Following Up With Customers – Is It Needed?
Once we’ve led a customer through their purchase, be it offering a greeting as they walk through the door or being responsive to emails, there’s a tendency to pat oneself on the back for a job well done and move on to the next customer attempting to find their way towards a purchase. Of course, securing a customer with the help of high quality service is something to be proud of, but this article focuses on something that lots of businesses fail to consider – what happens after their purchase is complete.
Consider this; each and every time you go to a restaurant, you’re asked towards the midpoint of your meal if everything is okay. Now, 99% of the time, you’ll thank them and tell them that the meal is lovely, but from time to time you find yourself with a meal which isn’t satisfactory, so having to get up, leave the table, queue at the bar and then talk over other customers to complain only worsens a situation that could have been solved in a much friendlier way. The same situation applies to all areas of sales, most customers will walk away from your service with -hopefully- a sense of satisfaction and turn that into repeat custom, but this just isn’t the case for all customers.
Despite the best will and product in the world, problems can and will pop up from time to time, be it a product not working as advertised or a service failing to function in the way a customer imagined it to, a customer will sometimes have to complain. In those situations, I have always found that the very best way to limit the damage done to your brand representation is to cut it off before it has time to spread. How?
Just like those restaurants, all that is needed is either a simple email or a telephone call just to check up on how things are going with your product or service. Phrase it in a friendly, non automated way and try to appear as if you’re attempting to open up a dialog rather than just a message and a way to contact them if you have any problems. Statistics show that if somebody receives what they consider to be poor levels of customer service, they will personally tell 20 to 30 people about it. For ‘average’ service, they tell nobody at all, given how little impression was made on the customer, but for excellent customer service they will tell around 7 to 10 people about their experience.
Customer service is all about creating little pockets of magic within the consumers’ time with you, and anything you can do to create those goes a long way towards creating a great impression of your business. Building a base of customers who think of your name before anybody else’s should be your main objective, because with that comes the financial reward for the many hours of hard work you and your staff have put in to the business.