The Most Important Item on a Top 5 List – #6 – Follow Up

valuable-infoPhil Gerbyshak over at Make It Great! has a terrific post on customer service today. One of the key items on his list – item 6, Follow Up – is in my opinion one of the most important. And as I noted in the comments, is the one most often overlooked. I also think it’s fitting that its number six on a “top 5″ list ;) .

The exclamation point of any contact is a call back after the sale or service is done, and find out if your customer got what they needed or if the item is working the way they expected it to, or if perhaps there is more that needs to be done. This ensures customers are delighted, and if they’re not, it gives you a chance to make it up to them, right then and there. You do want delighted customers, don’t you?

As a home-based business owner, it’s important to spend as much time keeping current clients as it is getting new ones. A simple follow-up phone call, or better yet, a hand written note, is an incredibly effective way to show your customers how important they really are. They become repeat customers and evangelists for your business. I’m guessing if you are doing what you love, from home no less, that you are pretty enthusiastic about your company. Carry that enthusiasm through after the sale to genuinely show that you value your customers. If you’re providing a great service, and something of value, it’s also a good way to hear some nice words. But even in the (hopefully) rare situation where you have an unhappy customer, it’s a way to make things right. It’s often said that a happy customer will tell a friend and an unhappy one will tell 10 (or more these days).

A perfect example is a home-based hypnotherapist I recently worked with. If she does her job well, she won’t have any repeat business (unless they have multiple issues they want to work on). In a sense, she provides a service to lose customers. Her value is making sure her customers won’t have to come back. But what she gains is an army of evangelists, promoting her great service.

So think of ways you can follow-up, and provide some additional value. Treat your customers as your most valuable asset – because that’s exactly what they are.