What an extraordinary few weeks it has been. Helping my clients succeed by listening as they hit a wall and can’t find the way around it is truly gratifying work. Sometime the answers are right in front of them. Like last week working with a residential business owner whose closing rate on recurring business was dismal. We talked at length about the quality of work that her service provided and how well her people were trained. Her problem: customers weren’t having her company back after the 1st visit. I could clearly see that I hit a cord when I asked about her plan for quality assurance and what she had in place to execute that plan.
That was the ahaaaa moment for her. Her office manager was involved in this part of the meeting. She was the person responsible for scheduling and follow up.
Here’s the question I asked of both: how often do you proactively contact your customers after a clean to assure that expections were met and exceeded? Do you do a follow up email? Communication form? Phone call? In person visit? Or NONE of the above?
Here’s the answer I got: “We never call them because that only opens the door for them to be picky about little things we missed! We have a 24 hour policy during which they can call us if they have a problem.” Problem is they never call….they just go away!
68% of customers stop doing business with a company because they feel the company does not care about them! REPEAT: 68% stop because they feel the business does not care about them.
Follow up with customers is not only a missing link in poor service, it is the only think that matters. Depending on your demographic market, you customer will want communication via email, in person visit, phone call, printed survey to be returned. Oh and by the way, if you use a printed piece that the customer fills out, self address it and stamp it and ask that it be mailed back to you as soon as convenient for the customer. If you wait for a week or two until you know about an issue, you are allowing the customer to “stew” about it every minute you don’t get it resolved.
Many regulars don’t want to be bothered every visit and some not at all. For these customers you will take a softer approach to their quality assurance by visiting near the end of the cleaning time or contacting them only occasionally.
Bottom line is the importance of follow up cannot be dismissed. If you wait to be called with a problem, you’re play defense to get it corrected. If you make the call, you are on the offense with service and customer care. Offense always scores more points than playing defense the whole game.