How To Keep Your Customers From Using The Competition

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 9th, 2010 6 Comments

Yesterday I wrote about how important first impressions were to customer relations.

Now, I’d like to turn our attention to what you can do to foster customer retention.

Later in the game the customer relations process evolves into follow-up and follow-through.

How would you react if…

… you got a call from your car dealer service manager a week after having some repairs done just to make sure everything is okay?

…you got a call from your doctor the evening after treatment just to check up on you.

…you got a questionnaire in the mail from a restaurant you dined at soliciting your comments and suggestions.

Some business people tell me that’s looking for trouble. I disagree. I think it’s looking for rapport, loyalty, satisfaction and repeat business.

If follow-up turns up a lot of dissatisfaction you need to make some changes. The dissatisfaction is there whether you discover it or not.

How would you react if you got a thank you note a few days after buying a new suit from a clothing store, you got a birthday card from your insurance agent, you got a free dinner gift certificate as a thank you from a hotel chain, you got a personalized luggage tag in the mail as a gift from your travel agent?

Recognition and appreciation can be very powerful and very inexpensive as a marketing strategy. It is true that comprehensive follow-up and follow-through may reveal some inadequacies in your business operation and that’s good if you use those discoveries as impetus for improvement.

Of course every business, no matter how well managed, will have to deal with dissatisfied even angry customers from time to time. Sometimes the customer is justified in his complaints, other times he is not, but the handling of the dissatisfied customer can have far reaching impact on a business.

Later this week, I’ll write about techniques that you should consider when dealing with the dissatisfied customer. Be on the lookout for it!

What follow up strategies do you use in your small business marketing?

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

    6 Responses

    1. Charles Ra says:

      How would you react if…

      … you got a call from your car dealer service manager a week after having some repairs done just to make sure everything is okay?

      …you got a call from your doctor the evening after treatment just to check up on you.

      …you got a questionnaire in the mail from a restaurant you dined at soliciting your comments and suggestions.

      Recognition and appreciation can be very powerful and very inexpensive as a marketing strategy. It is true that comprehensive follow-up and follow-through may reveal some inadequacies in your business operation and that’s good if you use those discoveries as impetus for improvement.

      great awakening into feedback
      and follow up and follow through Dan
      thank you

    2. Thanks for the post. More businesses should take notice of how they treat customers, including after service. For example, I used to be a big SubWay fan. Then one day, I got some really bad service – and the after service was even worse. I did not complain, I simply never went back – and that was over a year ago.

      Customer Service Managers should really let their subordinates know that what they do reflects on the entire company and one bad act can move a customer away from an entire franchise and go to the competition. Now I eat at another restaurant – and they even mailed me a customer satisfaction survey.

      Now that’s what I call “thinking about your customers first”. Once again, thanks for the post.

    3. Rob Anspach says:

      Thank you cards are nice… But a personal hand written note is better. Followed by a phone call and a survey is the clincher.

    4. Charles Ra says:

      yes, Rob
      have done hand written note, and it works great. it touches their heart.
      will be planning about phone call and survey. thanks.

    5. Our vet ALWAYS calls a day or two after we’ve taken our doggie in because of some kind of concern, just to follow-up and ask how he’s doing, how he’s reacting to the medicine, etc.

      Always makes us think “Wow. He really cares.”

      And overcomes my “buyer’s remorse” that every time we bring in our doggie the result is another $100 or $200 bill.

      If an extremely busy doctor makes the time for that personal phone call follow-up, every entrepreneur, business owner and sales professional should do the same.

      Especially during this economy, when new clients can be tough to come by.

    6. Rob Anspach says:

      my wife and I went shopping for a new vehicle – and I was surprised at the transformation of the car delaership we went to – they had a greeter who asked if she could get us anything to drink, handed us each a chocolate bar and one of those stress balls to keep… then a salesman took us into a comfortable office and asked us lots of questions – by the time we were ready to go look at vehicle he knew precisely what would be perfect fit for our family.

      although we didn’t buy that day… the car dealership sent flowers to our house thanking us for our time, included with the flowers were some coupons for a free car wash and free oil change.

      what are the chances we will buy from them… very good!

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