CASE - 2 The Titan CRM Initiative
The Indian watch industry was in for a revolution in 1985-86. At that
time, the Indian consumer had
virtually no choice and had to purchase the simple, plain and utilitarian mechanical watches sold out
by the major watch manufacturer HMT or buy the few available foreign watches at a very high price.
With its entry into the watch market in 1985-86, Titan created a paradigm shift from mechanical to
quartz watches. They offered quartz watches of international quality and styling and converted the
humble watch from a mere time keeping device to an 'object d'art' and a fashion accessory. With more
than 1,000 models to choose from the Indian consumer had the choice of aesthetically designed
watches. They bridged the gap that existed in the product and retailing standards in the Indian watch
industry, pioneering by setting up a chain of high profile outlets called 'The World of Titan' that
promised and delivered world-class experience along with world-class products. Titan soon introduced
clocks and timepieces and 'Tanishq' range of watch jewellery. It came as no surprise that Titan was
able to capture 40 per cent of the Indian watch market and became an undisputed leader in the quartz
The success of Titan was not a 'flash in the pan', but a result of concentrated and continuous effort
on the part of the management to satisfy and delight the Indian customer by offering world class
watches with a choice of international and ethnic designs supported by excellent after sales service and
The top management envisaged the mission of Titan as:
To provide superior values to the customer on a sustained basis.
Cement a relationship
Build an enduring brand value.
To this end, the first step was to provide the customers with a very good product that is not only
endearing to the customer, but offers reliability, quality and choice through a wide variety of designs
and is also affordable. Titan realised that the relationship of the company with its customers just starts
with the customer buying its product. There are further opportunities to cement the relationship by
offering after sales support and service.
Titan set up more than 53 after sales service and support centres throughout the country that they
called 'Watch Care Centres'. The watch care centres were created on the lines of the showrooms and
featured decent seating, air conditioning, clean drinking water, magazines to browse through during
waiting time, pleasing music, education posters and see through repair shop to let the customer actually
see what is taking place to boost confidence. They took pains to recruit the right staff and train them
(FPIP - Front line Performance Improvement Programme) to ensure high quality customer interaction.
The training was followed by effectiveness measurement at individual sites to ensure continuity and
actual performance. A separate process filled up any gap in the performance. The customer interaction
process involved attention to such details as greeting the customer, problem understanding, resolving
doubts and queries, value addition by offering stand by watches in case of long repair times and home
delivery. Customers were encouraged to look at accessories and the feedback on their experience was
solicited. The company even trained their personnel to undertake follow-up enquiries to check the
performance of their products.
Service centres were manned by fully trained and experienced factory engineers to ensure quality
repair. Every service engineer went through a training programme at the service headquarters that
indicated in them technical skills, product knowledge and customer complaint-handling techniques. An
important aspect of Titan's initiative was measurement of the results and benchmarking it with the best
of the care centres. Operational parameters related to repairs and deliveries such as speed of repair,
repeat returns, etc., were captured and monitored on a continuous basis. Second, the feedback from the
customers was monitored and the company took actions on their feedback. Based on feedback, the
service period was increased by two hours from the existing 9 am to 5 pm to 9 am to 7 pm with no
break in between.
Titan realised that in order to provide service to all its customers, it needed to expand its service
network. This led to the process of service network expansion by identifying the Titan watch customer
population locations and setting up service facilities there. Currently the Titan service network
comprises of about 512 service outlets providing total service access to 85 per cent of the watch
population. They identified dealers who could provide such service and ensured that:
Dealers were trained.
Dealers received spare parts at their doorsteps.
High quality tools and equipment was supplied to sustain repair quality.
Updates on technical information were provided.
The quality of service was maintained by monitoring and measuring their performance.
Titan also implemented dealer programmes for rewarding them on performance (consumer
durables and foreign trips) that ensured that they stayed highly motivated to provide the excellent
service for which Titan became was renowned for.
Customer satisfaction was measured through a feedback questionnaire at service centres.
