Poor follow-up tops the list of customer complaints
Poor follow-up is a serious threat to any business relationship.
With the advent of social media, the words, “Word-of-mouth” have taken on a whole new meaning as unhappy customers take to the Internet, reaching large numbers of people with just the click of a button.
The bottom line is, with or without social media, you want happy, satisfied customers. And you certainly don’t want one unhappy, isolated incident to spread … online or anywhere else.
Unresolved complaints often lead to unpaid invoices. Not enough contact in general can cause your invoice to fall through the cracks. And THAT is why training your staff in the art of follow-up is so important.
Train your staff on the following strategies so that follow-up doesn’t fall through!
Train your staff to teach your customers
Your staff must set the tone and the expectations for your customers by telling them what they can expect when they do business with you. If a customer sets his own expectations, you’re sure to disappoint.
Your staff, at the beginning of a relationship, has a golden opportunity to teach your customer how you do business.
Train your staff on the value of the relationship
The sale is the important first step but it’s not the only game in town. The ongoing relationship is what builds a business over time.
Focusing on the customer for the sake of the sale is short sighted. Once a sale is made, your staff should plan a follow-up call to make sure there’s satisfaction on the customer’s end. That’s the start of the ongoing relationship.
Train your staff to think ahead
Anticipating problems and thinking ahead toward solutions will build a bond between a company and customer that will last for years. Certain industries may experience seasonally busy or stressful times. Reaching out at key points during the year (like right before the crazy season) can be a pro-active way to keep your customer’s payments and product orders on track.
Train your staff to be thoughtful
Receiving a call or a note at an anniversary time, grand opening or some other milestone communicates to your customer that you’re in-tuned with his business. This can keep your company, your invoices, and your product top of mind.
Train your staff to make special offers
Give your staff the power to make special offers on behalf of the company. Train them on the limitations and the frequency of the offers they may give. Then allow them to reward good customers with periodic special deals, just for them.
Train your staff to be personal, with balance
Being personable is of course, important in business. The tricky part is getting an accurate read on a customer to know just how much is the right amount. Encourage your staff to engage in limited, personal interaction with customers at the customer’s lead. Building rapport is powerful.
Once a staff member has proven themselves in the art of customer interaction and follow-up, empower them to make contact at their discretion. How often your staff makes contact depends on the customer, the relationship you have with them AND you.
You may have set a company ‘rule’ to call every Thursday. But if your staff member has built a relationship with a certain customer and knows that’s too frequent for him, allow your staff to make the decision.
Follow-up is a key factor in keeping your company top of mind with your customer. Train your staff well to help build those lasting relationships.