My name is Mike Casey with Serve Advantage. I’m the President of the company and what I’m going to do now is share a case study that was done with Michigan State University. What they wanted to do was go out to the customer base, primarily they’re an implant, primarily people on the campus that buy from them, and they wanted to know where the growth potential was going into the next year. They wanted to look at digital, they wanted to look at wide format; a whole bunch of different areas. Try to understand the awareness of the customer base and more importantly, where they could go after new business the coming year.
One thing they learned was on wide format that only 42% of the people on campus knew they did wide format. But most of them shared that they would give them a shot at it. So, this was in 2008. In 2009, I spoke with the General Manager over there, Dennis Seibert, and he said that in the first six months of ’09, he has already sold more than he had done all of 2008. And what they did was they did direct mail, deliberately went out after that business with a constant marketing message and the survey gave them names to go after targeted with sales. So, he was actually able to have a conversation saying, “I’m reading your survey, you were unaware, but it says you buy this. How do we bid on this type of stuff?” And the started winning the deals. So, pretty logical stuff, It’s not blocking and tackling, but a lot of times sales teams try their best to educate, but long of times it’s hard to get all that information. And with a survey, many times customers will give you an opportunity. He had 600 people fill out the survey.
So, when you think of number, people say, well no one ever fills those out, I’ll never fill out the survey, but the nice thing about the printing relationship is they are leaning on you and you are an extension of their business. And they are more passionate about giving you feedback than if a cup coffee at a local coffee shop or a retailer. And you can leverage that relationship and they will share where they want you to go, how you’re doing because they don’t want to go look for a new printer. Even if you’re sharing with three or four printers, they’d rather tell you so you can improve than just bail, unless it’s really bad.
So, I guess the lesson learned is; ask, you’ll get the information and then the biggest thing is to act on it. So many times, people will do a survey, get the results, and then sit on it and it collects dust. And I think Denis did it right. He actually took the data, went out and leveraged that.