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Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

Margie Dana, a former print buyer, is the founder of Print Buyers International (PBI) and its member-based organization, Boston Print Buyers. These professional organizations cater to print customers worldwide through education, an annual buyers conference, Print Buyer Boot Camps, and networking opportunities.

Margie's perhaps best known for her weekly enewsletter, Margie's Print Tips, which she's published weekly since 1999 in an effort to build bridges in the industry. For years, Margie has been a popular speaker at industry events here and abroad. Her clients include print company executives who rely on her to help steer their marketing campaigns and make their online efforts more customer friendly.


Following Through on Customer Feedback

About a month ago, I noticed an addition to the ladies’ locker room at my health club. A wooden Suggestion Box sat on the main table alongside a stack of blank note cards and a sign inviting customer comments. So I took advantage of the offer and made a suggestion.

I thought nothing more of it until I got an e-mail from the gym. It was sent to all members using the ladies’ locker room and listed every single action the club took in response to member suggestions. There, about a third of the way down, was mine: Make People magazine available. (Yes, I’m among the millions of people who love People. Admit it: you do, too.)

Then, I realized there were many other improvements/additions I’d seen at the gym in recent weeks. Healthy snacks were now available (free!) in the ladies’ locker room on Sundays, just like in the mens’ facility. Additional spinning classes were added. The audio system piped throughout the gym was upgraded. The list went on and on.

What impressed me most was that the health club did something with member suggestions—and let us all know. High five, JCC!

Even if the e-mail to us members had only included reasons why the health club couldn’t do X or Y, I would’ve admired the effort. The fact that management followed through with customer feedback surprised—and delighted—me.

When you do a customer survey, one of the very first things you must decided before you even begin is this: What are we going to do with the information we receive? You have to be prepared to act on it, and then you need to communicate back to the customers who took the time to give you feedback.

As a customer, I can tell you the effect of getting a follow-up e-mail after a service provider asks for feedback can be thinking:
  • You did something with my idea.
  • Your survey wasn’t just a phony, go-nowhere gesture.
  • You take me seriously.
  • My suggestion mattered.
  • You’re listening.
  • You’re interested in improvements.

The next time you do a customer survey, make sure you’re prepared to act on the feedback. Then, share the good news.

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