Customers Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

A friend of mine, Vinay Kumar, just published a book focused on customer service.  The title is, Customers Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em.  The book includes 57 tips on how to better serve your customers.  I found it full of helpful reminders and practical suggestions. 
Here is an example of one tip from the book.

Tip No. 13
Communicate! Communicate!

Don’t keep ‘em guessing. No one likes to be in the dark. When customers don’t know what’s happening, they imagine the worst, causing them anxiety and worry. While this is human nature, you don’t want to be the source of their worries. It won’t serve you. Keep your customers updated on your progress on their assignments and requests. Communicating regularly demonstrates your accountability, conveys your customer satisfaction emphasis, and that you’re dedicated to serving them. Along similar lines, if something isn’t going quiet as planned, customers do understand, provided you inform with them within a reasonable time frame rather than surprising them with bad news at the last minute. Therefore, when you do have to convey some “bad” news, at the same time, be sure to also let them know what you are doing to make it right, get it back on track. Your customers will appreciate it. Finally, when in doubt, it’s better to over communicate then under.”

You can download an inexpensive copy of the book from Scribd.  You may find it helpful to share with your membership staff or customer facing colleagues. 

Five Steps to Building a Membership Recruitment Strategy

I just responded to a question on how an organization should put together a membership recruitment strategy.  The question reminded me that sometimes it is a good idea to step back and look at the fundamentals of what we are doing. 

So here are five basic elements that I think are important to consider in putting together a membership recruitment program.

1.               The Target Marketwho you want to reach – this includes determining what are your primary markets and acquiring or building lists of these prospects. 

2.               The Membership Offerwhat a member will receive – this includes how you package your membership product and what special offers you will make in your promotions to attract new members.

3.               The Marketing Messagewhy a member should join – this includes defining your value proposition and presenting solutions and benefits to members that are compelling.

4.               The Promotional Tacticshow a member will be reached – this includes selecting the best marketing channels like personal sales, direct mail, email, telemarketing, etc. and the frequency and timing of promotions.

5.               The Testing and Trackingwhere to take future efforts – this includes trying variations of the four points listed above and recording which lists, offers, messages, and channels produce the best ROI and number of new members.

Even if you are an experienced marketing pro, take a moment now to look at your membership program.   Chances are one of these five points is underdeveloped in what you are doing and could have big results with some additional focus.