Horrifying, and True: A Marketing AAAAAIIIGH!

[Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

[Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

Alarming, dismaying, disheartening … Well … maybe it wasn’t that bad. But, lordy, it wasn’t good. Maybe flabbergasting?

I had breakfast* with my friend, former housemate, and current customer last weekend. A year ago she moved her practice from one town to another. In preparation for the move, she got 200 “I’m Moving” postcards with a message printed on the back. While we were discussing her severe client fall-off over the past year it came to light that … DUM dum dum dummmm … she had only mailed out three of the 200 postcards. To which I said, “AAAaaiiigh!”

Because I love and respect my friend (and because she owes me some bodywork) the AAAaaiiigh was an internal one. On further —gentle — inquiry I found that my friend was really concerned about “bothering” her clients. She truly saw the postcard as an invasion of her clients’ space. Knowing her as I do, I can see her point. She is a private woman and doesn’t appreciate intrusion. HOWEVER, isn’t NOT telling your clients that you’ve moved bad customer service?

Customer service is caring for your customer. It is a sign of respect. It’s also a sign of professionalism. Telling your clients important things is good customer service. They should be told about rate changes, different hours and days, and when you move to a completely new town.

Marketing is an extension of good customer service. Your clients should know that you have gift certificates. Your clients should be reminded to take care of themselves. Your clients should know that you can help them. Your clients should know that you are thinking of them.

If they say it’s okay, then it’s okay. When you do your intake, tell clients that you send out notices of changes. Ask if that’s okay. Tell clients that you send out notices and reminders when you are doing a special, or have a new skill to offer, or have found a useful article. Ask if that’s okay.

Imagine, if you will … A woman slogs through day after day in a cheerless cubicle. Pestered by gradually increasing pain, she slumps and curls inward over a period of months. She’s cranky and her friends start to avoid her. Life becomes bleak and cheerless. She slides into an end-of-day ritual of four Zimas and Maury Povich on the DVR. Horrifying! If only she had known what you could do for her. More shocking is the story of the husband who wasn’t reminded you had gift certificates. He bought his wife snow boots and a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. DUM dum dum dummm ….

All my best, Eileen

*I love breakfast. I will listen to your entire life story if there is a strawberry waffle in it for me.