Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Marketing, ICICI style

My recent experience with India’s largest private bank has taught me one thing – that there is a lot of simple things that you could do and still take the customer’s breath away.

I recently applied for a credit card – one of a lesser denomination than what was entitled to me since I was a little finicky about owning a bombshell of a card with thousands of features AND hundreds of hidden costs. But what I received surprised me alright.

I was handed over not one but two cards, and from their Gold category. I would’ve obviously discounted the hand-over-two-cards as a marketing strategy that tries to satisfy the human craving for owning as many cards as possible (mostly serving the purpose of being a little more than an eye candy), but what was a little startling was the features of the card they gave me as compliment. The card – Kingfisher Airlines card – has some long glitzy list set of features alright. This is what an article has to say about the card.
It allows access to almost 180 golf clubs in India through special tie-ups and has exclusive packages for golf holidays across the world.

You will also be invited for ‘premium lifestyle shows, fashion shows, movie premieres... so who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself on page 3, or Hi-Blitz, as the case may be! There’s also a 24x7 concierge service that gives the card holder personalised assistance across various cities in India with services ranging from car rentals to city guides.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to be happy for getting a card like this or be irritated because this wasn’t really what I was looking for, but it has definitely managed to catch my attention. When I called the customer service asking for hidden charges – there has to be a catch in such cards, I presumed - this is what I got as reply:
The card is absolutely free – all joining fee, renewal fee etc have been discounted and this is purely a complimentary card along with the main one for a special customer like you.
That was some training alright. I would’ve been bowled twice over if I hadn’t had attended those marketing classes back in IIM-I. The problem with attending these classes is you start to expect unique services and you don't easily get blown away. In other words, you cease to be a normal customer. I'm dead sure this deal would've made a lot of others customers cement their relationship with ICICI cards. Wonder what would be the service levels for Platinum cards – ones that are provided not on request but only to people – hotshots, actually - directly cherry-picked by the card companies.

If you are a frequent flier, check out the comparison of the different card deals here. Some of them are really great if you cross certain air miles over a period.


At Friday, December 01, 2006 12:32:00 AM, Blogger BRAT said...

MKTNG!!! as tey say.. is fooling the other person, selling somethin 2 him...

At Monday, December 11, 2006 2:48:00 PM, Blogger Wally said...

dei, checking your blog after a long time :D no, the most crucial aspect of the cards is not them being free, but the fact of how the payments are handled. the card with the best features is not the one that wins, but net free period, apr and above all it should have no collection hassles. this is where icici had problems when i was with them. hope you have no problems, just remember one thing, never ever rollover :D

At Tuesday, December 12, 2006 12:27:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

@Brat: Thats selling. Marketing is exactly the opposite. You can't build relationships with the customer - which is what marketing is about - by fooling customers. But selling, yes.

@Sric: Sure da... set reminders et al. Won't let it rollover!

At Wednesday, October 29, 2008 5:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u people r so foolish persons bcause u don,t understan the question


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