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How to Follow Up with Customers

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network

Following up after you've made a sale will enable you to capture repeat business, the cornerstone of most successful small businesses. You can follow up by phone, in-person, or through the mail. Here are some specific methods you can try:

Call Customers a Few Weeks After a Sale

If you run an autobody shop call all customers two weeks after they pick up their car to find out how the car is and make sure they are happy with the job your business performed. This will enable you to address customer discontent, if any exists. This is also a good time to thank them for their patronage.

Write a Note

A handwritten note thanking a customer for buying from you is a simple step that lots of business owners overlook. This type of personal approach is almost always appreciated and remembered. Form letter follow-ups are not recommended, since they lose their personal touch.

Keep in Touch

Call your customers periodically to find out if their business has changed in any way, and if you can help them with anything. Customers will also appreciate being kept apprised of any new developments, upgrades, or additional products.

Seek Customer Input

A survey such as the one below can be printed on the back of a business reply card and sent out to all of your customers. It is excerpted from Superstar Sales Secrets by Barry J. Farber (Career Press). Farber recommends using this survey to determine where you need to improve your follow-up and customer service:

Dear Valued Customer,

To assist us in determining how we may better serve you, please complete and return this survey.

Your name ___________________________________________
Company name ________________________________________
Phone ____________________________ Date _____________

Please respond to the following by checking the appropriate response.

Courtesy and Helpfulness of receptionist      
__ Excellent  __ Good  __ Fair  __ Poor

Response to inquiries      
__ Excellent  __ Good  __ Fair  __ Poor

Courtesy, attitude & appearance of staff      
__ Excellent  __ Good  __ Fair  __ Poor

Our company's communication with customer      
__ Excellent  __ Good  __ Fair  __ Poor

Service of company's sales rep(s)      
__ Excellent  __ Good  __ Fair  __ Poor

Overall evaluation      
__ Excellent  __ Good  __ Fair  __ Poor

Did sales rep respond to service call right away?
__ Yes    __ No

Would you recommend our product to others?
__ Yes    __ No

Please call me to discuss my account.
__ Yes    __ No


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