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.