Studies show that the major complaint that customers usually have about a business they are dealing with is poor follow up. As a result, more than 50% of them are likely to speak negatively about the business and share about their bad experience with friends. While lack of follow-ups shows the business’ lack of concern, too many follow-ups can on the other hand make a business look desperate. If you are running a catalog business and wishes to build an excellent rapport with your customers, you must learn the art of customer follow up. Here are the 5 tactics to implement:
This is the first thing to do when showing products to customers that are willing to buy. If you do not set expectations first, the customers will set their own. To ensure that you are both on the same page, it’s important that you be specific about what aspects need to be followed up on, as well as when you will get back to your customers. After selling the products, you can then follow up on your customers as promised and within the promised time frame.
When it comes to catalog sales, you will find out that most of your customers will be people you know. This includes your family members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Customers like buying from those they know and trust. When doing follow-ups - be it via emails or text messages - be sure to be more conversational in customer communication. Use their real names when addressing them, and remember to reach out to them proactively during special anniversaries of them doing business with you or for achieving any other milestones.
It is understandable that not all payment delays are intentional. It could be because your customers are not checking their emails regularly. In case your follow up messages or emails are not receiving any response, it would be a good idea to simply make direct calls and check on the status. This will help to rectify a problem and prevent it from escalating.
Customers love sweet deals and most will ask for at least one while negotiating the price. To have an easy time doing follow ups; tie in early payer discounts with their payment schedule. This means that as long the customers pay on time, they will be entitled to great discounts. You can also offer discounts on upfront payment. This will not only help you to maintain a healthy cash flow, but it will also help you to avoid completely the need to follow up with your customers.
Just like incentives for timely payments, disincentives for late payments also work really well in pushing customers into paying timely. Imposing a late payment fee can be one of the ways of telling your customers that they stand a chance of losing more money if they fail to make their payments on time. Nevertheless, this strategy may backfire if you are dealing with a customer on a one-time project, as the customer may not have anything to lose if the payment is let to accrue indefinitely. It is, therefore, advisable that you use this strategy on those customers who are willing to continue buying your products.
Meaningful follow-up is key! This means that it’s good to always have a specific reason to contact your customer or prospect. Don’t just call to ‘check in’ or ‘touch base’. Also be sure to end each conversation with a clearly defined next step. Be sure to summarize all your conversations and obtain written confirmation. This way, you and your customers will always be on the same page.
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