Create an ‘Endless Feedback Loop’

Last time, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) President Org, Marka the marketer, Zoot the salesperson and Numo the accountant discussed the importance of “Creating Irresistible Customer Relationships.” This week, Marka and Org discuss how to “Create an Endless Feedback Loop” to improve customer retention rates. Remember, fire = print.

Marka knew the “Customer Nurture Program” (CNP) she’d created had built business relationships that were sturdier than a Coliseum. But was the CNP enough? How did FEI create an “Endless Feedback Loop” to keep its customers happy?

Marka pondered this question during a visit to Org’s cool marble home on a blistering hot Sunday afternoon.

“I’m concerned we’re not doing enough to keep customers from leaving,” Marka told her boss. The two had decided to stay cool by frolicking in the glacial water of Org’s swimming pool.

“Numo just showed me the numbers for this month,” Org said smugly, resting against the pool wall. “Losing customers is the last thing we should be concerned with. And thanks to your CNP, our customers appreciate us now—we haven’t had a stone or flaming arrow shot through our windows in weeks! So we’re good, right?”

“Hades no!” Marka cried, wearing a shimmering one-piece gold bathing toga that oddly matched her flopping mat of straw colored hair. “We shouldn’t assume our customer service level is top-notch just because we haven’t received a grape-load of complaints. To get inside the customer’s head, we must actively solicit feedback. By the time they come to us with complaints, the relationship could be unsalvageable.”

“So how do we get feedback?” Org asked.

“How ’bout we ask our customers?” Marka asked, playfully slapping the water with a fire-colored plastic pool noodle. “For a minimal out-of-pocket cost, we can create a customer survey. Let’s create a short survey of questions and make sure each customer receives it at least once a year.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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