The title for this two-part post is a quote originating from Roger Staubach. If you’re not an NFL football fan, he was the guy who quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys from 1969-1979, and was MVP of Super Bowl VI in 1972. You might think it strange for a football player to pen a quote like this, but it makes more sense when you learn that following his NFL career he founded The Staubach Company, a super-successful commercial real estate firm in north Texas.
You don’t have to travel too far in America today to hear plenty of customer service horror stories. When they emerge salespeople often attribute the indifference to service and/or admin employees at their companies. They take the position that once a job is sold and the handoff is made to the service folks, any unhappiness that occurs must be a result of mishandling by techs or admin employees.
This is a big mistake, since the sales team must continue to provide positive care and feeding to those whom they have sold. To that end, over the course of this two-part post I’ll be discussing a list of ten suggestions to help you continually “touch” customers, in order to keep them satisfied and hopefully nudge them toward becoming goodwill ambassadors. These are customers who will stay on board for years; buy more of your stuff down the road, and provide recommendations and testimonials that will enlarge your footprint in the marketplace.
- Send thank you notes – Most companies have some method in place for thanking new customers, but there a couple of caveats you should consider to ensure these are über-effective. One is to send them periodically each year, rather than only one on the day after the sale is made. This ensures that your customers know they are continually on your radar screen. The second caveat is to make them more personal than professional, and the way to accomplish this is by sending handwritten At my house handwritten mail ALWAYS gets opened first and contains good news!
- Conduct an initial post-installation face-to-face visit to insure satisfaction – New customers are typically fearful that after signing the dotted line they won’t see their rep again. They will be blown away when you follow-up in person and verify that every facet of what you sold was delivered, completed/installed properly, resulting in a smiling and satisfied customer. When you hit and run they’re done, but when you care, they won’t despair!
- Secure cell #’s, email addresses and provide 3 business cards – People are extremely mobile in today’s society, so your contact information should be too. Although I’m a continuous moving target between my coaching business, personal travel, and family scattered in multiple states; I am easily reached every day of the year by cell phone, text, email, website, Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ll bet your customers are as accessible as me too. When it comes to business cards, I’ve touted my 3-card technique before. Very simply, you’ll get more mileage from your cards if you provide three to each customer and explain why. Tell them to keep one for themselves and then get them to promise NOT to throw the other two away, but rather commit to give them to friends or family members who may need to talk to you at some point.
- Introduce customers to your company’s social media (website, Facebook, blog, etc.) – The best way to ensure customers feel a part of your corporate “family” is to connect them to any and all available social media. This way they will continually be “touched” electronically, supplementing the other contacting methods you use. This vicarious involvement will make it less likely for them to feel unloved and possibly stolen away by an aggressive competitor.
- Notify customers of your ongoing follow-up – Certainly your company has protocol in place for subsequent contact with customers. Whether this is quarterly quality assurance checks or some sort of seasonal or annual inspection; it’s a good idea to tell the new customer what you will do and when you will do it when they come on board. From the customer’s perspective, it’s much more comforting to hear you lay out your scheduled plan to them, than to hear you say, “Call us if you need anything.”
Next time we will finish by discussing the final five customer service suggestions.
“Thanks Doug. I really appreciate everything you do for us. I have noticed a marked improvement in my crew in the last year. We still have some work to do but we are heading in the right direction.” Have you ever looked at what Doug offers? Chris Crosby, Orkin Arizona
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