The Importance of Following Up with Customers and Prospects
Even though many window film business owners run small companies or single-person operations, you still have to be able to compete in your local market. But how do you pull this off with limited resources? Your greatest opportunity for growing your business may already be right in front of you.
The importance of follow-up in business – any type of business – can’t be stated enough. Small business follow-up is even more critical. Reaching out to your customers and prospects is a simple task that can bring tremendous results.
Why follow up? Because new, stronger relationships and better sales are waiting. Keep reading to learn how to build relationships by following up, along with follow-up strategies that work for window film business owners.
Don’t Leave Past Customers in the Past
According to the Harvard Business Review, selling to a new customer costs as much as 25 times more than selling to an existing customer. A huge part of successful small business follow-up is capitalizing on the “honeymoon phase” after a job is complete and the customer is happy with the finished product (and therefore, your company).
Building relationships by following up with past customers is one of the best ways to boost your future sales and stay ahead of the competition. Use these follow-up strategies in the days and weeks after a completed transaction to cement your relationship even further.
Always Say “Thank You”
Whether you enclose a “thank you” card with their invoice or send a follow-up email (see below), your customer needs to know that you appreciate their business.
Be sure to include a name and contact information they can use for any future questions or issues. Ideally, this should be the person who handled their transaction, since they already know and (hopefully) trust them.
Follow Up by Phone or Email
This is your opportunity to go above and beyond and build long-term relationships that lead to referrals and future sales. You can accomplish a lot of things with a follow-up phone call or email, including:
- Confirm if the customer is satisfied with the services you provided. There are many free online survey tools you can use, such as SurveyMonkey. Are they happy with their purchase? Did their window film dry and cure properly? Ask the customer to share their experience and provide you with feedback.
- If they aren’t 100% satisfied, find out why. What could you have done differently? If there’s a problem, can it be fixed? Prompt follow-up can help smooth over any less-than-perfect transactions. Listen to the customer’s concerns and do your best to resolve them.
- Ask for referrals and/or reviews. Make it as easy as possible for happy customers to spread the word. If they know someone who could benefit from your services, ask for their name and contact information. You can also make this request part of your customer survey. Don’t forget to provide a link to your Google Reviews page if you have one!
- Upsell. If the customer bought window film for their vehicle, perhaps they’d be interested in window film for their home or place of business.
- Ask for permission to communicate with them in the future. Offer to send them timely information about new products, upcoming promotions, and more. Do you have a newsletter or blog? Send a link so they can sign up.
- Schedule a walk-through inspection. If you want to go a step further, schedule a walk-through inspection a few weeks after installation to check the finished product. (If you decide to make inspections a regular part of your installation process, be sure to mention this benefit when you’re selling!)
Sample Template for Follow-Up Email
If you use email for your follow-up efforts, it can be as simple as this:
Hello [Recipient’s name],
Thank you for trusting [Company name] to provide your new window film. Your ideas and feedback are essential to us. In fact, they keep us going!
If there’s anything we could do to improve our products or service, please reply to this email or answer our survey below.
Was your experience perfect? We’d love to know about that, too. (And please send any referrals our way!)
We look forward to serving you again soon.
Your email should be professional, friendly, and concise – remember, your customer’s time is valuable. You want to say just enough to get them re-engaged.
Create a Customer Database
Whether they respond to your follow-up strategies or not, you should create a database of all your customers (and prospects, too). Doing so creates a valuable contact list for your future sales efforts.
Turning Prospects into Customers
The importance of follow-up in your business is even greater when you’re dealing with prospects. Studies show that it takes an average of eight follow-up calls to reach a prospect – yet 48% of salespeople never follow up with prospects at all.
A successful conversation or exchange of information with a prospect could land you an appointment or, better yet, a new customer. If the prospect has already inquired about your services in the past, you’re even closer to the finish line.
Past Prospects That Didn’t Close
Why follow up with past prospects who said no? Approaching people who’ve shown any type of interest in your company is just smart business. Some prospects may need extra persuading before they decide to become customers.
A follow-up phone call or email before a special promotion or after a marketing campaign may do the trick. Try to find out why they didn’t purchase from you the first time, so you can redirect your sales approach. If you made mistakes, addressing them may convince the prospect to give you a second chance.
Prospects That Come By Referral
Prospects that come from past customers are ideal, as they are based on relationships rather than price. By turning a satisfied customer into an advocate for your company, you bring potential new business to your door.
Your chances of closing a deal with a prospect that comes by referral are extremely high, so be sure to follow up with them accordingly.
If you’re starting from scratch, these small business follow-up tips can help:
- Dedicate a small amount of time each day to following up with prospects. Try to approach at least 1-2 per day.
- Gather as much information as you can rather than asking yes or no questions.
- Update your database after every follow-up to better understand the prospect’s needs and provide them with tailored solutions.
- If a prospect contacts you, get back to them right away so they know you’re available for them. (The same rule applies to any type of customer.)
Madico U Teaches the Importance of Follow-Up in Business and More
Madico U, short for Madico University, is your online 24/7 source for Madico product information, how-to videos, marketing advice, and other resources for window film business owners. Check out everything Madico U has to offer today!
Madico is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of window film, providing specialty solutions for the automotive, architectural, healthcare, aerospace, and transportation industries. Interested in becoming a Madico dealer? Visit www.madico.com to get started.