Dealing With Customer Misery - Part 2
In my business, there's an old story of the general agency designer who was told that in a direct marketing space ad it's a good idea to highlight the coupon, because the ordering mechanism is a key element.
So the designer got the bright idea to make the coupon black with white type.
The ad ran nationally and not a single response was received.
Apparently no reader had a white pen.
It's amazing to me how many marketers do not put themselves inside the head of the prospect or customer and literally become the person being wooed, so that they can evaluate the wooing experience they have created.
It's true in promotion; it's true in fulfillment.
"The sale begins," wrote freelancer Bill Christensen, "when the customer says, 'yes.'"
That means, for example, the first shipment is the one chance for the marketer to prove that all the promises made in the promotion are true.
"You don't get a second chance to make a first impression," goes the old saw.
- Is the welcome letter warm and enthusiastic?
- Is the welcome letter the first element that the customer sees?
- Are the instructions so clear that an idiot can understand them?
In other words, is the customer being re-sold—and made to feel really good about having placed the order?
I was once hired to consult for a day with a book club. I asked that they send me recent ads and direct mail packages—winners and losers—along with the results. In addition, I suggested that we go through the fulfillment package received by the new member.
When I arrived in their offices, I was shown an unopened fulfillment box with premium books and promotional material. I was told that it was not easy to get. No one in the company had ever seen one—not the book club director, not the head of marketing, not the vice president of sales.