Know Thy Customer
I have long believed that you learn more from negative situations than you do positive situations. This is another blog with roots in the negative…
I have been a customer of Constant Contact for something like 10 years.
The company is not much older than that.
I use them to distribute various emails for the training programs as well as the content I create, such as my Monday morning sales tips. Recently, they decided to do a complete makeover.
They thought they were being helpful, but I saw it as change for the sake of change. It was as if they were afraid that Wired magazine would call them irrelevant.
So, removing some features, they reorganized the layout and slapped it up online.
And what a slap it was.
My assistant and I discovered that many of the email templates we had so carefully created over the years were gone. We also found that we could not organize Sent emails according to the date that they went out. Suddenly, everything took twice as long.
Houston, we have a problem.
Let me skip to the end of the story and spare you the %$#*^%$ phone calls to customer service.
Had Constant Contact taken the time to find out how a long time user like me utilized their capabilities, they might have made different choices. When I asked them if they conferred with any clients, the response was exactly as I suspected it would be: “Oh yes. We take into consideration the feedback we get from clients.”
The point that I was trying to make to the good people at CC was this:
There is a difference between listening to the feedback from your clients and understanding how they use your product.
We are printers. We magically get ink and toner to stick to paper. We, too, want to stay relevant. The best way to accomplish that is to do more than to seek out some feedback. Everyone from the sales force to management needs to take the time to learn how your print solutions are implemented, what they are trying to accomplish and how they impact the company's goals.
It's not doing this that will make you truly irrelevant.
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