Keep the communication channels open to retain customers
A recent survey by Pitney Bowes has suggested resellers should communicate more with their customers if they want to keep them. It found that
lack of communication
was one of the major reasons for suppliers getting sacked by customers.
That's not really much of a surprise, although you could argue that too much communication is potentially as big a turn-off for customers.
According to the survey, 29% of customers also felt their suppliers were not telling them about updates and developments. There might be contradictory forces at work here because there is also the feeling abroad that the channel is trying to convince users to buy more technology rather than encourage them to use their IT wisely. You can't help but wonder whether one man's update is another man's attempt to sell more technology.
Anyway, the one incontrovertible finding from the survey was that people find it hard to get answers from call centres when they phone with a query. As many as 27% of respondents cited call centres as an issue. Personally, I'm surprised the figure wasn't higher given the frustrations that so often afflict people dealing with call centres. But there is a serious point here in terms of communication. People need to make sure that their lines of communication to and from the customer are consistent, clear and quick.
This was first published in June 2011