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Back to VRM basics

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Tonight I went to the Beers & Innovation event about VRM – many thanks to Ian Delaney for putting together a splendid meeting. The conversations were worthwhile, good questions were asked, some, I hope, might even have been answered! I trust that people present had a sense that this is something that not only makes sense to them but something they can be part of themselves. Which is kind of the whole point.

On the way home, I stopped at a local corner shop. It has been run by a lovely Indian family since times immemorial, it stays open very late and being in Chelsea’s King’s Road it stocks some unusually posh and varied stuff for a corner shop. Obviously know their customers and their needs.

I only recently returned from the US and haven’t yet used my UK wallet. I got some sunflower and rye bread (£1.99) convinced I had enough change to cover that. As I came to pay for it, I realised that was not the case. All I had was a rather large note. Not good. As I fumble in my wallet, the shop assistant says.

It’s ok, tomorrow.
I say: Sorry? What do you mean?
He says: It’s ok, you can pay tomorrow.

I thank him profusely, assuring him that I live round the corner and will definitely be back tomorrow.

He says: I know you, it’s ok.

To put this into context – there was an ATM in the shop, so he could easily have suggested I get a smaller note out. Or he could have made me buy something more to add to the amount. He didn’t, instead he made things easy for me, he risked not being paid at all and showed me the kind of trust that is thought extinct in places like London.

Now, I am not sure this is VRM but I am sure as hell it is a relationship! After an evening of fruitful but rather complex and far fetched pontifications, it was good to get to (VRM) basics.

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2 Responses to “Back to VRM basics”


  1. alan p
    on Mar 19th, 2008
    @ 17:59 pm

    Adriana, I’d think it is VRM (actually, it should be CRM as well) in that you have clearly built up a trust relationship via a series of +ve transactions, and are thus being “upgraded” to a higher level of customer attention.


  2. Adriana
    on Mar 19th, 2008
    @ 18:20 pm

    Possibly, or that they are just the kind of people who prefer treating their customers as human beings with all the risks and rewards that brings. I don’t see that kind of behaviour as part of any system or process.

    I would say that a successful business will make sure it keeps systems and processes away from people who are able to related to others and have conversations and relationships with customers on behalf of the company.

    And btw, I made sure I went back there today and paid the two quid for certain!

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