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The Power of Following Up With Customers

As a successful business person, you probably have an effective system for staying in touch with your prospects throughout the sales process.

But do you have an equally effective system for staying in touch with those same people once they’ve become clients? Or after their project has been completed?

If not, you could be missing out on significant opportunities.

From hot water heater to just… hot water

I was talking with a neighbor the other day who was having issues with her hot water heater. She’d had someone repair it in the past, and was perfectly happy with their work, but she couldn’t remember the name of the company she had called then.

If the company had the foresight to stay in touch with her, they could have gotten even more business from her, as well as from referrals she might send their way.

Think about how busy you are and how much information you’re required to retain every day.

Your customers are experiencing the same overload, so it’s highly unlikely they’re remembering you and your company unless you are reminding them you exist.

Pick your popcorn

Sure, you can overdo it and become a pest. I’m not suggesting you use the Popcorn Factory method of emailing customers every other day with a new promo.

Depending on your business model, you could send out a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter with useful, inspiring information.

Or cards to celebrate random “holidays” (did you know that the first week in March is National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week? Or that the 14th is Potato Chip Day? And no, I’m not making this up!).

Or you could implement a strategy that gives your clients more personal attention, something almost all humans crave.

Last year I experimented with calling my clients just to see how I could help them, in a way not necessarily related to my business’ product. I had gotten the idea from a vendor who had called me to ask what she could do to help my business – was there anyone she could introduce me to? It felt so good to know that person wanted to help me, I was eager to see how it worked from the other side.

I was surprised at how caught off-guard they all were, as if no one had ever called with such a question unless they had an ulterior motive. Most of them didn’t even have an answer. But it gave me an opportunity to reconnect with them.

You might not get more business from them immediately, but this is about strengthening the relationship.

And over time, those who consistently check in with their clients are the ones who create a better customer experience, have higher customer loyalty and more referral business.

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Image: Mathew Winchester, Creative Commons

Lori SaitzGuest contributor Lori Saitz is founder of Zen Rabbit Baking Company. She helps people show appreciation for and give recognition to others. The main (delicious!) tool her team uses to help accomplish this important feat is through The Gratitude Cookie(tm). A thin, crunchy cross between a butter and a sugar cookie, The Gratitude Cookie is so named because if you’re eating the cookies, you’re encouraged to think about something you are grateful for as you munch on each one.


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