Breakthrough customer service is going to be more important than ever to retaining customers in 2008. With the continued growth of the Web, it’s easier than ever for customers to shop around. The challenge is how to keep them loyal to your service!
With commodity prices (fuel, paper, labor) on the rise, looking carefully at investments in marginal pages, circulation, online marketing, product development, etc., will be important to maintaining profitability levels.
And finally, build great teams and be their biggest cheerleader! Running an organization today is about servant leadership. Ask yourself: ‘What can I do to help my employees be more successful?’ It’s with their success that the business will thrive. My role is to get the right people around the table, teach and share my experience, give clear direction, provide resources, and most importantly, celebrate their successes with them and the rest of the team.
CS: What role do you see the Internet playing for catalog companies in the future?
GB: There’s a huge world in online marketing that’s still out there, and very few retailers have cracked how to do that very well. Online provides us the opportunity to get to this one-on-one communication with our customers. And many direct marketers are still stuck in segmentation and market-thinking as opposed to directing their efforts specifically at individuals. There’s a lot of opportunity there because the better we all can do that, the more relevant our offers are going to be to those people, and the more responsive they’re going to be.