In a previous message, Cox blocking POP services by third-parties, I shared with you details about a customer irritating practice of port filtering being practiced by my Internet provider. Cox High Speed Internet has since removed port filtering of POP3 to third-party sites.
I'm not sure if it was the 2-hours spent on technical support (3/4 of which was on hold) or calling their corporate headquarters, but the situation has been resolved. I'm still concerned about the way they handled the situation and that I got three different assessments of the situation from support staff, but that's an entirely different monster that will be addressed here in the future.
Let me repeat the important lesson here-- solving internal problems shouldn't limit your customers ability to receive the service they desire, and you shouldn't make your service harder to use. Both actions will irritate customers and ruin your buying relationship with them.
If what you know about your customers is outdated, you could be wasting a lot of money. Today, I received a mailing from a computer network appliance manufacturer addressed to a company I closed in 1999. It was one of those expensive full-color folders with glossy inserts, mailed flat with over a dollar in postage.
While this mailer might have been of interest to my old company, as a management consultant I have no interest in network appliances today. The assumptions this mailer had about me as a buyer were completely wrong.
Consider these facts about your business to business customers:
How much of your marketing efforts are wasted by inaccurate assumptions? Yes, this company could have purchased a rented list, but ultimately it is your companies money wasted when your message doesn't reach the intended audience. Enough changes in your own customer base that, without effort, 75% of what you know about customers is wrong.
How can you improve your customer knowledge? It starts with first consolidating customer information, second integrating data elements between divisions, and perform regular data cleansing actions. How much is it costing you to base your assumptions on old or inaccurate data?