7 December 2007

How Important is it to Keep an Accurate Contact List?

As I collected my mail the other night I see that one of the letters in my mailbox is addressed to my brother who lives in the same building as I do. The postal worker had put it in the wrong mailbox, which is understandable as we do have the same last name. I noticed that the envelope is addressed to Mr. and Mrs., but he is not married. I called my brother and told him about the letter and he asked me to open it to let him know what it was. I am shocked as I read, “I would like to extend my sympathy to you on the loss of your loved one...” We did not have a recent death in our family! I read on, “Would I be able to offer my assistance to you at this time in the choosing of a memorial stone?”

Aside from the fact that this mailing was in very poor taste, this definitely was an example of someone not keeping accurate contact information.

Now think about at your office. You are doing a mass mailing, sending invitations for a conference or seminar, or you are sending sales brochures or company information, hoping to get new business and you address it to a CEO who was fired from that company, or to a President, but you have spelt his name wrong, or the company changed their name or address, etc. There can be a number of reasons for a change, including the recipient has passed away, but if the recipient passed away five years ago and you are still sending things to that address, someone is not keeping their records up to date.

In many cases, especially when a company is moving or changing their name, they will send notices advising of the change of information. When you get it – make sure to change your contact cards and notify anyone else in your company who might need to know about this change (for example your Accounting Department and if you work in a large organization, your Marketing Department).

Sometimes a mistake like this can mean loss of business for your company. In my example, you can be sure I will not be going to this company if I ever need to purchase a memorial stone as this error has left a bad impression of what might be a perfectly good company who made a bad marketing decision and didn’t have the correct contact information.

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