Case: Analysis that trigger customer contact

Happy customers through relevant communications

Manutan Crystalloids


  • Multi-channel marketing
  • Customer contact strategy

Manutan’s online store is the first choice for many companies, offering a wide variety of supplies for offices, warehouse and workplaces. The company, formerly known as Overtoom, is part of the French Manutan Group, a large player in this market segment with 25 subsidiaries in 17 countries, offering over 200.000 products. Following their motto ‘enterprising for a better world’ this company is continuously trying to make the best possible connection between clients, suppliers and their staff. An important part of this is establishing unambiguous and relevant communications with customers, through all optional touch points.

Relevant communications

It is important that the account managers of Manutan are able to contact their clients at the right moment, with the relevant message. “That’s pretty complex if you are responsible for multiple clients where multiple people order from a large selection of products,” explains Boris Vildósola Bustos, Director of Marketing Benelux. “Besides a large group of loyal customers we are also facing the needs of new clients, and companies who suddenly order less for a number of reasons. If we have insights into which phase our clients are in, we can act directly if we see these clients are either growing or decreasing in their purchases. We do this by means using all relevant marketing channels.” To further optimize customer interactions, Manutan decided to redesign their customer lifecycle program.

Customer lifecycle

A company-wide approach to the customer lifecycle was chosen. “If we only would have approached either from a marketing perspective or from a one touch point we could never have achieved a consistent dialogue. It is imperative to look over our departments,” Boris explains. Together with Crystalloids, Manutan analyzed all customer interactions to get full insights into customer behavior. Why do they buy? When do they buy? How often do they buy? This analysis comprises also patterns and relations between behavior and characteristics like size, sector and nationality of a company. “We gained many new insights and we found some current assumptions invalid,” Boris adds. “This analysis helped us to segment clients into clear groups of companies with similar behaviour.”


Clear insights into the customer lifecycle is the basis of an optimized customer contact-strategy in each phase of the lifecycle, through all channels, both online and offline. Boris: “The marketing, sales and finance departments are now able to adjust their dialogue to the type of client and the customer phase he is in. We exactly know what to communicate if a new client orders for the first time and if another purchase is being done within a couple of months. We also take action if the purchase pattern of a client is suddenly changing.” It is also obvious that not everybody within a company receives identical communications.“ That depends on the individual we are serving. A purchasing manager has different needs than a person who is doing the daily purchases. Besides, for us the end user is of importance. By knowing who we are serving we are able to assist that person tailor made.”


Crystalloid’s consultants have implemented advanced and automated triggers to implement the customer dialogue strategy. Using techniques like clustering and survival-analysis each individual client is segmented into a lifecycle phase, and it has been determined what to communicate through which channel at  what moment. Triggers can push an e-mail to a client but may also let an account manager call the client. To be able to have the statistic models optimize their predictions, a large number of data sources has been combined to create a complete view of the customer. From order history and invoicing to many company characteristics like size and sector. In combination with the ‘customer master data management’ program which Manutan has started, the organization now disposes of a 360º customer viewto create all relevant insights. The solution has fully been developed by open source software.

Effective communications

The new approach had immediate effects, according to Boris. “Our messages to customers have become much more relevant which is proven by higher conversion rates, compared to the group that has not been approached in this way. Marketing campaigns are much more effective through better timing and relevance. Also account managers know when to contact their clients”. Having a 360º customer view is also paying out. “This view not only improves the dialogue, we also have been able to reduce the time needed correcting customer data. Now we can spend this time on our customers and services!”

Step by step

Manutan is very pleased to be working together with Crystalloids. “We have consciously chosen for a specialized company that is experienced in applying these techniques,” says Boris. “This expertise has helped us to make the right choices. The consultants didn’t only help us when developing the customer lifetime program, they also delivered a working solution.” The solution was implemented step by step with a clear start and ending. Boris: “First we started with two focus areas, risk and churn. For all clients who were at the point of leaving us or who already had stopped ordering. The triggers developed for this purpose are helping us to keep customers who otherwise would have been lost.”

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