I’ve been involved in many aspects of businesses for years, and I still see the same problem pop up. Can you guess what that problem is? Yep, follow-up! So many individuals and businesses don’t follow-up with customers, prospective employees, friends or fellow business owners. I’ve read books from the 90’s in which the writers pressed the importance of following up with people. I’ve heard seminars in the past week on which individuals emphasized how important it was to follow-up or reply to people. Mind you, I’m not perfect, and I’m not suggesting you must be perfect either. Let’s be clear on why we should follow-up in the first place.
-potential customers: if you’re a business you want to keep in touch with those who have expressed interest in your business.
-current customers: if you’ve got them, you probably want to keep them. Don’t lose them by not getting back in touch with them about a request.
-references: even if they don’t seem to need your business or service presently, everyone has at least 10 other people in their life who they could tell about your service.
-word of mouth: you won’t get the good reference, or you’ll get a bad one if it’s know that your customer service stinks. You won’t be able to find new customers if it’s spread that you’re not interested in your [potential] customers.
-feedback: by following up with your customers you can get suggestions about what to change, keep, add or get rid of in your business.
-credibility: if you’re known as a responsible, trustworthy, consistent business owner (or friend) people are more inclined to ask you for advice and suggestions of other individuals to work with, and you can become an affiliate or have an in-kind agreement with other business owners.
To sum up: following up well with customers, employees and people in general will get you great references, more business, and a great reputation. Not following up well can ruin you. I think it’s pretty clear that following up is important.
What one thing will you do today to have a better follow-up system in place?