Excellent customer service is the key to selling more, serving more. Most importantly it is a necessity to build a loyal customer base for the long run. However, all your efforts in delivering top-notch customer service will be futile if you will not follow up with customers regularly. How?
These statistics will tell you. According to Harvard Business Review’s study, 56% of the customers have complained about bad follow-up service from the brands. According to another research, 80% of sales require at least 4-5 follow-ups with the customer after the meeting. If you are giving up before that then you are losing several potential customers as well. These statistics must have been an eye-opener for you about the importance of follow-up with customers. Furthermore, 86% of buyers/customers are ready to pay more for excellent customer service. However, if you are not following up with your customers or checking up on them on a regular basis you will never find out where your business stands and the grey areas you need to improve?
It is understandable that that follow up with customers is a demanding and challenging task especially if you have a huge customer base. But it is also excruciatingly crucial. American executive Janet Robinson once stated that “Repeat business or behavior can be bribed. Loyalty has to be earned.” And to earn customer loyalty as well as referrals from them follow-ups are needed to make sure you are delivering what is desired by the customer.
It is natural to think that you might be bothering a customer by calling them over and over. Or by trying to get feedback from them. But I can assure being a customer myself that it is actually the opposite. Customers appreciate being reached out to first. Moreover, following up with customers build your rapport as a caring brand.
Now the question is how to follow up with customers without poking them as well as effortlessly. Calling every other customer on a regular basis is impractical. You need to find creative, innovative yet effortless ways to follow up with them. Here we have a list of ways tried and tested that you can use to do the same:
Nothing comes at par with emails
According to research, 2.4% of businesses send follow-up emails to their customers. You have also been underestimating emails if you haven’t been using them to follow up with your customers. Indeed you can follow up with customers in no time through a phone call but phone calls might count as an intrusion into their personal space (especially if they are cold calls). Emails on the other hand are a form of async communication that can be ready by the prospect during his free time and also respects their personal space.
Also, emails are easy to write, send, and follow up on. Furthermore, theta re highly scalable and you can several emails to several prospects in one go! If you want to make your work easier you can even utilize some tools for the same.
Here is how you can write a successful, professional, and yet interesting follow-up email:
- The key to making sure that your mail would be read is by making it interesting. The subject itself should be intriguing enough that it prompts your customer to open it up.
- The next thing you need to do is to make your emails easy to reply to. So try to pose ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to them. For instance, you can be straightforward and ask them if they would like a follow-up call from you. If they say no, then you can send another follow-up e-mail asking for a descriptive answer, that where you went wrong, or why they do not want to avail your service. This way you will also get feedback and you can work upon that.
- Sending the ‘checking in’ follow-up emails will help you give an insight into- if your emails are being read by the customer or not. Also, they will build a rapport in front of the customer that will help in building a healthy relationship. You can simply pose a question “How they are doing”, or ask them if they need anything.
- You can convert a prospect into a customer just by sending in a ‘Join us’ follow-up email. These emails will minimize the one-to-one interaction with the prospect/customers (if they are not fond of that). They will be able to avail of your services simply by following the steps written in the mail and providing you with their necessary credentials. Netflix is one brand that believes in ‘join us’ emails a lot! They tend to send it every time the renewal of your subscription is close.
- Lastly, do not under any circumstances, forget to send ‘thank you’ emails. Even if the prospect has decided not to buy your services or a customer chooses not to renew their subscription always show gratitude. These emails showcase that you are proactively reading and acknowledging your customer emails and also leave a window open for them to contact you if they change their minds.
Use less formal channels to build a relationship with the prospect
If you cannot put the amount of effort required by follow-up emails or if you are too busy to keep a regular check on your mailbox, or if you have a notion that emails are rarely read then switch to a little less formal channels. Text messaging and social media platforms are these channels where you can follow up with customers with less effort.
According to the statistics, 75% of the customers are comfortable in receiving text messages from brands. 64% of the customers think that businesses should get in touch with them through texts more often. Moreover, text messages have 98% of the open rate. These statistics are not only convincing but also a sign for you to get in touch with your customers via text. This way you wouldn’t have to put in much effort and you will still be on top of their mind.
You can have one-to-one instant communication with your customers at any time of the day and even schedule a call with them then and there if needed. Also, as text messaging is a form of async communications the customer’s expectations are also low. They wouldn’t expect you to reply to them instantly. So if, you are occupied with some work do not worry about losing a customer.
Whenever we get some free time we do not leave the opportunity to have a look at our social media feed. According to the research findings an average person spends around 2.5 hours a day on social media. So naturally, there is more chance of getting hold of your customers on social media than anywhere else.
So interact and follow-up with customers through posts and simply via DM. They are more likely to respond to a text on social media than any other platform. Also, run ads and campaigns on social media to gain the credibility and faith of your customers, and make sure to add a compelling CTA!
Use the outbound calling feature
I am pretty certain that you receive several calls from different brands and hear a robotic voice telling you about features and offers coming up. Or about the products and services they offer. Well, those brands are using the outbound calling feature to follow up on their customers/prospects. Earlier, only big brands utilized this feature. Now many other brands and businesses have also grown to learn about this tactic. It is simple to use and you can follow-up on without much effort. Then why not utilize it for your business right away?
Outbound calling is a sustainable way of staying in touch and following up with customers. All you have to do is record messages and leave them on the technology to reach out to your customers. The best part you can even customize those pre-recorded messages according to your business needs. Now tell all your customers about the coming up discount or offer season in no time. Also, leave no opportunity to wish them the best for holidays and other occasions!
Roll on with your follow-ups with less effort and in no time!
Even though all these tactics will help in effortless follow-up with customers, consistency still remains the key. Consistent follow-up with customers will let you know about their loyalty to your business. Also, you can gradually build a rapport with the customers that you can further utilize for cross-selling and upselling activities.
You can use all the above-given tricks to follow up with customers but they won’t work without consistency. So pull out your customer list now and start with the follow-up process using the above ways and stay consistent!