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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