Most service businesses have at least one hand-off of customers or prospects – from one system to another or one person to another.

The challenge for many businesses comes when the hand-off is incomplete, delayed, or missing altogether.

We’ve all experienced simple variations of it: we order one thing, and get another at a restaurant is probably the simplest example.

The largest cost is the loss of a sale.  Other costs involve aggravated customers, loss of market share, loss of add-on sales, and wasted expense on the front-end (eg customer acquisition cost).

Hand-offs are usually easy – most often they are just data transfers after all.  It often comes down to the human element – does the receiving end have the time and resources to do the job?  Do the person/people at the receiving end care enough to do the job?

All of this points to the importance of ‘Process’ as a significant consideration in your marketing plan – it’s really not enough to think of marketing as just ‘Promotion’ and ‘Communication’ anymore.