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.
4. Tell them yes, you change your cover to keep your catalog fresh. Many of your products are “best-sellers” and are ordered over and over again.
Those are just my strategies. I encourage all of you to click on the “submit a comment” button on this page and share how you handle removal requests.
Speak to you next week,
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing, a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-302-1719.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.