Home Articles What’s hot and what’s not in customer contact

What’s hot and what’s not in customer contact


My son Reece, who’s five, got an interesting piece of mail the other day from his dentist. When I pulled it out of the letterbox I thought: these people are doing something really right, and yet they’re doing so much that’s so very wrong.

Let’s break it down to see whether you’re responsible for something similar in your business.

Step 1: Congratulations

Let’s be clear here. This is a business that’s actively encouraging repeat purchasing through reminders. Yes, we’ve all had dentist reminders before, but not every dentist does them.

They know the importance of what they do and how regular contact is necessary to keep you coming back.

How often are you re-contacting your existing customers to see if they need what you’ve got? Many people don’t even keep a list of old clients. Tsk.

Step 2: Wrong Target

As mentioned, Reece is five years old. He’s learning to read – and doing quite well – but unfortunately he’s not your target market.

Think carefully about who really makes the purchasing decisions. Reece isn’t going to decide he’s due back at the dentist, his mum will.

So they should be writing to my wife instead. It’s always important to make sure your marketing speaks to the true decision maker.

Don’t get me wrong, I heard many years ago that when Schmackos, the dog snack people, learned to position their product lower down on the shelf in supermarkets. This is not what is classified as premium placement. All of a sudden their sales boosted. Why? Because kids would grab them while shopping with their parents and beg Mum to buy them. So in that case, your market could be children. Always make sure you’re targeting the right decision makers or influencers.

Step 3: Correct Language

The dentist’s letter was extremely formal – even if the intended recipient has been able to remember his ABCs. In a world now trying to cramp communication into SMS and Twitter length messages, the formal writing style has gone the way of the Dodo. You need to write as you speak.

Obviously, it’s important to project a professional image regarding your business. However, when it comes to dentists most folks are more concerned about whether they’re going to be empathetic.

Make sure your language reflects a normal conversation that you would have with your prospects.

Step 4: A Strong Call For Action

In the dentist’s letter there was nothing to say what would happen if Reece missed his appointment. It’s not enough to say you need something, you have to re-educate folks.

So, if you’re marketing to your existing clients or customers, pull out a copy of your collateral and look at it with a fresh perspective. Do you need to change your style?

Steve Smit is a Business Coach with Reality Consulting.
He works with business owners who want to increase their take home profits and work shorter hours. For a free copy of his “Business Accelerator Pack” visit www.realityconsulting.com.au or please email [email protected].