The Art of Follow Up by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Running any business requires a great deal of balancing. It is important to seek new business, but just as important to keep current customers happy. One of the elements of smart business that often falls by the wayside is follow up. Follow up can be hard to keep up with, but mastering this art can be the key to a more successful business.
For most business owners, follow up falls into two categories: following up on sales prospects and following up on customer service issues. Failure to stay focused on both of these areas causes you to lose business.
Sales follow up can be tedious, but it is important to stay with any prospect you believe truly has a need for your product. Think about your normal customer cycle, and time your follow ups to ask for business accordingly.
Customer service follow up requires a bit more time and effort. It is important to keep in touch with your customers to prevent problems, if possible. Reaching out to see how they would rate their experience with your business is a great way to get ahead of potential problems. When a problem does pop up, staying on top of the problem until is resolved to the client’s satisfaction is the difference between keeping a customer and risking the loss of one.
Only you can determine the right timing for following up with sales prospects and with clients. However, once you have determined the optimal schedule for this follow up, it is critical to create a process that will allow you stick to your schedule religiously. It may be necessary to tweak your schedule to come up with the best routine for staying tuned in to your prospects and customers.
There are many follow up systems you can use to help you ensure you keep to the prescribed schedule you want for reaching out to your customers. Take advantage of these tools to help you make your follow up easier.
Once you have created and implemented a good system of follow up for prospects, you should see your sales numbers increase. Likewise, creating a good follow up system for current customers should help you retain these customers you’ve worked so hard to acquire. The art of follow up can be a little bit tricky, but it is well worth your time to master it.