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June 02, 2005
Are you ready for good customers?
1. Participate in Customer Intuition Systems - Be sure you are on the company's mailing list. Make sure that they have accurate contact information for you. Subscribe to their email newsletter.
2. Speak Up - If you are a satisfied customer let them know. Write an old fashioned letter. It's hard to pass around copies of a voicemail or recorded call center call.
3. Offer Constructive Criticism - If there is a way they can improve a product, service or experience offer them constructive criticism. Even great companies have many areas that can stand improvement.
4. Link To Them - Of course, I'll assume you have a e-newsletter or a blog. If you like a company or product say so by linking to them and talking about why you like them.
5. Comment on Their Corporate Blog - show your support for a company or product you like by being active in the community and conversations they are fostering on their blogs and newsletters.
6. Respond to Surveys and Questionnaires - If a business you value asks for your input give it to them. Yes, we're all busy these days but your input might make or break a new initiative that you would value or conversely it might save you pain and loss of time in the future.
7. Refer a Friend or Colleague - Share your good experiences with your network. What goes around comes around. This is a pathway to discovering new great people to do business with.
8. Buy Their Product, Service or Experience - Continue to support the businesses you value by being a repeat customer.
Wouldn't it be great if all of your customers were this good? But it begs the question, are you ready for good customers?
To correspond with Peter's list, I've composed eight ways to prepare for good customers:
1. Have a customer communication system - Allow customers to update their contact information easily on your website. Send a regular email newsletter to your customer list, no less than once a month.
2. Acknowledge customer correspondence - Send handwritten notes to customers thanking them for their letter. No one wins points for form letters with <name inserted here>.
3. Reward constructive criticism - Encourage customers to provide constructive feedback. Make your contact information (phone number, email address, etc.) easy to find on your website. Send customers a small gift for taking the time to send their suggestions.
4. Profile complimentary customers - Include customer testimonials on your website and in your newsletters. Link to customers' blog posts that mention you.
5. Publish a blog - 'Nuff said.
6. Gather feedback often - Instead of the once-a-year lengthy customer satisfaction survey, send short, 5-question surveys via email to various customer segments once per quarter. Tell customers how you are incorporating their feedback to improve your product or service.
7. Track referrals - Ask every new customer or even newsletter subscriber "how did you hear about us?" Use tools like Technorati and PubSub to track what people are saying online about you.
8. Reward loyal customers - Track the purchase history of your customers. Take care of frequent purchasers not with points or discounts but with a gift product. Or an invitation to a customer advisory board. If you know the customer personally, give them something you know they'll really like.
[Thanks to Chuck for the heads up on Peter's blog post.]
Other blogs that reference Are you ready for good customers?:
» Good Customers from scotthodge.org
The likeable Jackie Huba (for real - listen to one of the podcasts, I'm becoming a fan...) from the Church of the Customer blog has a great post (and link) on [Read More]
» More on Being A Good Customer from BeConnected
Jackie Huba over at the Church of the Customer adds value to the discussion about being a good customer.To correspond with Peter's list, I've composed eight ways to prepare for good customers: 1. Have a customer communication system - Allow customers t... [Read More]
» Being a good customer from Mostly Muppet Dot Com
After reading Peter Davidson’s 8 rules of good customers over at Church of the Customer, I decided to do something I don’t normally do: answer a survey. In this case the survey pertained to one of my favorite products: beer. Particularly... [Read More]
Great post, Jackie. It's amazing how many people don't even bother to put any kind of contact info on a website - not even an email address. Love what you guys are doing - thanks for everything!
Excellent post! Especially the second section. Many companies ask for information via surveys, email, etc. Over the years, I can think of maybe two who have responded to my comments.