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We recently heard from a colleague who engaged in direct marketing services with a large marketing firm. He was excited about the price, the convenience, and the service he anticipated receiving. As a dealer using automotive direct mailing services for customers, he communicated that his deadline was a priority. The marketing firm promised they worked with other dealerships in the past and could deliver. All involved were confident in the success of the project as it moved forward.

The Picture Gets Cloudy

A week before the mailers were supposed to go out, the marketing firm ended up having some problems with the printer contracted for the job. Having paid most of the money for the contract upfront, the manager was confident in the firm’s ability to deliver, and to work out a solution on time. Before he knew it, the manager received a call that the automotive direct mailings wouldn’t be going out on the scheduled date. A new printer suggested changes that would need to be implemented to the proofs, and new card stock would be sent out 48 hours after the agreed upon date.

[sws_pullquote_right]Happy customers will keep coming back when they know you’re trustworthy and can meet deadlines – and these are the kinds of customers anyone providing automotive direct mail services want to work with. [/sws_pullquote_right] Two days later, the manager called the advertising firm just to check in. As he never seemed to deal with a direct account manager, the person who answered the phone took a while in finding the appropriate person to route him to. When the manager finally spoke with someone who could discuss his account details, he found out that the firm’s new printer had another two days of “issues”, and that the advertisement would now be in the mail 72 hours after the agreed upon deadline.

When Customer Service Fails

After a few furious calls to the advertising agency, nothing was resolved – and the account manager responsible refused to resolve the final bill or disclose the name of the printer that the firm worked with. Finally, our manager colleague called the firm’s gatekeeper, who gave him the printer’s information without reluctance.

When the manager called the printer, he received a different story. The printer claimed the automotive direct mailing services were late because the proofs didn’t reach his offices until just a few days before they were supposed to be returned and mailed. The printer did a rush job, but the auto mailers were still sent out late by the firm.

Automotive Direct Mailings – Who Can You Trust?

Experiences like these are common when you work with automotive mailing services. You must create a partnership with a firm you can trust – one who has the staff, knowledge, and in-house capacity to create and be 100% on top of the services you need, at all times. Happy customers will keep coming back when they know you’re trustworthy and can meet deadlines – and these are the kinds of customers anyone providing automotive direct mail services want to work with.

What are common pitfalls you have faced when hiring direct mail marketing services?