Follow-up: it is a business must! No matter how you spell it, follow-up is an important element in the success of a business. In fact, it IS imperative, unconditionally crucial, and essential. These two words, or the hyphenated word, cannot be stressed enough when it comes to growth and long-term success for a business.
Customer Follow-Up is a Necessity
Who’s the most important customer a business has? The answer, of course, is the customer a business is dealing with at that particular moment in time. There are a multitude of locations where this “moment” occurs. It could be in the office…across the counter… on the telephone… on the selling floor…in the customer’s place of business… or through email. No matter the time or place this meeting occurs, every business must make that customer feel special. That customer needs to believe that he or she is that company’s most important customer. In fact, that individual (or business) IS that company’s most important customer at that very moment in time.
Customer Needs Top Every List
Think about it. Because of our recent global pandemic and economic crisis, each and every current and potential customer is increasingly more valuable. Customers purchase value. At the same time, those same customers also want to feel appreciated. When customers spend money (whether it’s business-to-consumer or business-to-business), they don’t want to be taken for granted. Customer appreciation needs to be shown both before and after the sale.
Why do customers buy a product or service? That’s because they’re purchasing benefits and solutions for their particular issues. On the whole, customers could care less in how a product is made or what it takes a business to deliver its goods or services. Customers certainly are not interested if a business has one customer or 10,000 customers. Every customer believes he or she is the most important customer. Therefore, every business needs to convey that feeling of importance to the customer with “follow-up.”
Why Follow-Up is Vital
For every business, follow-up encompasses a two-fold process. It includes what occurs both before and after the sale. Before the sale, follow-up becomes an important element in actually completing the sale. This lays the groundwork for what the customer thinks about the business. Am I a VIP with this company? What will the future service be like? Does the business care what I think? Follow-up is an opportune way for a possible customer to compare one business against another. Therefore, pre-sale follow-up is an important component in the overall selling process. If successful, the sale is completed.
Follow-Up is a Full-time Job
But…the follow-up process doesn’t end at this point in time. It’s a great feeling to complete a sale. However, you can’t assume the customer is satisfied purchasing whatever products or services you’re selling. At the same time, a business can’t simply be contented with “satisfied customers.” The sale follow-up provides customers with that feeling of being valued and important. These same customers become goodwill ambassadors for a business. The satisfied customers tell others about their favorable experience, not to mention repeating their own buying experience. Actual business growth is accomplished when customers purchase from you over and over and over again.
When to Contact the Customer
Indeed, depending upon the type of business, customer follow-up might not be possible. However, this does not diminish the importance of follow-up. How large your customer base determines the size and scope of customer follow-up. In some situations, contact every customer and potential customer.
Meanwhile, other situations determine whether customers should be arbitrarily contacted for follow-up after a sale. What is very critical is not how many customers are contacted, but the follow-up process. The main goal for every business should be contacting customers, as much as possible, both before and after a sale.
Defeat the Competition
For now, it might be safe to say that your competitors are not following up like you are. So, here’s a golden opportunity to beat the competition by making customer follow-up your company’s standard operating procedure. Simply put, follow up: it is a business must!