Loyal Customer Relationships – Do You Derail It Before You Even Start?

Customer loyalty is developed in many ways, yet they all fall back to one fundamental act – follow up after the initial contact.

Customer service is connecting the person with the product.  It’s about making sure that clients know that we value their business, even if they have not yet had a business transaction with us.

Often I will have a conversation with a friend, a colleague, or a client and the name of a new prospective client comes up.  Then, occasionally, the person with whom I am speaking will say “Oh man, I forgot to follow up with them.  I should get right on that!”  Unfortunately, if the need was immediate in the potential customer’s mind, the damage has already been done.  They are already doing business with the competition.

Because they didn’t act with a sense of urgency on behalf of the potential client, they moved on to one of your competitors who did.  I can’t state that I’ve not done the very same thing myself.  I was once approached for a potential speaking engagement on Customer Service and I failed to understand that the client had already decided she was going to hire me to speak at her association and had the specific topic in mind.  Because I had planned to follow up with her within two weeks of meeting her and give her enough time to settle on her desired topic, I gave her the impression that her engagement was not important to me and she booked another speaker.

Two things happened here that you should learn from – while you may pride yourself on being very perceptive to people’s needs and requests (as I usually do), you may sometimes miss the mark and lose that sale.  You also should learn that it is very important to make a connection, however brief, with the potential client to let them know that you are glad to have met them and would like to serve as a solution provider for whatever their need is.

Customer Contact Follow Up

The initial follow up contact can take many forms depending on the situation involved – a phone call or email will establish the initial contact information and to let them know how you may fill their needs.  Mention the part of the initial meeting that made you think that you may be able to serve them.  Let them know how they’d benefit from your services and what it is about the way that you do business that is unique from the rest of your competitors.

Take a quick look right now in your stack of business cards that you have recently connected with.  If you think that you could be a resource to them in any way, make sure to follow up with them before your competitor does.  Whether it is by a personal phone call or an email, by all means – MAKE THAT INITIAL FOLLOW UP CONTACT TO YOUR POTENTIAL CLIENT. Let them determine the sense of urgency and set the pace for the rest of the process.  At least you have let them know that you value their potential business and will act expediently. Loyal customers will remember your diligence with service throughout the entire customer experience.

Please share your thoughts and opinions here...