Awards & Engraving

March '20

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34 a-e-mag.com • A&E MARCH 2020 34 a-e-mag.com • A&E MARCH 2020 THE RISING TIDE OF BUSINESS By Aaron Montgomery Aaron Montgomery has been involved with the garment decorating and per- sonalization industry since 2000 and the digital printing industry since 1997. He is very actively involved in the industry trade shows via speaking, attending and exhibiting for the last 17 years. He also writes articles for the industry magazines and blogs on topics that include marketing, social media, the personalization market, and garment decorating techniques. He is dedi- cated to helping small businesses grow and succeed. You can find Aaron co-hosting the industry's oldest and most listened to Podcast - 2 Regular Guys (www.2regularguys. com). You can also find blogs about a wide range of topics on his own website at aaronmontgomery.info. B usiness is good! You have your sales pipeline full; orders are coming in and you are knocking them out. Taxes are due and it's time to sit down with your accountant when you discover that your profit margin is not what you thought, and your marketing expenses are through the roof. What is going on? Improving the Customer Experience After Purchase and Production I hope you look at your profit margin and expenses more than once a year, but have you taken the time to look at how much it costs you to get setup and sell to a new customer versus what it costs to make a second, third, or more sales to your existing customers? According to Amy Gallo from an October 29, 2014 blog post in the Harvard Business Review, "Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you're in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one." She goes on to note research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company indicating "increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profit by 25% to 95%." So, how do we increase our customer retention rate and improve our chances of selling more to the people that are already familiar with how to do busi- ness with us? START TO FINISH AND BEYOND You have to focus on the customer experience by studying and mapping it from the time they find you to the time they are ready to place their next order. It is that time after you have the produc- tion complete that many of us fail to look closely at to make sure it matches up with the brand we want to portray. Are you someone who wants to be known for their fast turnaround, yet when it comes time to ship the order, you choose the cheapest, slowest way possible? Are you someone who wants to be known for high quality, attention to detail, and premium

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