How to Handle Customers Who Want Out
Last week a reader asked an important question:
Many of our customers ask why they continue to receive more catalogs from us. “I just throw them out” or “Take me off your mailing list” are two of the usual comments we hear. The especially savvy ones also will say they know they’re just getting the same book with just a different cover. Do you have a good answer to give back to these loyal catalog buyers to keep them happy and loyal?
Let me first answer your question with a question: Why are you getting so many requests to be taken off your mailing list? Have you changed something in your catalog lately? Increased pricing?
Product mix and pricing can be a huge driving factor in this. When you make changes to your “store,” you’re bound to have customers defect to other brands.
Consider these factors.
1. If you have customers who truly don’t want to get any more catalogs from you, that’s OK. Thank them for their patronage and let them go. It costs too much money to mail catalogs to people who aren’t interested. But ...
2. Find out why they want to leave first. Anytime something negative happens with your clients, you have an opportunity to build a customer for life. Oftentimes, customers want to stop receiving your catalogs due to an issue they have with your company, products and/or service. Teach your customer service reps to be problem solvers. If they can’t fix the problem, make sure they have a contingency plan for routing the call to someone who can.
3. Tell these people that you send them your catalog from time to time because you know the best way to keep customers is to keep your products in their minds. This way, when they’re ready for their next order, they’ll have your most recent catalog.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.