Many of our clients maintain their own client or prospect lists. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say that these databases are the lifeblood of these businesses and that proper maintenance of these databases is an important step in maintaining a revenue stream for these companies.
In order to keep these databases accurate, there are three important steps that need to be followed. The first two steps are FNBR’s responsibility, but the last and perhaps the most important step must be done by the list owner.
- Correcting the spelling of street and city names.
- Correct/Add suffixes such as Drive, Way etc.
- Correct/Add a zip code & zip plus 4
- Add missing unit numbers for businesses
The next process is called NCOA or National Change of Address. In this process your database is run against an updated post office file of address changes that have occurred during the past 48 months. When there is a match between your database and the NCOA file, the software will update to the new address that it is on file. There are cases when the post office knows that a person/family or business has moved, but they have not filed a change of address with the post office. In these cases, the address cannot be updated but is noted.
The last step in this process that needs to be done is for our clients to use the NCOA address corrections to update their databases. The reason that this is critical is that 48 months after an address correction has been filed with the post office, it is deleted from the NCOA database. During this 48 month period, FNBR has been correcting the addresses every time we do a mailing for you. The problem is that if you don’t correct the address on your database, after 48 months the NCOA software will no longer indicate that an address is incorrect. This means that your client that moved four years ago is no longer going to receive your mail and worse yet you won’t even know that. This is a lose/lose situation for you. You are paying for printing and postage that will never get to the intended recipient and you are not getting any new orders from what is now a former client because they don’t receive your mail.
To learn about all the database services we provide, please visit our Database Services page at fnbr.com/Database-Services.html. FNBR will be happy to supply you with the corrected mailing addresses each time we NCOA a file for you. Just let your sales representative know by calling 888-988-8148 or email email@example.com.
It’s a simple concept, and it makes sense, that by providing better service than your competitors, you are more likely to receive both repeat business and referrals.
The first step in providing better service is to cultivate a relationship between you and your customers. Relationships, by nature, require communication in order to grow. Take the time to learn your client’s needs and preferences, and apply this information going forward to make future orders easier for your clients. Solicit your customer’s feedback and implement that feedback wherever possible. By showing a client that you value their opinions, you are generating customer loyalty.
Whether you provide a product or a service, you can increase sales by streamlining the process to place an order with your company. On repeat customers, your software should be storing information so that your client does not have to re-input their company, credit and shipping information. Beyond that, use software that has the ability to remember and display the particulars of a client’s previous orders. For example, let’s say that your company sells office supplies. There are certain items such as pens, copier paper, etc. that will be monthly re-orders for your clients. Think of how convenient it would be to have these items displayed so that your client does not have to spend time searching for these products. The easier your ordering process is, the more likely to draw repeat business to you.
The combination of exemplary personalized customer service and easy to use online service is a winning combination that is sure to increasing your sales!
About FNBR Incorporated
FNBR is a marketing company located in Tampa, Florida. FNBR offers mailing lists, database management services, typesetting and graphic design services, printing and bindery services, email marketing, and complete direct mail services to companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. FNBR can be reached at 1-888-988-8148.
Receiving an order from a client is a privilege that needs to be earned each and every time. Obviously, the main reason a customer gives you repeat business is you provide a great service at a reasonable cost.
Above and beyond offering great service, there are other things that your company can do to make you stand out from the rest.
Take the time to get to know your clients. Sure, there are some clients that never have the time for small talk, but most appreciate a little friendly conversation. If they tell you something about their personal lives, like their daughter just had a baby, make note of it and be sure to ask about the baby in your next conversation. This type of personalization lets them know that they are more than just a number to you.
Thanks to technology, we have more ways than ever to get in touch with our clients. Cell phones, texting, faxing, email, social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Since we have all of these means to communicate with our clients, let’s not forget the power of a “Thank You”. No two words are more important in letting a client know how much you appreciate them. While you can say Thank You many ways, none has more meaning than a hand written note. Yes, it does take more time to do, but aren’t your clients worth it? We know ours sure are!
Keeping a client definitely beats trying to replace them. “The cost to acquire a new client is five to seven times greater than the cost to keep an existing one”.*
Lastly, using a rewards program is a great way to keep and increase business. For example, in my neighborhood there are two pizza restaurants that serve excellent food. One of the restaurants offers a rewards program which gives you points with each purchase that can be redeemed for free food, the other restaurant does not. Care to venture a guess as to which restaurant gets the bulk of my business?
As children, our parents taught us the value of saying “Thank You” for what we received – those lessons still work in the business world today!
Continue the Coversation: Call FNBR toll free at 888-988-8148 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Reprinted from Chiefmarketer.com 10/19/2011