Dear Carnegie Coach:
I am the owner of a company that has been around for just a short time now. We’ve been having a very difficult time trying to overcome the obstacles presented by the current state of the economy. In the past the main driver of business was through word of mouth, with a declining number of customers I need to find a new way to promote my company. Do you have any on ideas on how I can build the awareness of my company?
The current economy has led to a highly competitive sales environment where less perspective buyers exist. A great asset to your company would be for you to remain in contact with your customers. Systematically following through with your current and potential customers is an opportunity to shape their perception of you and your organization. Here are some of the ways that you can keep your company on the minds of your customers.
- Notes – Even in our wired age, nothing beats a hand-written note. Whether it is a thank you note, or a reminder note, the recipient knows that we took time out of our day to sit down and hand-write a personal message to them.
- E-Mail – This is the next best thing to a hand-written note. Make your emails personal, friendly, and relatively informal, so that the receiver knows that we aren’t just sending a template message.
- Phone Calls – Instead of avoiding leaving voice mails, embrace them! An outgoing, upbeat voice mail message will be heard if the information is personalized to be relevant to that customer.
- Systematic Notices – Weekly, monthly, or yearly updates are another way to make sure that our customers feel like they are remembered. Announcements tied to promotions, sales, and special offers are another way of following through
Gift and Rewards Programs – These initiatives are becoming more and more widely used by retailers and service providers. They reward customers for money spent with that organization, whether the rewards are in the form of gift certificates, credits, discounts, or airline miles.
- Satisfaction Surveys – Many organizations do follow-through surveys by phone, email or mail. In some cases they are some form of customer preference survey, examining trends and choices.
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