Saqui Research

Don’t confuse doing things with building customer relationships

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LIST A

  • Build direct marketing lists
  • Write product definitions
  • Develop corporate literature
  • Mail postcards
  • Send holiday greetings
  • Mine CRM databases for leads

I recently reviewed a marketing plan with these suggestions listed. While these marketing tactics aren’t inherently bad, they are inherently deceptive. These actions make you feel like you are doing something to build customer relationships when you might be doing the very opposite.

Of course, you do have to do things to build customer relationships but maybe not the things that typically come to mind. What if your marketing plan contained the following recommendations?

LIST B

  • Create a customer advisory board
  • Identify the language of your customers
  • Evaluate how well you are meeting the needs of current customers
  • Take your 5 biggest customers out to lunch and just listen
  • Solve a small problem for your customers for free
  • Develop a process to help customers make good purchase decisions

The difference is not only in the actions but in the outcomes.

Do this quick exercise.  Read this out loud and fill in the blank with the first thing that comes to mind.

“Our company is going to [read off items on list A] SO THAT our customers ____________________.”

Now try it again with list B.

“Our company is going to [read off items on list B] SO THAT our customers  ______________________.”

What difference did you feel? What was different in the outcomes? Leave a comment and let me know!

-Ursula

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Ursula Saqui is an academic and psychotherapist turned entrepreneur. Works with individuals and organizations that are willing, curious, and brave enough to intensely focus and work on their brand, customers, and competitive advantage. When she is not working, she is spending time with her family, reading, playing soccer, or eating steak. Connect with Ursula via , Twitter, LinkedIn, or on Facebook.
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