Customer evaluated the service on 10 parameters and gave their feedback on a 10-point scale. The
feedback was reviewed and appropriate corrective actions were taken. Suggestions were welcomed and
the best suggestions from the customers were rewarded. Some of the improvements included
enhancing the service working hours, correcting the service charges, providing questionnaire in local
languages, enhancing the speed of repair and implementing service standards to meet the customer
expectations. Currently more than 1.6 million customers use the Titan service be it a simple battery or
strap replacement or any other service. The ultimate aim is to keep on improving the service delivery
The Signet Programme
Titan realised that customer satisfaction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for market
leadership. It is more important to transform the satisfied customer to a loyal customer. Loyal
customers are advocates of the brand and they spread a positive image of the brand/organisation. This
is more convincing for the potential customer because it is based on the first hand information. To
build customer loyalty, Titan launched 'The Titan Signet' CRM initiative in May 1995 at the exclusive
World of Titan stores. Its mission was to create sense of belonging in the minds of the customer for
the store and vice-versa by:
Building a special relationship with high lifetime value Titan customers.
Recognising and rewarding the loyalty of customers to Titan.
Providing a platform for direct feedback from the valued customers to the company.
The Titan Signet programme was initially started in 6 showrooms in Bangalore. Today the Titan
Signet has been extended to 102 World of Titan showrooms across 59 cities all over India.
First and foremost Titan firmly believed that building customer loyalty and building a customer
information base was a key component of its marketing strategy. The strategy required the company to
forge strong customer bonds called 'The Three D's - Database, Dialogue, and Direct Media' - are the
heart and soul of deep and lasting customer bonds. To create relationship means one has to:
know the customer likes and dislikes - his psyche which is possible only if one maintains a
database of customers.
keep up a continuous learning process about the customer by dialogue and feedback with the
have some way of communicating directly with them through direct media.
The first step is to know your customers. Membership to the Titan Signet club is through value-
based enrolment, which also captures and stores the profile of the member through a data management
system. The information includes information such as customer name and address, relevant
information about that individual such as age and income level, family status and buying intention (this
is dynamic and subject to change) and finally data captured whenever the customer makes a
The second step is to retain loyal customers and reward them for their loyalty.
The Titan Signet differentiates its customers. Loyal customers, with the potential to return time and
again are infinitely more valuable. Frequent purchase is encouraged through the 'Reward programme'.
Points are awarded for every purchase made. The Titan Signet encourages customers to not only enroll
but also return to purchase more and more often. The customer may benefit through recognition and
rewards. However, the company is a bigger beneficiary as it can use every interaction with the
customer to guide future marketing choices.
The final step is to maximize the relationship with the customer and turn it into a long-term
relationship. Personal relationships are built by using dialogue as the process of interacting directly
with prospects and customers. As part of The Titan Signet programme, the members are kept informed
on various new products being offered by Titan. Contests, offers and promotions from brands are
constant through the membership period ensuring that Titan is always in the subconscious of our
valued customers. Offers from other lifestyle brands also keep the customers' interest alive.
Titan has reaped rich benefits from the Signet programme. Success of any customer relationship
programme depends on the support of a database, use of direct media, such as customised direct mail,
newsletters, monthly statements, and a solid reward system that builds continuously. Increase the value
offered to the customer for each purchase that the customer makes so that they not only return again
and again but also act as brand ambassadors. It has seen that 30 per cent of the membership base
returned to buy form the World of Titan Showrooms alone. This itself apart from valuable feedback
from the customers qualified the programme as a success.
Titan has implemented an appropriate CRM strategy taken an appropriate to increase its loyal
customer base through the Signet programme. Direct mail was initially used as the channel for
communication. Now it wants to leverage the power of Internet to further its relationships. But
competition has increased with the entry of major foreign brands into the Indian Watch market.
Case 2 Questions:
1. Explain in detail about 3 D's (Database, Dialogue & Direct Media) that are required for the
company to forge strong customer bonds?
2. Mention all the CRM initiatives that are explained in this case?
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