How to Follow Up With Customers the Right Way


Do you know what one of the top customer complaints is? Poor follow-up. At least, that’s according to Harvard Business Review.

According to the report, there were two main tiffs the participants had: 56 percent of customers weren’t happy with the fact that they need to re-explain their issue upon calling back, and 62 percent said they have to contact the company numerous times before the problem gets resolved.

Do you know what one of the top customer complaints is? Poor follow-up. At least, that’s according to Harvard Business Review.If your customers aren’t happy, then your business could suffer. In fact, as a result of customers’ frustration in the study, 65 percent said they would likely speak negatively about the company and 48 percent said they would tell 10 or more people about their poor experience.

It’s time to make a change. Learn how to follow up with customers in a manner that all recipients would appreciate — and therefore, generate repeat and other business:

Apologize for mistakes

It’s bound to happen where a package doesn’t get delivered on time to a customer or they receive a subscription to something they’ve unsubscribed for. Logistical problems like these can be unavoidable, but unless you apologize, the customer could damage your reputation with outlandish comments about their experience. It’s a good idea to send the customer an e-mail or phone them to explain what happened and how you rectified the problem. Be specific to the problem (remember: the majority of customers disliked when they had to restate the issue). You should also let the customer know how the issue will be avoided in the future, so that they understand you’re willing to make a change.

Make the follow-up sincere

A successful follow-up sometimes involves going the little extra mile. For example, Roberta Perry, creator of Scrubz Body Scrub Inc., a skincare enterprise in Bethpage, New York, explains a time her simple follow up made all the difference to a client.

“A good customer of ours was booked for a massage with one of our therapists. She calls the morning of, upset and crying, because her mom of 93 had a stroke and she’s been at the hospital all night.” Perry offered her condolences and canceled her appointment. But it was a few days later when she did something that made all the difference: Perry called to check in on her customer’s mom.

“I think she was absolutely floored that I did so, and she told me as much. It had nothing to do with business, and yet of course, it does,” Perry says.

Always be cautious when using this method though.

Respond to feedback

Have you ever received an e-mail from a customer telling you there’s a typo on your website? Or one who has a negative opinion on a product they used? Let your customer know the positive changes you’ve made to counteract these issues. That will justify that you value their feedback, and allows them to feel gratitude for their help. It’s a simple follow-up, but it’s one that can make for extended customer loyalty and appreciation.

Don’t underestimate the power of “Thank You”

Do you know what one of the top customer complaints is? Poor follow-up. At least, that’s according to Harvard Business Review.Whether it’s to a recent customer who bought a product, someone who put forward a suggestion in bettering your service or even a customer with something negative to say, it’s always appreciated to go out of your way to send a letter or e-mail, or make a phone call offering your gratitude. It’s those two simple words that could mean the difference between customers remembering your graciousness or someone who never wants to do business with you again.

Utilize social media

While phone calls and e-mails are great, most of the population is on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets these days, and may respond better in this medium.

“With the advent of social media and online review sites, every guest experience has the potential to directly affect the perception of your small business,” says Joe Shaw, marketing director of Jake’s Burgers in Dallas, Texas.

If it’s simply not possible to reach out to everyone individually on Facebook or tweet to all customers on Twitter, Shaw recommends setting up some kind of survey system for customer feedback.

“A well-designed survey system will help you to create a customer service-centric culture,” he says. “As a small business competing against larger companies, developing a continuous improvement model is essential.”

 

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