Six follow-ups that you must do | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Six follow-ups that you must do

 
Many small businesses commit the cardinal sin of not following up with their contacts after they have initially interacted with them. The power of a follow-up should not be underestimated. It is an essential component of building business relationships and improving the reputation of the firm.

SupportBiz lists six business situations in which you should follow up with your customers, without fail.

1.     The random follow-up

Make it a practice to randomly follow up with your customers and various other parties associated with your business. For instance, you might call up a customer who has recently bought some of your products/services, randomly, after a fortnight or so, and generally enquire how he/she found the experience of using them. You could also ask if he/she has any queries that you could answer or issues that you could help resolve.

This is the mark of wonderful customer service, which will undoubtedly make your customers feel valued.

2.     When a customer issue is taking time to resolve

You might be working on resolving a certain issue that a customer has reported to you, and expect that it will take quite a bit of time. The customer cannot see the amount of work you are putting in into resolving the issue, and hence, might feel neglected. To avoid this, it is a good idea to keep following up with the customer regularly while the issue is being resolved.

Tell the customer that you are working on the solution, and update him/her on the progress that you have made on it so far. When possible, give the customer a final date by when the issue will be completely resolved.

Use your judgement to determine how frequently you should write/call the customer, in such a situation.

3.     When customer feedback is accepted

Suppose a customer gives you feedback on a certain aspect of your business. For instance, they tell you about a typo on your marketing brochure or that a certain link on your corporate website is not working. You find the feedback good, and use it in your business.

It is a good idea to follow up with the said customer and tell them that the feedback offered by them has been used by you. Thank the customer for his/her ideas, and tell them that you look forward to sharing ideas/suggestions with them in future as well.

4.     When a customer issue needs several team members to resolve

Sometimes, it is not possible for a customer issue to be resolved by a single staff member from your organisation. It might require the involvement of two or more people with different skills, sometimes from different teams. During such times, you should follow up with the concerned customer, without fail.

You should introduce the customer to the new team member who is working on the issue, whenever there is a change in the same. Update the customer as to how that particular team member is helping to resolve the issue, and ensure that the customer is comfortable dealing with him/her.

This will make the customer feel important and satisfied, knowing that more than one person in the firm have been assigned the task of resolving his/her issue. He/she will not feel neglected while the issue is being resolved, and will not feel that you are passing the buck among your team members.

5.     Follow up to build genuine relationships

You should regularly follow up with your customers to know more about them, without any promotional aspect being involved. During such phone calls or e-mails, you should just focus on getting to know the customer better, with a genuine interest in building long-standing relationships with him/her. You never know where these interactions will lead you, what value they can provide to your business.

For instance, if one of your customers is an avid blogger, you might want to send samples of your products/services to him/her for review.

6.     When a customer issue remains unresolved

It often happens, in a business, that a customer issue remains unresolved due to unavoidable circumstances. This might lead the customer to think that you are inefficient and incapable of resolving the issue, while the truth might be something entirely different. For instance, when a package is not delivered to a customer on time, he/she might get the impression that your firm is inefficient and incapable of releasing the package on time. However, the truth might be that you were faced with an unavoidable logistics issue, causing the delay.

In such situations, you should definitely follow up with the customer and explain the reality to him/her. Tell him/her about the steps you took to resolve his/her issue, and why you failed in the same. Apologise for any inconvenience the customer might have faced, and tell him/her about what you will do to ensure that such a situation does not occur in future.