In this hyper-connected world, it’s still baffling how so many businesses don’t work their past customers at all, and handle their leads pretty badly as well. Of course, it’s easier to be an arm chair quarterback, but here’s the deal. The more communication you have with your customers, the more trust is established. They will consider you to be a friend who cares.
Pre-dripped marketing is not the answer. Yes, it’s easier and scalable, but if you have a company of 20, it shouldn’t be too hard to have it as a job requirement to reach out to their customers. The whole company should buy in that this is “their” customer base. This is the case no matter what industry you happen to be in.
Satisfied customers like to be, want to be, and are already favorably predisposed toward working with you or doing business with you. They are silently waiting to be led, but you have to lead. By that, I mean they want to repurchase –and it’s up to you to make the effort to lead the customer back. There are an infinite number of ways this can be accomplished.
Just one example (and I wish cable companies or wireless phone companies would do more of this): Offer customers a one-time, preferential pricing to induce them to do business with you again. Affinity is the goal. Look at every customer, including prospects, as if it is only a matter of time before you have a relationship in which your focus is to serve, benefit, enhance, and add value for that person FOR LIFE.
Remember that you’re dealing with human beings who have desires, fears, problems, and stress. Can you care about them? Share ideas? You can talk about their families. Let them know about what is new. Give them a chance to try things on a trial or modified test basis.
Alert them to what is coming from the new markets and give them a chance to pre-order. Doing things like this produces a lot more sales – A LOT MORE.
Quick question… When was the last time you communicated personally with your customers – made them feel that you care more about them than their checkbooks? “I don’t have time” should never come out of your mouth. Again, everyone should buy into the company customer and take part in reaching out, thus be trained on how to do it, and it should be made fun. Businesses that are fun keep employees and customers longer. The more frequently you communicate from the heart about your customers’ interests – not yours – the greater the connection.
Here are 12 techniques for following up with customers that will make them feel that you’re a trusted friend and quickly build customer loyalty and keep them coming back, time after time:
1. Remember that most sales are made after several calls rather than on the first one. So follow up on inquiries and leads numerous times before abandoning them.
2. Use a simulated “carbon copy” of your original sales letter for a follow-up email.
3. Use text and social follow-ups to supplement your direct-mail campaign.
4. Send a special “thank you” email or phone call to new customers as soon as you receive their first order. Thank your customers for every additional order.
5. Send an email or text every now and then – when no immediate purchase is involved – to thank customers for previous purchases. Add value with zero absolutely zero request for purchases.
6. Cultivate customers with regular emails saying ”thanks” for their previous business or containing special value adds “for customers only.” Again, don’t ask for an order.
7. To offset possible ”buyer’s remorse,” send purchasers of big-ticket items a follow-up email, call, text, social DM reassuring them that they made a good buy.
8. Keep your customer sold on your product even after they buy. Send follow-up messages to ask how they like the product … if they would like any further information about it … and (if appropriate) to suggest ways to use it that they may not have thought about or may have forgotten.
9. Increase your customers’ goodwill and purchases by sending them advance notices of sales or other special events.
10. Any major holiday – is an especially good time to invite former customers to become active again.
11. If you make a mistake in any written material, follow up promptly with a letter of correction that also adds value and sells.
12. If possible, hand deliver offerings (or go above and beyond in some way) showing that you care and not expecting anything in return.