In fact Turkish companies began tracking their customers during the later 1990s. But it took time to develop the necessary technology and accumulate sufficient information. Most have only been tracking customers professionally for the last few years. From Migros to Garanti Bankası, Magic Life and YKM many companies are now tracking an incredible number of customers. Tracking customers enables them “to provide the right customer with the right services and products”
In Turkey it is Migros which runs the most comprehensive and most successful customer relationship management (CRM) applications. The importance that it gives to CRM has given Migros some significant advantages in a highly competitive environment. Migros tracks 12.5 million customer transactions per month. The more than 4.5 million Migros Club Card customers can have instant reductions on more than two million products at the check out. The company follows Migros Club card members in four stages. The first stage is to recognize 12.5 million customer transactions every month. The second is to group customers into 47 different segments. In the third step the benefits that will be offered are personalized on a customer group basis. In the last phase a three dimensional model is used to establish one to one contact with the customer and develop personalized benefits.
This model, which is called “a 360 degree look at the customer” enables the company to merge the ‘clues’ in the customer’s shopping basket with the ‘fingerprints’ on the customer’s card. It is these efforts which deservedly put the company at the forefront of organized retailing.
Many other companies as well as Migros also track customers . Boyner Stores track 1.5 million people while YKM has around 1 million visitors under the microscope. Customer tracking is used very effectively in banking. Fortis tracks 2.2 million customers, Garanti 6 million and Denizbank 1 million.
They are not alone. From small household appliances to hotels, construction materials and cosmetics there are many areas in which the leading companies in the sector closely track customers. The results of the tracking are then analyzed. These analyses play a critical role in many strategies from the creation of new products and services to investment decisions.
Fortis’s special offers for customers
Fortis Turkey tracks the behavior of 2.2 million customers every day. The tracking process at the bank starts with an evaluation of database information using data interrogation instruments. The feedback from campaigns is also used at this stage. After the data has been evaluated, decisions are taken about what should be done and contact is established with the customer through various channels. Fortis Product Development and CRM Managing Director Uğur Özmen says that they have the ability to track the activities of every customer according to personalized predetermined scenarios and get back to them immediately.
The tracking process enables the bank to know its customers better and, as a result, save time when it comes to implementing the appropriate products and services. Uğur Özmen gives the following as an example of the usefulness of the customer tracking process:
“The segmentation process that we conduct enables us to assign different sales representatives according to the type of customer. This has improved the products and services we offer. We have moved beyond being able to making an offer according to an evaluation made at the time that the customer contacts the branch. The offer that will be made is predetermined, which has enabled us to make the right offer very quickly and ensure good results.”
At Garanti it affects strategy
Garanti Bankası Customer Relations Management and Marketing Department Manager Şebnem Dönbekçi says that they continuously track approximately 6 million customers. 30-35,000 new customers are added to this figure each month. The data generated by the central tracking system is collected in such a way that it can be accessed instantaneously from all customer contact points. Şebnem Dönbekçi says: “We also track and listen to customers through conducting market research. We measure the degrees of satisfaction with and loyalty to our bank’s products and services.”
The bank has established a “Correct Customer Line” in order to be able to respond to customer requests and in order for them to forward their complaints and requests. Şebnem Dönbekçi continues her evaluation as follows: “We analyze the data we receive from the databases and from the market surveys and we are able to change the value we create for our customers. Of course, as a result what we learn from this tracking process also affects many of our strategies. Most recently we introduced changes to our retail banking services model in the light of this information.”
How did Boyner differentiate?
Boyner Stores is one of the most important players in the multistory stores concept. It first launched a databased customer relations management project in 1997 in order to understand its customers and be closer to them. The Çarşı Key Card has become established as an important means of establishing the company’s relationship with its customers. Today the company tracks the purchasing habits of around 1.5 million Boyner Key Card customers a year.
Demographic and contact information is collected in its stores, on its website and through its call centers. The information that has been gathered is synchronized with product sales information in a database and analyzed and reports produced. Moreover, this system is supplemented by data from market surveys, segmentation processes, customer focus groups and applications developed with suppliers. Aytuğ İğneli, Boyner Assistant General Manager Responsible for Sales and Marketing says that by using this method they have been able to take into account customer needs and demands which has enabled them to increase the products, services and campaigns they have offered and customer loyalty and satisfaction. In addition, the applications developed as a result of customer tracking have strengthened the bond between the company, customer and brand and given them a competitive edge.
How many customers are 12 companies tracking
Company Number of customers being tracked (people)
GARANTİ BANKASı (***) 6,000,000
MAGIC LIFE(*) 600,000
Not: Number of customers tracked on an annual (*),monthly (**), and daily (***)basis.