This may sound odd – but have you looked at how you treat your customers recently?
I was discussing this earlier today with a client whose business has stagnated after he moved into a new office last year and we were looking at possible reasons why that would be.
We looked at the products he was offering, how he was conducting his marketing, what factors locally had changed, was the “credit crunch” likely to be an influence, and so on.
We spent an hour or so brainstorming and quite by chance I asked him how people got in touch initially to make enquiries before becoming a customer.
His reaction was quite surprising. He said that the business had moved but he was using up the marketing materials and letterheads from before the move. Of course, the phone number and address had changed with the move but he was loath to dump his old literature. Instead he had a redirection of the phone and post and thought that would do.
On impulse, I picked up the phone and dialled the office number which was being redirected and guess what? yup, it was unobtainable. I then asked him if the bundles of re-directed post were still being delivered at the office and he thought for a moment and said they had seemed to dry up a while ago and he thought the new address must have filtered through to the customers.
Another quick phone call to the Post Office revealed that he had redirected the post for 6 months, but then not renewed it.
Here we had something concrete. It is not surprising that business has been hard to come by lately – his customers could not get in touch easily. Those who had his mobile number were lucky, but others didn’t, and new prospects certainly didn’t.
The moral to this tale then, regularly check that all your lines of communication are open for business all the time.
You should aim, at all times, to make it as easy as possible for people, customers and prospects alike, to get in touch – and keep checking regularly – just in case!!!