14 Tips For Mastering The Follow-Up

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Growing a business is all about attracting new customers, but repeat customers are also an important component that tends to be forgotten. Engaging a customer and successfully leading them through a transaction is not enough of a guarantee that the customer will return again in the future. That’s why it’s key for businesses to develop a follow-up strategy that will retain customers for the long term.

The first step to building lasting customer relationships starts by taking a good look at your processes and the value your business is currently providing for customers. To help leaders drive more repeat business, 14 members of Forbes Business Council share their best advice on how entrepreneurs can establish a solid strategy to master the follow-up and “growth hack” of their business.

1. Focus On Being There For Customers

Attracting new customers has a large spend associated with it. Once you get the customer, retaining them is more important than the acquisition. Being there for your customers’ needs is so important. I’ve found that it works to stay engaged after your initial interaction by being there for them as a resource; providing ongoing education and support for their future needs is critical. – Kal Patel, Crestpoint Companies

2. Be A Relevant Resource

For our clients, we are advisors to them because we share information. On a weekly basis, our team is educating ourselves, reading about new things in the market, and sharing these findings with our customers. We act as an extension of their team and show that we care about them and, in turn, they come to us when they need help or advice. – Jaime Taets, Keystone Group International

3. Build Personal Relationships

I’ve heard that attracting is important for a business, but retention of clients is growing your business. It’s important to always stay top of mind by remembering important information like birthday or anniversary dates and their children. Building a personal relationship while doing the best-class work will help you keep a lifelong client and friend. – James Huang, eXp World Holdings

4. Deliver Value Throughout A Client’s Life Cycle

Portfolio management is the hidden gem to sustainable growth. Focus on continually delivering value throughout the client’s life cycle. Nurture programs help cultivate relationships with existing clients and lead to new referrals—the ultimate evidence of happy clients. The acquisition cost of a new client is at least two times more than keeping a current one, so proactively develop and defend your beloved clients. – Tej Brahmbhatt, Watchtower Capital

5. Schedule In Time To Do More For Clients

Have regularly scheduled time for “above and beyond” tasks that you do for the client, and let them know you’re doing it. I’ve found that when clients notice that we’re doing extra for them, they’re much more likely to continue using our services. – Jo Stephens, Law Firm Sites, Inc

6. Show Gratitude Through Personalized Calls

It’s all about gratitude. Automated follow-ups are a dime a dozen today. Go the extra mile and take the time to thank every single one of your customers personally. Maybe you can’t do it all yourself, but your team can—or maybe you can—manage to do five a day; that’s all it takes. A personal, sincere call from the founder of a business to say “thank you” means more than anything else. – Keith GregoryHighland Laboratories

7. Lean Into Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

Based on the reality of numerous data, the best marketing is word-of-mouth as it often leads to a shorter sales cycle and higher conversion rate. What I would recommend entrepreneurs think about is how they can increase the number of times customers do business with them by either upselling or cross-selling and how they can make it easy for their customers to refer to their business. – Pjay Shrestha, Pjay Shrestha

8. Leverage Social Media Platforms

Social media is your growth hack. Find the platforms that give the highest visibility for the least amount of money and triple down on it. In the commercial real estate industry, involvement in platforms like TikTok is frowned upon. This has been my edge. Taking my commercial real estate brokerage to TikTok has completely changed my business for the better. The best part is that it’s free. – Aviva Sonenreich, Warehouse Hotline

9. Offer Discount Incentives

We successfully get repeat as well as new customers with email campaigns and social media strategies. We offer incentives like coupons, buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offers, and discounts for repeat customers. Also, we invite customers to join our newsletter and send coupons to their inboxes. This has been highly effective for our business. – Tammy Sons, Tn Nursery

10. Ask For Feedback

I think incentives are underrated. Do something positive for your customers in exchange for feedback. In the food business I used to have, we had people fill out quick questionnaires with yes or no questions and a short space for them to provide ideas or feedback. Gaining insight from the people who already love what you’re doing is priceless. Ideas are born everywhere, so all you need to do is ask and listen. – Hoda Mahmoodzadegan, Molly’s Milk Truck

11. Do Good Work First

The best growth hack I have experienced is doing good work first and asking good probing follow-up questions next. Repeat customers do not want to feel as if every conversation with you is a sales pitch. If you are thoughtful and strategic in what you are asking your previous customers, the organic business will grow from you being inquisitive. – Oscar Frazier, nDemand Consulting Services

12. Create Membership Programs

Business comes down to two things: getting customers and keeping customers. When possible, turn customers into members. Members spend more and stick around longer. Look for ways to integrate membership into your customer journey. Ideally, if your business can be turned into a membership organization, you’re already ahead of the game. This is the reason Amazon created Prime and Walmart created Sam’s Club. You can create this too. – Sherman Ragland, Tradewinds International Holdings, LTD

13. Provide Customers With Periodic Updates

So many businesses recreate the wheel each month by limiting prospecting to new customers and completely missing out on talking to their happy past customers. At a minimum, some type of periodic newsletter via email with promotions, education, and updates should be sent to past customers. – Tyler Martin, ThinkTyler Business Coaching & Consulting

14. Establish Separate Internal Teams

I would always advise having two teams within the sales department that take care of current customers and prospects. This way, there is a good understanding of who needs to do what internally and there is continuity in how customers are handled. One team, the customer success team, will have their way of communicating, operating as project managers, and the other team, the business development team, can learn from those customer success managers (CSMs) and have their own track to focus on. – Bram WeertsKea | Analyst Relations

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The CS Café Newsletter
A quick CS best practice every Sunday at 3 pm CET.

Join 750+ smart people 
who are leveling up their skills every week!

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