Thursday, 28 August 2008

Pricing, 4 - Customer Relations

Good Customer Relations

It is vitally important to keep a customer database and to develop good communication channels with them.

Always remember that trade customers need you as much as you need them, so keep them in touch with news.

It is also advisable, to make sure you allow enough time to deliver orders. It is better to say it will be two weeks and deliver early than the reverse. If you do fall behind, keep in touch with customers. Also, remember it is acceptable to have a waiting list if necessary, as part of what the customer is buying is the exclusivity of your work. Always remember who or what else you may be reliant on, i.e., the weather or length of time for shipping.

If you are contacting new outlets or customers do no more than 10 at a time so you can control or monitor the process. If someone says no to your work ask why, as it is important to know for your future business.
If you are supplying, or want to supply, to different outlets in the same area negotiate with them. Consider customising work for different customers or offering different parts of a range.

Be consistent and professional in the way you manage your relationships with customers.

Listen to customer feedback and develop ways for customers to make suggestions, such as comment cards.
Keep in touch with people who have bought your work before.

More information is available from craftscotland.