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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

MM Tip #7 - Are you riding on your "Laurels"?

You have worked hard to get your customers ... and now what?

Did you remember to say, "Thank you"?

And how do you thank your customers in this day of online systems and make it memorable?

It has been my observation that this is not something new. After sales service has always been something that is "last minute" at best. Few companies have a system in place to conscientiously thank their customers for their business.

Some give a gift certificate; some verbally thank their customers; some send an email; but mostly businesses just forget to thank their customers all together.

Perhaps they are forgetting "on which side their bread is buttered?" They are in business because of customers who seek them out to use their products and services. Do they remember that?

I had the privilege of working in sales and marketing for a prominent furnace company a few years ago. It was my responsibility to help the company get business.

Shortly after I started working there, I discovered that they had a database of over 30,000! Yes, you read that correctly.

There was a definite disconnect between these past customers and processes within the organization. After inquiring as to what their process of follow-up was, I discovered that little was done at all, if anything...and they were constantly looking for new business.

I was in shock!

While there, I implemented a follow-up system.

1. We sent a thank-you email immediately after the service.

2. Within 24 hours one of our staff members phoned each customer to make sure everything was good with the customer and their furnace was running well.

3. A monthly newsletter was sent out to all the entire mailing list.

4. A database kept track of when next furnace servicing was due and 30 days before that due date, a special letter was physically mailed to the clients reminding them that it was time to schedule their next annual service. They were offered a special discount for being loyal customers.

5. If the customers did not book their service, the following month, they received another physical letter offering them more services in the package for slightly more money, but the package was worth a lot more. There were some considerable savings with this package.

6. The month that the client's furnace system was due for service, they received a phone call reminding them that their furnace was due for its annual servicing and verbally offered another special. This offer was even more money, but there were even more services offered in the package for considerably more savings.

Ninety-five percent of the 30,000 existing customers rebooked their servicing appointments by the third reminder.

It was my responsibility to make the follow-up calls after the servicing and I was still receiving thank you responses on my phone and referrals for the company a year after I had left the company.

People really need that physical connection.

With all the digital this and online that today, many of us feel a big black hole in our lives. We miss the smile on someone's face and the musical words, "Thank you for shopping with us."

Tell me, how do you feel about your customer follow-up service these days?

How would you suggest businesses improve on customer "Thank you's" today?

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

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