Follow Up is Crucial
by Jeff Davidson
If you are able to answer the following questions affirmatively, then your ability to serve and favorably influence the customer after the sale is sound. If you answer “no,” to any question, consider it an area for improvement:
[Y] or [N] Is what happens to customers or clients after they buy from you as important to you as their purchase? This question isn’t designed to test your altruism. It is simply good business. If the customer has a favorable experience after buying your product or service, then you may have a favorable experience thereafter. If he has a slightly less than favorable experience, this is likely to impact your sales over the long run. When you are not aware of a customers unfavorable experience you are losing valuable information.
[Y] or [N] Are all of your resources expended on selling your product or service, with nothing left thereafter? Effective after sales organizations allocate as much as 20 percent of the overall budget to maintain communications with the customer, and ensure that the customer feels good about the purchase and is getting his/her money’s worth.
[Y] or [N] Do you personally maintain active interest in customers? You can’t respond to additional needs unless you are getting feedback. Second hand feedback is okay, but periodically you need to get first-hand feedback through direct interaction with responsive customers.
[Y] or [N] Have you computed the cost of capturing a new customer versus the cost of retaining an existing one? Often, companies that throw hundreds if not thousands of dollars into generating new business, don’t know the answer to question posed above.
[Y] or [N] As a consumer yourself, are you cognizant and appreciative of other sales peoples post-sale courtesies? For example, my auto repair service routinely sends a post card when it is time for my quarterly maintenance check. It’s a small gesture, but every 90 days without my having to think about it, I know it’s time to bring my car in for preventative maintenance. Although my car has traveled 85,000 miles it still looks and drives as if brand new.