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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

 Increase trust

 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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