Proactive Customer Service: The Art of the Follow Up
How’s your company’s post sale customer service? Better question, what would your customers’ answer be? Too many people conceptualize customer service only as addressing customer problems. This is more accurately deemed “support”, whereas customer service encompasses every aspect of every interaction that your company has with its customers. This means that there are actually far more ways to improve customer service than you might realize, and one of the best of these is the follow up.
Following up with a view to customer service is a fine art that has been lost by many. Too many focus on the next sale, on always closing, and on cramming as many sales calls as possible into the day rather than focusing on the smaller, subtler areas of customer service. This brings up the most important distinction when discussing the follow up in regards to customer service. This does not mean following up in order to try and up sell a customer or make another sale. If that happens, consider it a bonus, but it is not the purpose of these types of calls. The purpose, is to make your customers feel like you truly care about their satisfaction.
When someone makes a purchase from your company for the first time, following up with them is a way to really make them see that you want your customers to have the best possible experience when they turn to your company. Before you make a follow up call to a new customer, do a little research first. Make sure you know what they bought, when they bought it, and any other information that might be in their file.
When you call the customer, just focus on staying casual and making it clear that you’re not trying to sell them something new. Ask if they were satisfied with their purchase, if they have any questions about the product or service you provided them with, and if there is anything you can do to make their next experience with your company better. This builds confidence in your company, and your brand, and sets you apart from your competitors.
Following up with long-term customers should take a form similar to a conversation with an old friend rather than feeling like a business transaction. Take the time to get to know your customers, learn about their businesses, and then when you make these types of calls, you’ll have lots to talk about. Keep the conversation focused on them, and if you happen to hear something that makes you think of a need that your company can fill, you can follow it up with a sales call or email at a later date. Just focus on making your customers feel cared about.
Taking this type of action on a regular, scheduled basis is a great way to keep your company in the forefront of your customers’ minds. If you’ve followed up with them and all of a sudden they encounter a need your company can fill, not only will you be close to their memory, they will also think of the excellent service you’ve provided them in the past.