When it comes to building strong customer relations it’s often the little things that count.
This week I’ve received two pieces of mail that left me a little disappointed. The first was a magazine I had requested as I was considering advertising in it and I also thought that the members of my local business group might be interested. I sent the magazine publisher an email requesting a copy and stating my interest (this very small, very new publication is available by subscription only but they do offer a free copy to prospective advertisers).
Although I didn’t receive a reply to my email, the magazine arrived about two weeks later… with no cover letter, with compliments slip or anything. Just the lonely magazine.
Now this would have been the perfect opportunity for the publisher to make some effort to build a relationship and encourage my support of their magazine. Firstly, a quick reply to my email along the lines of, “Thanks for requesting a sample copy of xyz magazine. I’ll pop one in the mail for you today.”
This could have been followed up with a brief note or even just a with compliments slip in the envelope.
But… there has been no personal interaction from this publisher at all and I’m not sure if they even want my business. They’re certainly not trying to win my confidence in them.
The second piece of mail was a booking form for a series of workshops. Again, the sender went to the trouble to hand-address an envelope to me and pay for postage, but there was no cover letter – not even a generic letter photocopied for all recipients. And there was nothing to say how they knew me. In fact, how did they even know I might be interested? (Truth be told, I wasn’t. It’s not something even remotely related to my interests).
Apart from the 1,001 Direct Marketing mistakes we can get side-tracked by here, if the sender had spent two minutes introducing themselves it would have made the world of difference. I may have even passed it on to someone who may have been interested… instead of putting it straight into the recycling bin.
So, if you want a successful small business, remember to pay attention to the little things and the personal touches that go a long way in building strong customer relationships.