We’d all collectively agree that building and maintaining relationships is not an easy feat. Dealing with people, including your customers, is not always a smooth ride. The only way to probably keep any human relationship going is effective, timely and frequent communication. And this communication becomes increasingly significant in a competitive business market like we have today.
The consumers have no dearth of options when choosing a business or walking away from at any given point of time. Like we mentioned, communication is the key. And this communication might not solely be effective as a one-time thing.
Revisiting and following up on your customers is equally important. By choosing to not follow up with potential customers, you’ll not only lose the business at hand but also risk losing out on future business prospects, such as referrals.
Following up with your customers at the right time should be any business’ top priority. That being said, businesses and agents should also not resort to harrowing constantly following up. Because that brings with it the risk of losing your customers too.
But fret not. We’ve got the right guide for you to figure out the most effective ways to follow up with your consumers.
Here are 8 ways you can Effectively Follow up with your Customers without being too laid back or too over the top:
1) Take out Time to Follow up
Your potential and current customers will definitely get caught up with a million other things that are going on around them. Their attention will actually have to be drawn back to your business.
Now of course the agents don’t just deal with a single or maybe even a handful of customers on one particular day. And following up with each customer is also a laborious task. Hence, you actually have to make time and put in place a proper schedule for efficient and effective communication with the help of cloud-based solutions or other smart tools.
Your customers will buy when they are ready, but a follow up will definitely increase your business’ recall value. And sometimes, if required a double follow up might also be necessary to keep your business on top of your customer’s thought process.
Remain vigilant and create a relationship that will ensure that the potential customer will choose you over your counterparts.
2) Set Expectations for your Customers
As a business it is your and your agent’s responsibility to set the bar right for your services. Your customers will only expect and aim for the level of services that you set. And in case you forget to set the expectations, they might just set their own.
The key is to be active—engage, inquire and follow up on your customer’s needs and services. It is definitely is essential to let them know by when will you get back to them, but it is even more essential to actually touch base with them again, even if you might not have the immediate solution or product. You will be surprised to see how long one follow-up call goes in the long run.
3) Be proactive in Resolving Problems
When a customer tries to reach out to you, they expect you to solve their issue or share the necessary information with them almost immediately. And time is of utmost importance while resolving queries. Make sure to not keep your customers waiting. More often than not customers have queries that agents can attend to and resolve in a very short span of time. Utilise the business’ assets, be proactive and resolve the customers’ queries as soon as you can.
That being said, your solutions should not be hollow and just an immediate call to action standard procedure. Map out a solution like click to call, ensure personalisation (more about it later), and focus on the right solutions, all within a short and stipulated time period. And of course, follow up to check if the solution worked, or your customer requires more aid.
4) Be Available, Accessible and Easier to Connect
If your customer is unable to reach you, even at the slightest inconvenience, then as business it is not a very ideal sign. The paramount frustration of not being able to connect with you or reach out to you in times of a crisis can really drive a customer up the wall and subsequently away from your business.
To ensure customer loyalty and retainers for the long haul, look out 24*7 availability, more than one medium to reach you, time-based solutions, dedicated helplines or set up contact pages. In a year like this one, constant availability via social media apps is also a great idea to harvest.
In case all your operators are busy, make sure to arrange a call back as soon as possible or depending upon the urgency of the problem. It’s all about letting your customers know that you care about them.
5) Treat Potential Customers well
This is probably one of the easiest steps to follow. Why you ask? The customer is already at the threshold. They are definitely interested and all they need is a little nudge. Strike the right chords with them and voila!
Of course, there are some pre-requisites. Like keep your questions handy, listen to their questions patiently, resolve even the minutest of problems with caution and figure out what will work for them. It will also be wise to keep answers ready for potential questions that they might have.
With these few initial phone calls, lay the foundation of a long-term relationship ahead.
6) Personalise your Sales and Provide Valuable Information
Your customers are smart enough to figure out that they are being marketed to. And it may happen that even before you make a sales pitch, they’ll shut you down. To avoid such circumstances, try to get to understand their needs and wants.
Even though the task may look tedious at first, it will definitely pay off in the long run. Follow up on their personal trends—details, past shopping experience, on-site behaviour etc. You can also choose to send across highly personalised emails after analysing these factors.
It is also important to ensure that the content you are sharing with your customers is important and makes sense to them. Do not be pushy and share the content that fits well both for the business and its customers.
It is also not a bad idea to keep your audience abreast with all the latest happenings, offers and changes that they might be interested in and may have missed out on. One can use the technique to revive dormant customers—via means of emails, or voice broadcasting or bulk texts too.
7) Ensure the Right Target Audience and meet them Halfway
For any business to grow it is significant to target the right audience. If your customers require service X and they are receiving information about service Y, then it is neither going to help the business nor the customer.
For this, you need to efficiently profile, segregate and divide your customer base. And each base should receive the information they require—in the form of personal emails, calls or SMSes—as they generally won’t sift through countless emails or texts to look for that one aspect they were looking for. Hence, it is highly important to keep your business communication targeted.
In order to build long-lasting relationships with your customers, it is also important that you meet them halfway, or sometimes more than that, and that too in their personal arena. Tracing their past communication history, you can figure out where do they prefer to communicate—via email, call, chatbots, social media messages. Communicate wherever they prefer and whatever works for them personally. Make sure you access all touchpoints and have a better chance of getting noticed.
8) Focus on Post-Sales Follow up and be Persistent
Most businesses only reach out to their customers or potential customers when they need to make a sale. And once that is done, there is complete silence till the next sales call is made. And meanwhile your customer is left high and dry. If you want to increase the customer retention then do not adopt this policy.
After a sale, reach out to them and ensure everything is smooth. Go the extra mile and do frequent follow-ups for some time so that they know and are sure that it was not just about the sale.
Also, be persistent with your customers. If you do not receive a response at the same time or in the next few days, follow up with them. It is also helpful to remain optimistic and not lose hope immediately. Some of the cloud telephony service providers can help you to send your customers kind reminders, maybe even add options to schedule a call, or fix an appointment, or provide them with a ‘call now’ option. It is all about making it easy and accessible to your customers.
When trailing your customers, always step up your game. Go beyond traditional methods and ensure efficient and timely follow up with the current as well as potential customers. It is also important that your customers know that it is not just about the sales but also beyond that. Hence, following up becomes very important.
Personalisation and honesty go a long way. Your communication, even though it is a business one, should not look like one. The mechanical way never helped anyone and we highly doubt it suddenly will. Stick to a more humane style of talking, understand what your customers need and once you build that rapport, then make your sales pitch. And you’ll be surprised how well little steps can work in the long run.
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