Cultivating better customer relationships, meeting and exceeding sales goals, and appropriately timing customer follow-up communications are all art forms that should be taught and highly encouraged by all sales management teams. Poorly executed follow-up techniques and policies can place a huge strain on customer relations. When an issue arises, the one thing customers hate more than being placed on hold for a long time is having to repeat themselves numerous times to get their point across. Customers want quick, easy, and reliable resolutions to their problems. After purchasing a product or service from your company, apt customer service follow-up can help you establish a strong working relationship with consumers.
How to Follow-Up in Customer Service
Customers want to know that you care about more than just taking their money. You need to prove to them that you truly care about improving customer experiences and that you value their patronage. Here are some non-invasive and effective ways to follow up with customers.
Schedule Follow-Up Communication in Advance
Customers’ time is valuable and sometimes, they simply don’t want to be bothered during certain hours of the day or night. After completing a sale, ask your customers when the best time is to contact them for a follow-up. You should also find out what form of contact they prefer, whether it’s a phone call, e-mail, or text message.
This puts the ball in their court while still communicating that you’re interested in receiving their feedback. But it also cements a solid plan of action on your part in that you’re still the one initiating contact instead of waiting to hear back from them. This way, customers won’t be caught off guard and they’ll be expecting to hear from you again.
Send E-Mail Reminders
In addition to scheduling a follow-up interaction, you should also send an e-mail reminder of when the customer can expect to hear from you. This way, they’ll have verbal and written confirmation of the follow-up. They can even choose to set a reminder in their phone or make a note of it on their calendar so they don’t forget.
Give Exclusive Special Offers
Customers love being made to feel special. As important as it is to acquire new customers for your business, it’s equally critical to nourish existing customer relationships and build up brand awareness and customer loyalty. You can accomplish this by periodically sending special offers to your customers. For starters, a welcome bonus or package can do wonders for your public relations.
It shows your customers that you value them enough to cater to their needs and create an open line of communication, plus it creates customer advocacy. This is a clever marketing technique that also shows prospective customers how well they’ll be treated if they choose to purchase your products or services. Special offers give a sense of exclusivity and urgency because customers will be encouraged to partake within a given timeline.
Don’t Follow Up Too Soon
When is the best time to follow up with a customer after just making a sale? As mentioned, the best way to handle this situation is to ask the customer when they’re available for a follow-up. If they don’t give you any indication of when they’re free for future communications, try waiting about a week or two. You don’t want to come off as too pushy or needy by contacting them immediately after making a transaction. Give them some time to actually use your product or service so that they can form an opinion about it. Coming off as too eager can be a major turn-off for a lot of people.
Don’t forget—there are numerous forms of effective follow-up. Instead of calling right away, try e-mailing an automated customer service survey asking for feedback, but be sure to give the customer the option of opting in or out of this service.
Don’t Up-Sell Or Cross-Sell During Follow-Up Communication
Trying to up-sell or cross-sell products and services to your existing customers during a follow-up call is a big no-no. Not only does it come off as desperate and kind of tacky, but it also makes it seem as if the only purpose of the interaction was to try to get another sale out of that customer. It’s best to save your up-selling and cross-selling sales pitches for another time. Unless a customer expresses interest in another one of your products or services or if they specifically mention an issue that could be resolved by another product or service, there’s no reason to up-sell at this point. Follow-up communications should focus strictly on asking for feedback, answering questions, and resolving any issues.
Send Customers Promotional Offers for Special Occasions
Customers love it when their favourite brands remember special occasions like their birthdays or anniversaries. Sending promotional offers to your customers for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries is a great way to show that you truly do care about their needs. This type of attention to detail also incentivizes them to continue supporting your business, even if they only do it when you send them promotional offers. Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement and customers are more likely to say good things about your business if you give them a reason to.
Offer Bonuses for Customer Referrals
What’s a great way to boost your customer acquisition numbers, gain more revenue, and maintain strong relationships with existing customers? It’s simple. Provide excellent customer service and ask your happy customers to refer their friends and family to your company. Better yet, offer them an incentive to do so. Whether it’s a monetary reward, a discount on their next purchase, or the chance to win a grand prize, customers are more willing to refer people they know if they get something in return. Plus, listening to the voice of your customers shows that you care about their opinions.
Empower Your Sales Team to Make Important Decisions
Creating a positive and harmonious company culture should be one of your top priorities. By providing top-notch training and empowering your sales team to take greater control of the helm (within reason), you can boost customer satisfaction and your revenue.
3C Contact Services is one of the leading outsourced contact centers in North America. Our agents are specially trained to offer extensive customer service follow-up techniques that are proven to work. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you elevate and expand your customer relations.