Be Your Own Customer
There is no better way to follow the cliché "Stay close to your customer," than to be your customer. Experience doing business with your company as much as possible, the way your customer does.
If you are not familiar with the assembly instructions that accompany your product, give them a try. If you are familiar with the assembly, give them to a non-technical person to do the assembly.
Call your 800 number. Call with a tricky question, one you discovered reading customer complaint letters or reading quality surveys. How long does it take to get connected to a person? What do you think of the tunes played while you wait? Does the person you're connected to have the authority to solve your problem? If you get the problem solved, or if you don't, call back and do it all over again.
See if there is a difference in outcome from the two calls. Fill out your advertising inquiry cards & monitor the response. Fill out a business reply card and monitor the response. Put a note on the bottom of the form saying, "To anyone reading this form: You, or the charity of your choice, will get $25.00 if you call me. My number is....
Read any & all customer complaints.
Read old ones. Call the customers. It is not easy to be your own customer, especially when the sales cycle is long, when the purchase involves a lot of money, or when the product or service experience is complex. Yet, when it is hard to be a customer is exactly when you must me. Do you think your doctor waits an hour in a patient waiting room when he/she see their doctor? If they did wait an hour, maybe you wouldn't be kept waiting in their waiting room.
When you are your own customer, and you are happy and pleased, your business will do well and vice versa.
Marketing Tips posts authored by Leslie Goldstein of the USPS.