Do you follow up with your customers after each sale? If not, you are seriously missing out. Following up with your customers is one of the most common and effective ways to boost your bottom line. Not only that, but it’s a great way to keep your existing customers – something every handyman should focus on.
If you’ve read my 2012 Yearly Report, you already know the impact that existing customers will have on your business. They accounted for 42% of my income in my first year alone! That’s pretty incredible considering that I didn’t have a single customer at the beginning of the year.
Not only are return customers the largest portion of my income, but they are also the easiest customers to work with.
There are many factors that go into keeping customers. Providing quality work, showing up on time, communicating well, and looking professional are few of the big ones. If you are already doing all of these but are still wondering why more customers aren’t calling you back, you might want to take a look at your follow up.
Here are 5 solid reasons to follow up with your customers.
#1 – To stay in their heads.
It’s the information age and people have a LOT going on. Once you’ve finished the job and been paid, you are out of sight, out of mind. You need to have a way to re-enter their train of thought, which is where following up comes in.
By following up, you will remain in their heads and they will be more likely to remember you for future services or recommend you to friends.
Sometimes the customer is so busy they will never call you even though they want to. A friendly follow up may just be the reminder they need to hire you on the spot. This has happened to me several times.
#2 – Shows that you care.
As with any business (and life in general) building relationships is the key to success. By building strong relationships with your customers you will gain their loyalty and they will promote your business for you.
Sure, talking to them while your at their home and being nice while providing quality work is a great way to start. But, it doesn’t necessarily show that you care. That’s almost the minimum required these days and customers understand that.
By following up, you show that you truly care about their experience and about them as people. This is like relationship steroids.
#3 – Opportunity to solicit a positive review.
While I do think is better to follow up to simply see how their experience was, in some cases you may want to use this opportunity to solicit a positive review.
Lets say you are following up via e-mail. (E-mail isn’t quite a personal a phone call, but still sufficient.) You could post a link at the bottom of the e-mail that leads them directly to where they can leave a review. Then simply say “By the way, if you liked our service please leave a review by clicking here.”
Chances are that if you did an exceptional job, your customers will be more than willing to help you out. They just need a reminder.
#4 – Opportunity for some feedback.
Feedback from your customers is invaluable. How would you like to know exactly what they think about your service and how they would like to see it improved?
Your follow up is a great time to get some very useful feedback. You just worked for the customer, they’ve had some time to evaluate their experience, now it’s time to see what they’re thinking.
There are several ways to do this, but here are two.
#1 – You could simply ask them on the phone. I don’t believe this is ideal as you are putting them on the spot and they aren’t as likely to tell you how you could improve. (could get a little awkward)
#2 – You could set up a survey on SurveyMonkey.com. It’s free if you are setting up a simple survey and you could provide a link in your follow up e-mail to take the survey. Brilliant.
#5 – Reminds the customer of your value.
You should always be communicating your value to your customers whether you tell them directly or show them with your actions. Following up is a simple way to increase or reinforce the value that you’ve already established.
By increasing or reinforcing your perceived value, you are also increasing your ability to charge more or at least keep more customers while demanding a higher rate than the next guy. Who wouldn’t want that?
Overall, following up with customers just makes good business sense. It helps you build relationships, keep customers, and make more money.
There you have it, five really good reasons to follow up with your customers after the sale. What do you think? Do you follow up with your customers? If so, what are typical results?