Communicate or Die
Over the past 15 years, we have surveyed hundreds of thousands of business owners on behalf of our clients, and in our own benchmarking.
In fact Blue Frog Marketing has one of the largest every benchmarks of business owners and their marketing practices – with over 800 surveyed so far.
It’s an interesting, yet terrifying fact that less than 15% of these business owners had surveyed their customers in the past 12 months about needs, wants, satisfaction – anything.
I’m not sure how these business owners operate their sales, marketing and customer service but with so few asking customers for their feedback, I would hazard a guess there are a lot of assumptions being made.
I’ve also presented to a lot of business owners, and noted a certain hesitancy in communicating with customers, including concerns about how often they should send out communications. It seems this stems from the fact many are bombarded with irrelevant newsletters, spam and aaaaaargh! a feeling they simply can’t take any more of it, so why should they subject customers to that too!
Well the answer to this is quite simple isn’t it – NEVER send undesirable communication, NEVER spam your customers. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t communicate with them.
Before I go further I should define what I mean by communication. COMMUNICATION in its proper definition is a two way process. You initiate a survey or letter or phone call, seeking a response from the customer and so on and so forth. I do not mean just sending out ‘promotion’ or ‘newsletters’ or bombarding the e-mail inbox of customers.
Here are my tips for business owners on the subject of communication
1. If you can engage in real and ongoing dialogue with your customers you will be much better at gaining and retaining these customers and getting referrals because you will know their needs and wants and satisfaction intimately
2. If you don’t communicate with customers, guess who else will be? Yes that’s right your competition
3. Customers will never be upset with a valid communication that meets a need or want
4. If you never initiate communication, you can expect a lower inflow of communication into your business. The more you communicate out, the more you will receive in return
5. Don’t judge the amount of communication you should send out, by your own feelings on spam or junk mail from others – the fact it is spam or junk means it’s not REAL communication
6. Communicate or die! If you don’t communicate out into the world, to your customers, to prospects, to the market – you can almost guarantee you are sealing your fate.
But make it REAL!