Monday, January 21, 2013

When Every Day isn't Enough

Every day you work to make sure that your customers get the best service from your company. Your team actively works to troubleshoot, solve problems and work through solutions. Done right, customers rave about your team.

And then, you hear that your client hired someone else to solve a related issue. When you ask why, it turns out that they did not know your company had a ready-made, dovetail solution. Not only did you lose potential business, but your customer now has to go through a learning curve with a new team  - plus the new solution may not be a seamless transition.

What just happened was a failure to communicate

Too often we think of the combination of our initial introduction to a company and the resulting informal daily communication during a project as building a relationship. Absolutely, they are essential building blocks - but limited in scope. Your client's project team may not include decision makers. The client team you work with may have limited understanding of the needs in other departments. Additionally, the client has many other needs and stresses on their time - your company's offerings take a back seat.

Marketing is often thought of as advertising - print, radio, TV. In the end, those venues are just mediums of communication. Communication is the most important part of marketing, and there are many ways to communicate with your customers. The key is making sure you keep your message in front of both potential and current customers.  Look beyond the every day and create a strategy of communication.

To think about....
How are you keeping your offerings top-of-mind for customers? Do you have regularly scheduled communications? Do you keep your LinkedIN company pages current with product and service information? Do you mail out a newsletter? Do you e-mail specials to customers? Do you have information meetings with customers on a regular basis to see how else you can help?

Sound overwhelming? It doesn't have to be. Tackle things one item at a time. Be consistent. And, hire a bit of help if you need it! (It may be worth it in the long run. See this web article on the true cost of doing social media yourself.) 

Update 4/29/14 - Great article on the topic of Customer Marketing.