Invest in order to communicate

Your Special Report on fulfilment (MW last week) highlighted the importance of both immediacy and good service.

All too often organisations underestimate the importance of their first contact with consumers. Once a response campaign has engaged a consumer’s interest, they need to be met with as good an experience of the brand as possible. Simply responding to their request for a brochure by mailing it to them within a few days or even weeks is totally unacceptable, given the tools available.

But shouldn’t we actually take it a step further than this? Even if the response is despatched within 24 hours, it still may not arrive on the consumer’s doormat for a few days. So think about their reaction if they receive a call thanking them for their interest, informing them that the appropriate brochure or order has been posted, and asking if they need any assistance or guidance in the meantime.

Similarly, if a customer has requested information from a mobile phone provider, or has already switched to the network, they could be welcomed by the brand with a telephone call, preceding any literature that is being posted to them. And if the call operator is well trained, they can also use this opportunity to communicate something of the brand’s values to the consumer, initiate a good relationship, and potentially cross-sell and up-sell additional services to them.

Clients need to change their mindset – instead of viewing fulfilment as a commoditised operation they must think about how they can provide consumers with a high level of experience from the outset. To achieve this, they must invest in this form of communication in order to give consumers a brand experience that will lead to a long-term and fruitful relationship.

Phil Westoby

Managing director

NewLogic

Milton Keynes, Bucks

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