Introduction: What is Follow-Up and Why is it Important for Success?
Simply put, follow-up is the process of contacting someone who you have had contact with in the last few days or weeks to find out more about them and continue to add value to them.
This can take place via phone call, email, text or even a face-to-face meeting. Follow up builds trust in your relationships and increases engagement.
Following up with customers soon after first contact can boost your conversion rate and shows customers that you cared enough about them to touch base more than once. In the long term, continuing to follow up can turn customers into repeat customers, referrals and develop a brand loyalty that money can’t buy.
Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Continuing to follow up with a customer, whether they’ve already paid you or not, is the ultimate “I care statement”. Actions speak louder than words after all…
5 Tips to Improve Your Follow-Up Techniques & Strategies
1. ‘Use a net, not a fishing pole.’
Many businesses make the mistake of slapping a phone number up on their website and waiting for customers to call. I can see the appeal, people who know that they want to buy from you will flock to their phones and call you, cash in hand. But, what about the people who might buy if you had a chance to persuade them but don’t want the hassle of actually calling you up. How are you going to reach these customers?
Instead of just posting a phone number, why not use a contact form that looks something like this:
This way we use an incentive (a valuable free resource) to connect with more of our ‘maybe’ customers and we get an opportunity to turn some of those ‘maybe’s into loyal customers! We can follow up with an email or over the phone. Moral of the story: Don’t just wait for a customer to bite, think of ways that you can make the first move.
2. Meet them in their comfort zone
Many of your customers don’t like email. In fact, many of them haven’t checked their personal email in Months! (I know I haven’t!). Everyone has a digital comfort zone. Maybe one of your customers hates email but spends all day scrolling through Instagram, or Facebook? Adding chat functionality so that customers can go from browsing your site to messaging you through Facebook in one click is a way to meet them in their ‘digital comfort zone’ and build relationship with them on their terms.
3. Continue to add value
Send emails to your customers that add value to them and aren’t just sales pitches. This is your chance to build a reputation with them as ‘someone who makes my life better/easier no matter what’ rather than someone who is just trying to get paid. Customers want to feel respected and appreciated, and the best way to do that is by being generous with them.
When customers don’t feel manipulated or taken advantage of, they are more likely to lend their loyalty and patronage. Generosity should be at the heart of your customer relationship management strategy in order to cultivate long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial for both parties.
4. Ask for referrals
There are two types of people you’re going to interact with as you follow up: buyers and non-buyers. It’s easy to quit on people who’ve made it clear they don’t want your products/services. But, both of these groups of people have one thing in common: they can both give you referrals! Referral customers buy the most and need the least convincing. They are often the lifeblood of local businesses. A contact might not be a potential customer… but they might know one.
Never give up on a contact and always ask for a referral.
5. Listen and learn
Market research doesn’t have to be expensive. When connecting with you customers (or potential customers) asking open ended questions could be the key that unlocks future business. “What is the biggest problem that you wish I could solve for you right now?”, “What missing feature from my service do you wish I could offer you right now?”. They might not buy the service/product you’ve got, but (if you ask the right questions) you might be able to develop a product/service that they would buy!
Understand the Different Types of Follow Up Messages That Work
People buy from people, not businesses. The crucial factor that leads to successful follow-up conversations is to make sure it feels human and genuine. People are naturally sceptical of businesses, yet they are much more willing to give people a chance when they feel like the interaction is authentic. Fostering these types of relationships can result in long-term success for your business.
Instead of taking the time to craft an overly professional and stuffy-sounding email, why not try writing one like you would to a close friend? And instead of attaching a static image of your company logo, why not take a fun selfie so people can put a face to your message and make it more personal?
It’s easy to think that being polite and courteous is the best way to avoid offending prospective customers with your follow-up. However, the truth is: every single Junk email you’ve ever seen was written in a polite and respectful tone, yet it still drives you NUTS! The key to success here is crafting messaging that feels casual, inviting, and friendly – this is the way to a customer’s heart!
The Benefits of Using Automated Follow Up Tools & Software
Let’s not forget that this is still a numbers game. There’s nothing wrong with sending personalised messages to clients (a hand written thank you note?! Your customers will love you forever!). But, to reach people at sale automated tools are a must.
Without a doubt, I strongly recommend using MailChimp as an effective platform for connecting with your customers via email. It is an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to create personal emails, send bulk emails and automate campaigns with ease. Plus, it offers detailed insights and tracking options that allow you to monitor the success of your message and optimize accordingly!
Want some help putting it all together?
I guess it’s time to practice what we preach… XD
If you’d like personalised tips on how you can level up your follow up for your business then let us know below and we’ll email you tailored advice.