Reprinted from Strategies newsletter, 4th Quarter � November 2002 by First Marketing, 3300 Gateway Drive, Pompano Beach, FL 33069.

Your customer communication: How to do an objective appraisal

Make sure your customer communication still makes the grade

When�s the last time you took a hard look at your communications pieces? As you know, customer communication is critical to customer retention. So it�s important to periodically give your program a �report card� that identifies strengths and weaknesses.

  • Determine who will be involved in the audit.
    Invite individuals from different areas of your company to participate. You want enough people to provide varying opinions and increase the audit�s effectiveness. At the same time, you need a group small enough to manage. A good rule of thumb is four to six people.
  • Gather copies of your company�s or division�s latest marketing collaterals.
    This includes welcome kits, direct mail, newsletters, magazines, inserts, brochures, flyers and Web content � any media you currently use to communicate with your customers.
  • Distribute copies of your marketing materials to the group.
    Give everyone at least a week to review the pieces. Be sure they go over both design and content. (Yes, they actually need to read everything!)
  • Schedule a meeting for at least two hours.
    It may be possible to accomplish your goals in one sitting. But you may need to schedule a series of meetings. Use a conference room with a large table so you can spread out the collaterals.
  • You�re ready to roll!
    Sharpen your pencils and go to work.

Improve your GPA

To get the most specific, useful results from your report card, use First Marketing�s Customer Communications Audit form, which tells you what to look for and how to rate each area. Contact us to request this free 10-page guide.

There�s a word for what your competitors call your best customers � �Prospects.�

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