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Customer Service Consultants Devon

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Leigh Anderson Associates
01579 321750
The Stable
Liskeard

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D & S Marketing Technologies Ltd
01392 435503
Upstairs
Exeter

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Image Makers
01837 840717
Okehampton

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Arcedia Direct Ltd
01752 600910
11 Whimple Street
Plymouth

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Formedia Ltd
01752 764222
1 Tamar Science Park
Plymouth

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Francis Martin International Ltd
01392 413878
4 The Quadrant
Exeter

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Ellis Keyplan
01409 231309
Wistaria
Beaworthy

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St Francis Marketing
01884 251600
1-4 Bampton Street
Tiverton

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Dynamo Creative Marketing Ltd
01579 343592
North Tor
Liskeard

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Outposts Marketing Consultants
01647 231007
Falkedon
Crediton

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Ignoring customers and other ways to help your business fail

(First appeared in Second Opinion Marketing e-bulletin May 2010 - subscribe to the e-bulletin here ). 

Avoid the sin of ignoring your customers

I’m going to be controversial in this issue of Practical Marketing: you ignore your customers and prospects, and in doing so you miss massive opportunities to generate more business.

Ok – hopefully you’re still reading so that I can explain myself and provide you with some useful pointers for how to avoid this sin in the future.

How many of our businesses have a regular method for open dialogue with clients? How frequently do you communicate with them – both sending and receiving information – and I don’t just mean transactional communications? Have you ever bought, rented or used a mailing list of target prospects, mailed them once or twice and then abandoned them?

I’m sure we’d all be lying if we said we weren’t guilty of at least one of these sins.

You know how it is, when you first start the business you are close to all your customers, they get 1:1 attention from you, you speak regularly, you listen to their requirements carefully and you are able to respond easily and quickly to what they need. As your business grows and more people become involved, as both customers and members of staff, a divide grows between you and the client. Before you know it you spend 12 months without speaking to or writing to a client, and then you’re surprised to learn they are buying from someone else!

Research which looked at the reasons customer defect proves the point perfectly:

Why do customers leave?

  • Move away or die/become insolvent - 4%
  • Influenced away - 5% 
  • Get a better deal - 9% 
  • Unresolved conflict - 14% 
  • Perceived indifference - 68%

(Source: Michael LeBoeuf – How to Win Customers and Keep them for Life)

When I first saw those figures I was astounded. Customers leave because they don’t feel ‘loved’. We’ve ignored them! This is our life blood we are talking about, without customers we can’t survive, and we’re letting them leave, for some businesses in their droves.

The same research suggested that a customer thinks you’ve forgotten them if you don’t speak to them for 6 weeks or more. Wow. That’s a big ask for most businesses, but it does demonstrate why the modern keep in touch mechanisms via Twitter, Blogs, Linked In and so on, which put the customer or receiver of information in a position of control, have been so effective for some brands.

I always recommend to clients regular communications via e-newsletters, e-shots, mailings, service calls and face to face meetings with the most important customers. You can make the process as formal or informal as you like and of course it doesn’t have to be the business owner making the contact. As a business grows it’s important to not only delegate work t...

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