Sales follow up is one of the most common and important types of customer service situations. It positions you away from the competition and allows you to develop more business from your existing customers. It shows that your company is organized and really cares about satisfying customers and their experience with you as a company. Here is a recent service experience, of a Hartford resident, which includes a detailed depiction of the follow up:
'We are extremely happy we chose this area Connecticut landscaping company, to design and install our landscaping. We are thrilled with the new look of our yard. They exceeded our expectations! From our initial meeting, we found them to be very professional and easy to work with. Our calls were always answered at the office and if they weren't available, our phone calls were returned promptly (something we didn't find with any of the other landscape companies we researched). It's obvious they care about quality work. After installing our grass and front yard plants we left for a 2 week vacation. When we returned, several neighbors told us they had come by many times to check that the yard was being watered correctly and also watered them when needed. And since we've been home, I've looked outside many times to see the landscaping company checking on the yard. We're very pleased with the look of our new yard and we'll continue to use them for all our future landscaping maintenance. We would highly recommend them to anyone.'
Rightnow.com's CEI survey surfaced several areas where companies have fallen short. 58% of customers noted that their expectations were not met because a company was unavailable. They didn't pick up the phone or answer email. 56% said companies are slow to resolve issues. 57% said it sometimes feels like the consumer knows more about the company than the customer service agent. 34% said companies are forgetful. They don't remember customers even if they had recently talked to a customer service agent. 16% of consumers surveyed said companies are anti-social. They are nowhere to be found on social networking sites.
Sales follow up also makes good financial sense. Getting business from new customers can consume 100 % of your marketing costs. It will only cost 15 % of your marketing budget however, to secure additional business from existing customers.
According to Adrienne Zoble, Principal of Adrienne Zoble, Inc., in 'eAdvisor', approximately 55 to 65 percent of salespeople do not conduct sales follow up. They often say they don't have the time but they're really afraid of what they'll hear. Sales follow up can result in a positive experience, even if customers were slightly displeased with your product or service. 'If the client is marginally pleased, it shows you're there after the sale and you're attentive,' she explained. 'But if there's something marginally wrong and you don't follow up, then your customer won't call you when they go to buy the next time around. They will buy from someone else.' Followupsuccess.com research shows:
- 48% of sales people never follow up with a customer
- 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
- 12% of sales people make more than three contacts
Creating and using a follow up system is a guaranteed way to grow your business. In fact with less than 52% of all sales people following up with their customers you will not only grow your business but you will stand out, amongst your peers. 'Creating a follow up Strategy', recommends a new customer follow up system:
- Day 1 – new customer welcome email
- Day 1 – new customer welcome card
- Day 1 – new customer welcome tweet on twitter
- Week 2 – follow up phone call checking to insure client is happy with purchase
- Week 4 – follow up card “It’s been 30 days since your purchase and we want to make sure you are happy”
- Week 4 – follow up tweet on twitter similar to the week 4 card
- Week 8 – follow up phone call just “checking in”
- Week 12 – follow up card discussing additional products or services you might offer
Follow up isn't just about selling. It's about building relationships and allowing the service and experience of the customer to happen. Here are tips for following up, from 'The Importance of Follow up':
- Do what you can. When it comes to following up, you don't have to take an all or nothing approach. Doing something is better than nothing, so follow up as frequently and best as you can.
- Don't ever ask yes or no questions. Ask who, what, when or how many. Anything that will get customers talking. Before you pick up the phone to make that follow up call, write down three open ended questions to ask customers. If you start your call with an open ended question, you'll be amazed at how easily the rest of the conversation flows.
- Make sure the right person follows up. The person making the follow up call should be the person who has worked with that company. Keep in mind that there are certain calls that are more appropriate coming specifically from inside customer service, an outside salesperson or the boss.
- Space out your phone calls. Don't slot a long, uninterrupted block of time to make calls because your approach can become dull. Instead, place a call here and there to keep things fresh.
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