Monstrous Mistakes (That Might Cost You a Client); CGSM President Helps Marketers Avoid Some Scary Ways to Lose Customers

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Mark Kolier, president of Canterbury Graphics Strategic Marketing (CGSM) offers tricks to avoid, you can treat yourself to a long-lasting customer relationship.

Determine what's most important to your customers – and then do it better than anyone

Whether it's misunderstanding a customer's needs or miscalculating the client's budget, there are some monstrous ways to lose customers fast. But don't run off screaming, says Mark Kolier, president of Canterbury Graphics Strategic Marketing (CGSM). By recognizing what tricks to avoid, you can treat yourself to a long-lasting customer relationship.

Scary Mistake #1: Poor Customer Communications

One of the common mistakes businesses make is thinking they understand what their customers want, but never actually doing research to corroborate that opinion. Take the time to have meaningful discussions with your client. Call, Email or better yet go see them in person to verify your understanding. It's always helpful to send a note either electronically or through snail mail to have a written confirmation of what you've agreed to verbally.

"Determine what's most important to your customers – and then do it better than anyone," advises Kolier. For most of CGSM's clients, such as The New York Sun, getting the job done on time is the number one concern. So CGSM uses a no-holds-barred approach to meeting deadlines.

Scary Mistake #2: Poor Understanding of Customer Goals

A second challenge comes when businesses don't really understand the demographic their customers serve, and where that segment might be headed. Again, nothing replaces good, old-fashioned communication with the customer. Sometimes urging your client to hold a focus group can solidify – or update – those perceptions. Remember, markets can be fluid and change quickly. "Change produces anxiety for many, but it can also represent significant growth," says Kolier. Don't be caught off-guard: "There are signs to look for to understand where any market is going."

Scary Mistake #3: Playing it "Safe"

Finally, be creative. Remember the client's budget, and work within it. But that doesn't mean leaving fresh ideas behind for the tried and true. When Metro Corp., the publisher of Boston and Philadelphia magazines, came to CGSM with the challenge of boosting response rates to increase circulation, CGSM's creative team decided to use a strong copy approach that capitalized on how readers of the magazine perceived themselves as "in-the-know" about specific neighborhoods and their unique qualities.

About CGSM

CGSM is a privately-held direct-marketing agency specializing in the marketing strategy, design and production of direct mail-packages and inserts. Its print production skills combined with a focus on data analysis and modeling make it possible for CGSM to offer a unique approach to customer acquisition and retention that takes into account all the complex details of a direct-mail marketing campaign without ever losing sight of the overall business objectives. For more information, please visit http://www.cgsm.com or call 203-563-9233.

For a press kit or to schedule an interview, please contact Jen Bosavage of Communication Strategy Group by phone at 631-223-2645.

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Jennifer Bosavage
CGSM
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