Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Communications Need Operational Backup

Ever take a coupon to a store only to find out the check-out clerks know nothing about the offer? I hate it when that happens.

And trust me, so do your customers. So don't let it happen on your watch.

Words have meaning and can create actions. With a little luck, they'll bring customers into your store! But once an offer sends shoppers into your store, operational screw ups can drive them away. Be smart: if you can't fulfill it, don't offer it.

The same rule should apply to everything your organization puts in writing. If the "one-click unsubscribe" hotlink at the bottom of your e-mail campaign offers doesn't work, you'll have achieved name-recognition and retention for the wrong reasons, the wrong way, with the wrong people. Really ticked-off people.

Case in point: Viacom e-mail advertisements
Over the past three years, I have unsubscribed from about a dozen e-mail "newsletters" I didn't intentionally subscribe to from Viacom's MtVN division. I've repeatedly visited the one-click unsubscribe page to see the promise, "you'll be unsubscribed, please allow ten days to process." And not only do I continue to receive some of the newsletters, I get new ones!

Surely you've heard the advice, "under-promise and over-deliver." Maybe Viacom just didn't understand. But you should.

Be sure your communications get it right, both in writing and on the operations side.

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