I used to live abroad and came back to the UK looking for lovely things and experiences to remind me of home. A kind of ‘Brit-fix’. One of these was regular visits to a very swanky country hotel with several Michelin stars to its name. My husband and I clocked up several thousand dollars worth of amazing memories and several tens of thousands of calories over the years. But each time we went they would greet us like first time guests. At first I thought it was because we arrived looking like we’d ‘won the holiday’ , so I changed my wardrobe and wiped the chocolate off my daughter’s face. Nothing changed. One awful day my husband remarked on their lack of acknowledgement and suggested we find an alternative.

Horrified that my oasis would be denied me, I wrote to the manager. If my local pizza joint can tell by my mobile number who I am, where I live and how much pepperoni I like…why can’t you say ‘welcome back’ when we come visit?

They were contrite and admitted they were pretty arrogant in believing they did not need CRM. Our clients like discretion they said. Well this client wants to feel welcomed and recognised I said. So they asked us back, pulled out all the stops and made a huge fuss of my daughter who loved being welcomed by name and given a small bear to hug.

We are going back again, we will likely spend most of the cost of a week’s holiday on wine and we will continue to love them as long as they love us back.

I don’t need them to remember my birthday or note my blood group. I just want them to recognise me when it matters. Obvious.

It is the When It Matters part that counts. Try looking at your customers’ journey and identify the key moments of interaction customers experience with you- does your CRM kick in when it really matters? Or do you sling stuff at them according to your signed off marketing plan? Are you missing them When It Matter

A reminder of home

An English Garden