A good example of how customer communications can stand you in good stead is a situation where your suppliers advise that a new or revised product range is to be launched in the near future. The good news is that during the first month of the launch period, the price will be the same as the product it replaces. The bad news? Stocks will be in short supply.
If you placed an advertisement in a newspaper, the chances are you’ll be sold out pretty quickly. That’s fine … till a long-standing customer walks in and wants the product. Now he has to wait — like any other new prospect — till you receive additional stock at the higher price! It’s certainly not going to make him feel special.
A better way would be to have the advert prepared well in advance (you still need to announce the new product to the broad market) and then get copies printed. Mail or email them to your customers, along with a letter explaining that you expect a rush at launch time and that you’d like them to receive the first chance to purchase the new product. Put a time limit on their reacting to your advance notice … If they place their order prior to the launch date, you guarantee to supply them the product at the launch price — even if other customers take up all your stock and there’s a waiting period.
Apart from letting your customers know you always have their interests in mind, early orders will stand you in good stead with your supplier. It demonstrates your commitment to the product and could lead to your receiving an additional allocation.