In order for businesses to succeed, it is essential that there is a bond of trust built between the business and its customers. One of the ways through which a relation of trust with your customers can develop is through following up constantly. Businesses need to know what the clients want and the best way to do so is to ask them. In case of customer complaints, if a business does not follow up with the customer, he/she might feel replaceable or assume that they are not valued by the company.
Following up allows you to have an open discussion with your customer about the service you are providing and how it can be made better. It also shows your customers that you run a responsible business whose priority is to make the customers happy.
Make a point to follow up immediately
With the advancements in technology, customers have naturally become more demanding. For a customer to wait for a response to a query for 12 to 24 hours will be frustrating. Customers expect timely responses to their queries and complaints and they hate to be disappointed. It is best to devise a systematic method, which is efficient and beneficial for the customers.
Your customer needs to be able to trust you and through following up in a timely manner and offering simple solutions, you can make customers for life.
Customers love social media and these days if businesses do not respond immediately to customers, they often find themselves at the center of a lot of media frenzy. Being time efficient is not an option, it is a necessity.
Use Communication Medium Preferred by Customers
In this era, if you are relying on email follow ups solely, you are in trouble. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre in 2014 established that 74% online adults use social networking sites. If customers are spending most of their time on social networking sites, it is a better idea to follow up with them on these networks.
When following up with customers, do some research on their preferred medium of communication. If they sent you a complaint via Facebook for example, respond through the same medium. Ask them if you can call them to discuss the matter further. Socialbakers conducted a study through which they found out that Tesco was on the top of the list when it came to customer care on Twitter. Not only has the brand managed to get a lot of followers, its response rate is 65.88% which is very progressive.
Similarly many customers who land on the website of a business prefer to use live chat as a mode of communication. They are more comfortable with sharing information and seeking help through live chat. According to an ATG Global Consumer Trend study, 90% of customers find live chat to be helpful.
Treat following up as an art
Teach your employees to be polite, to listen to the customer and to be result oriented. Your employees need to be equipped with the best tools and the best training possible. Make sure that before you follow up you have the basic details of the customer at hand and you are ready to deal with any kind of issue. It is frustrating for a customer to repeatedly relay the problem he/she is facing without reaching any conclusion. Call transference should be strictly limited and should only be allowed if the CSR is unable to handle the situation.
It is always better to reach out yourself once a complaint has been registered by the customer. If the customer has to call back constantly without any results, he will simply discontinue the service/product. It is also wise to follow up on a resolved complaint, just to check if the customer is satisfied. A study conducted by Oracle suggests that 81% of the customers are willing to pay more money for better customer experience.
Amazon was recently praised by a customer for their speedy response and the fact that he did not have to spell out his name for them. These are the little things which allow the customers to appreciate the company.
When calling up a customer to follow up on an issue, ask them if it is a convenient time for them or if they want to reschedule. It is always better to let the customer decide when he/she will be able to follow up on a certain situation, respect your customers and allow them to feel empowered through this small gesture.