Thursday, December 29, 2005

Good Customer Relationship Partners are important

I subscribe to three magazines at the moment. One is a marketing magazine from here in the UK, one is from Australia and one is from the US.

However, lately, only my UK magazine has been turning up. I have had problems before with magazines not turning up and you get the same comments everytime from the publisher - "that would be a postal problem. Check with the postal service."

It is frustrating. I was subscribed to the US mag when I moved house earlier this year, but I was subscribed to the other two magazines. Both acknowledged my change of address but only one seems to have got it right. But then again, it could be the post.

Which brings me to the to my key point. You need to have good partners who you can rely on to complete the customer service loop. There is no point in making the customer feel warm and fuzzy about handing over the cash for your product if you are simply going to make them dread the follow up.

Your partners need to be aiming for the same goals as your organisation. They must have the same customer service ideals or better. And the hand off - the passing of the customer, the sale, etc must be smooth. You need to get that right as well.

Are you providing your partners the information they need to do their job effectively for you?

If your partners don't have the tools or information needed to be effective then their poor form is going to be reflected on you.

Sometimes organisations go into partnerships thinking that a bit of training and a signed agreement will get the partnership going and that is all that is needed. NOT TRUE!

Partnerships take time and you really need to look hard at who you want to partner with. Then you need to work hard so that everyone involved in the partnership is working together for a single goal with all the tools and information required to get the job done. Even then, it is not a guaranteed success, but you will have a much greater chance.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blogged out?

One of the reasons there has been so little activity on here for a while was that I simply got blogged out!

I started a new job in July and that has kept me pretty busy. Partly because I was tired after a day's work but also because of the amount of time reading and writing done around my blog I just simply got tired. My efforts on my personal blog also stagnated.

Has anyone else suffered from a similar ailment?

Maybe it is like many things, when something new comes along we get very excited and then the excitement wears off and it becomes the norm until it is no longer interesting. That describes a fad nicely, doesn't it. But you could also look at it as similar to "crossing the chasm". You have the initial excitement with a new product, the early adopters who jump on board. But then comes the hard part - making the leap from early adopters to early majority and building on the momentum.

The Blogging Enterprise reading material

Last month saw a conference on the Blogging Enterprise. There is some very useful follow up reading available at the Virtual Handshake website, including some post conference reading.

There is alot of useful info from the Virtual Handshake, including how to appropriately use social networking sites such as LinkedIn (are you on it?). Well worth a visit.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Christmas!

To all my readers,

Thank you for your support since the start earlier this year. May 2006 be bigger and better for us all.

Best wishes for the festive season!

Peter Vasey

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Good data is important

I had a moment yesterday, which simply reinforced the need to make sure your data is accurate and up to date before you start any campaign. The worst part, the organisation messing up was a marketing publication, supposedly offering insights into best practice.

The woman on the other end of the call was cheery enough. She explained that she was calling from this magazine and asked if I had heard of it. "Yes, I'm a subscriber," I say. Oh, OK.

Would I like to subscribe to the email updates, was the next question. "You mean the e-disptaches?" I ask. "I am already subscribed to them". Oh OK.

The point is, I should never have received this phone call. I now question the competence of the magazine and the people writing for it.

I remember being told by someone earlier this year that good data was very important. You can have a poor message, but if you have great data you will get a result. That's not to say, don't worry about your message. You should aim to get it right but make sure your data is great and you are on your way to better results for your direct marketing.