The idea of customer service is a simple one, but as anyone in the industry knows, it contains many moving parts. Generally what springs to mind are instances of customer service agents answering questions, speaking with angry customers, and troubleshooting issues. We tend to think of customer service as a passive action; customers reach out and we are here to receive their concerns. Though that’s a big part of customer service, it’s certainly not all of it. Today, we’re highlighting the often unsung hero of customer service: the follow-up.
The Follow-Up: What is it and Why Does it Matter?
What is a Follow-Up?
Simply put, follow-ups are the act of reaching out to a customer post-purchase or post-engagement. It is a conversation generated by the business, rather than the other way around, and is essentially used to check in on the customer to ensure their satisfaction. This simple act is easy to pull off and it provides some key benefits:
Gives your customers an opportunity to express concerns
Many unhappy customers won’t complain or express dissatisfaction if they perceive that the process will be difficult or that it won’t result in any positive gain on their part. Missing out on those customer complaints can mean missing important ideas or concepts that you could implement to better your product or service. When you reach out to customers with a follow-up, you’re taking a lot of the legwork out of the process for them and allowing them to give you feedback that you may have otherwise missed.
Shows that you care
Follow-ups show your customers that you care enough about their experience to reach out to them and ask. As emphasis shifts from price to customer experience, more people are looking for businesses they can connect with. Follow-ups go a long way to build the kind of solid relationships your ideal customers are looking for.
Keeps you top of mind
They may not be ready to purchase from you again yet, but a follow-up can help solidify you in their memory. This allows them to recommend you to others or to look to you again for their next purchase. It’s always helpful when your last interaction with a customer is a positive one and a good follow-up interaction can help you make sure that’s the case.
Follow-Up Best Practices
There are a few things to keep in mind when implementing follow-ups to maximize their impact. First, timing is everything. Generally, the sooner you can follow up, the better. You want to time your follow-up so the customer has had enough time to use your product/service, but not so long that their purchase is a distant memory. It’s important to reach out in a window of time that would allow you to replace or repair anything they’re dissatisfied with. Your objective with a follow-up should always be to add value and leave your customers with a positive interaction. Don’t forget to thank them for their time and their business, and encourage them to reach out to you in the future.
To learn more about EMS, Inc. and the services we provide, please visit www.emscrm.com.