handle the connectivity problems (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf p.1). Given that majority of the consumers are young, hence own computers that they use to study and work while in the cafes, the customer relationship department has to move swiftly and employ a fulltime specialist with knowledge of PC and Mac.
At the same time, the Cafes need to have a specialist in trouble shooting to ease consumers the problem of having to look for such specialist outside the café. Further, the cafes should institute in place 24-hour telephone system that customers with technical problems on their computers can seek assistance. The kind of assistance may include the café’s management conducting wireless specialists promptly to address the customers’ needs.
Furthermore, Coffee Bean cafes have been regarded as places that provide conducive environment for studying and working. Many consumers study, work, or even hold their business and formal meetings in the cafes; therefore, it will be important for the cafes to introduce a small in-house library that is equipped with internet.
The importance accrued to the customers will be that those involved in studying can make fast reference in the internet instead of having to move out of the cafes. Pricing of these services can be lowered slightly just to win the confidence of the customers although earlier research established that most of the customers are not price conscious.
As the number of customers grow, and the cafes take part in marketing of other food and beverages menus together with related accessories, there is need to train consumers on Coffee Bean products and services.
At the same time, customers having knowledge on how to prepare the beverages on their own in their homestead, is likely to increase customer loyalty as more customers become loyal to the café’s products and services. Therefore, it is recommended that Coffee Bean initiate and facilitate coffee classes for its customers (Clark cited in Wallbanger p.1).
More so, it is seen that Coffee Bean has demonstrated innovative strategies with regard to coming up with new proprietary language for its products. Therefore, what is needed as part of CRM strategies is for the café to publish booklets that have the meaning of the vocabulary used which in turn should be given to customers.
Mastery of the language will be critical and necessary in enabling the customer get exactly and with perfect knowledge of what he or she wants. This CRM strategy is seen to be essential, as it will prevent customers from moving to other cafes. As witnessed from some of the frequent customers especially those who study and work inside Coffee Bean, the assumption is that majority enjoy listening to music or reading a motivating book while having a cup of coffee (Bussing-Burks p.22).
Therefore, it is recommended that entertainment industry should also be part of the company’s CRM strategy. For example, Coffee Bean should initiate programs of selling some of the best and revered compact discs to its customers who may express desire to do so and this calls for the company to have an effective and customer-appealing in-house music program (Bussing-Burks p.22).
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Recommendations to enhance the company’s loyalty and rewards programme
From the research carried out, it was found out that Coffee Bean Card was unpopular as compared to Starbucks Bean Card. First, as a reward program that intend to appreciate and recognize loyal customers, Coffee Bean need to scrap off the ‘registration fee’ that is, the amount customers pay to have or purchase the card (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf p.1). At the same time, the Coffee Bean Card should be made flexible where some requirements totally nudge the consumers hence discouraging them.
For example, Coffee Bean Limited having the sole discretion to reject some applications and no room for appeal has totally discouraged many consumers. More so, the Bean Card should be made to be transferable with much flexibility to be shared by third party, as this will encourage new customers to taste and experience the company’s products and services with potential of becoming loyal customers.
As it can be seen, Coffee Bean loyalty reward system is not much spread across the spectrum of consumers. It is recommended that the company should initiate loyalty reward system whereby there should be three kinds of reward systems such as: welcome level reward system; green level reward system; and gold level reward system (Brooks p.xviii).
Further, at each level, there has to be unique sets of rewards and benefits and such benefits should increase as the customer graduates from lower level to higher level. In other words, Coffee Bean Limited needs to design a loyalty reward program that has capability of wooing customers while at the same time exciting the customers by offering attractive benefits (Brooks p.xviii).
According to Frederick F. Reichheld in his book titled ‘the quest for loyalty: creating value through partnership’, the author observes that customers are in a position to value reward programs when they fulfill five aspects: the cash value, choice of redemption options, aspirational value, relevance, and convenience (Reichheld p.205).
The author further notes that it is not possible for companies to offer all the five aspects, but it is important for companies that want to play the rewards game to be sure their value measures up to the customers’ alternatives (Reichheld p.205).
Moreover, Ulrich Pohl observes that there are two types of rewards system that a company can use: direct rewards system and indirect premiums reward system (Pohl p.63). The author advises that majority of consumers pay more attention to product related rewards as compared to non-product related rewards (Pohl p.63).
In another study by Yi and Jean (2003), it was further established that direct rewards are likely to receive more attention than indirect rewards (cited in Pohl p.63). Given this scenario, it can be recommended that Coffee Bean Limited should pay more attention to product related rewards and less attention directed at indirect premium rewards since the former is appreciated most (Pohl p.63).
How software may improve CRM objectives
SAS Customer Intelligence Software is a technological tool that is becoming widely incorporated in CRM of most businesses (SAS p.1). In essence, CRM functions to improve customer service while at the same time increase customer satisfaction and win new more customers (Scott p.1).
SAS Intelligence system constitutes a software that has ability to segment a company’s customer database to determine which customers are most likely to respond to particular marketing campaigns or activities (Grönfeldt and Strother p.115). In essence, SAS Intelligence system is critical in understanding customers’ behavios and subsequently tailors marketing campaigns for its brands appropriately. Hence, adoption of the technology at Coffee Bean Limited is necessary and recommended.
CRM has to operate from using accurate information and data on customers, which has to be gathered, processed, and analyzed. For example, with regard to Coffee Bean Limited, its rewarding program has to be monitored to ensure if the programs are meeting the objectives where at the same time some adjustments in terms of improvements need to be made.
Customer purchases and order requests need to be entered into a database, which in turn gives the business an accurate idea on the customers purchasing trends. Achieving the above-mentioned needs, Coffee Bean Limited can adopt “SAS Intelligence system to largely automate CRM applications” where it can be used to “analyze customer complaints or compliments and in the process change the business processes” (Scott p.1).
Some of the key components of SAS Intelligence system that can be beneficial to Coffee Bean Limited include: customer experience analytics, where the company is able to translate web site usage data into business decisions; and customer link analytics that enable the company to incorporate consumer relationship information into aspects of profiling, segmentation and targeting in order to win in the market.
Others include e-marketing whereby, SAS Intelligence system enables the company to deliver large-scale multi-media messaging and multichannel campaigns to each customers and even potential customers (SAS p.1).
SAS Intelligence technology provides necessary help in identifying the right customers for specific marketing campaigns where the concern in CRM is to realize customer intelligence that enhances understanding of customer behavior hence SAS Intelligence system can be of benefit in enhancing customer service (Grönfeldt and Strother p.115).
In summary, SAS Intelligence system can be effective to Coffee Bean Limited by enabling the company make better and well informed marketing decisions. This will, at the same time, enable the company to solve the more challenging marketing issues, further the system provides opportunity or the company to evolve and realize meaningful growth, and lastly, SAS ensures success due to its customer loyalty around the globe (Xu p.21).
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