5 Customer Follow Up Strategies to Boost Your Customer Relations
⏱ Reading Time: 14 minutes
In an age where consumers are saturated with marketing content and targeted ads, brands have to work harder to build rapport with their customer base. Buyers want to feel that they matter to a company — that they’re more than just another number in the bottom line.
To build trust in your brand and boost your customer relations, you need to dive into building trust and rapport with your consumer base at every opportunity.
While good customer relations begin at the very first moment a prospective customer interacts with your brand, there’s one element later in the customer journey that often goes overlooked: the customer follow up.
Following up with customers shows that you care about the customer and their experience. It gives your business an opportunity to engage with customers on an individual level and build rapport that leaves customers satisfied.
Not sure how to approach the art of the customer follow up? Let’s take a closer look at why customer relations are so important, how customer follow ups help your business, and five follow up strategies you can try today.
Picture 1. Customer relations
Why Customer Relations Are So Important
Customer relations are at the heart of every business. While this seems obvious — with no customers, there’s no business — it’s worth taking a closer look at exactly what stellar customer relations can do for your profits.
Here are the four main benefits.
You’ll Keep the Customers You Have
Customer retention is critical to growing and scaling a business, and customer relations plays a huge part. 44% of people say they stopped doing business with a brand because of poor customer service, so being proactive by following up with customers goes a long way toward customer retention.
You’ll Have Happy Customers
For many consumers, interacting with brands via customer service agents or salespeople can feel like a tasking chore. So when you reach out first and demonstrate how much you care about your customer’s experiences, you’ll make them truly happy.
You’ll Build Brand Loyalty
Happy customers are loyal customers. When you build strong customer relationships, you aren’t just creating repeat customers. You’re creating loyal customers. Loyal customers not only purchase from you again and again, they’re excited to purchase from you again and again.
You’ll Get More Customers
66% of customers say that customer service is very important when choosing a brand. When you’re known for having excellent relationships with customers, word spreads. You’ll be known as a brand that cares about its customers, and that’s the best publicity you could ask for.
Excellent customer relations and a strong customer follow up strategy isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, and a dedicated staff to do it right. But the benefits speak for themselves: good customer relations are good for business.
How Customer Follow Ups Build Rapport
Let’s take a closer look at exactly how customer follow up plays a role in improving customer relationships.
Here are three ways following up with customers contributes to the benefits of good customer relations we discussed above:
- You can solve problems early. Many customers will wait until they have a major issue before reaching out to customer service. By sending a follow up, you can resolve minor issues before they become critical ones.
- You can get honest feedback. Customers love to know their opinions are valued. A personalized customer follow up helps you get useful information that can be used to improve your products and services moving forward.
You’ll stay top of mind. Customer follow ups make repeat purchases more likely. Since you took the time to send a personalized follow up, you improve your standing in the customer’s eyes. That means more sales and more revenue for you.
3 Things to Remember When Following Up with Customers
Following up with customers isn’t a flashy customer relations tactic, but it’s one of the most powerful approaches out there.
Follow ups are the epitome of personalized attention for your customers and create opportunities to provide recommendations, offer valuable content, and even ask customers to leave reviews for your business — all tactics that boost your customer relations even further.
The right follow up approach will depend largely on your industry and business model. A series of well-timed (and personalized) emails might be sufficient, while other industries will require a more hands-on approach.
For instance, an e-commerce company can probably make do with an automated email sequence. But when it comes to more high-stakes service-based business like life insurance, health-related companies, or finance industry staples like credit repair companies, the follow-up needs to be a bit more intensive, and it often takes place before a purchase is actually made.
Customer Follow up Tips
Regardless of the approach you take, remember that good customer follow ups should be engaging and spark conversation.
Use these tips and strategies to conduct a strong customer follow up, every time:
- Set an appropriate follow up cadence. Don’t hound your customers with several emails or calls a day as you try to get in touch. Allow for at least 24 hours between contact attempts. Otherwise, you risk annoying and overwhelming your customers because you come across as pushy.
- Be clear about why you’re following up. Most customers will assume you’re trying to sell to them. And you likely are! But be honest about your intentions — you’ll be surprised at how far it gets you.
- Provide additional value. Even if you’re following up just to get the sale, offer another reason for customers to open your email or answer your call. Offer a discount, additional
information, or your personal recommendation about their purchase.
Picture 2. Do you follow up with your customers?
5 Customer Follow Up Strategies To Try Out
Now for the good stuff: customer follow up strategies that will give you all the benefits we’ve just talked about.
Following up with customers takes time and effort. Some of these strategies could take weeks or months to scale and produce results.
But you’ve seen the benefits. Customer follow ups are well worth your time and effort. Test these strategies to find out which one gives your customer relations the biggest boost.
1. Offer Value-Adding Content
Gone are the days when customers look at product listings and nothing more when making a buying decision. More than 80% of consumers will conduct online research about a product before making a purchase, and that number jumps to 94% among millennials.
When customers are still in the sales funnel, before they’ve made a purchase, you can follow up and encourage their decision by offering content related to your products or services. This customer-focused content boosts customer relations by providing real value to visitors. It’s not just a long-winded advertisement — although the goal is to build enough trust that your readers become customers.
Consider this library of recipes, videos, and other Keto diet resources from Ketoned. For a customer who is still on the fence as to whether they should subscribe to the meal delivery service, this content demonstrates the company’s expertise and can help guide customers toward a purchase.
Picture 3. Ketoned example
Alternatively, customer service agents could follow up with new subscribers to the delivery service and offer these guides and recipes to support customers along their Keto journey.
Either way, these approaches show customers that you know what you’re talking about. It also helps them feel like you are a partner in their research. You don’t want them to buy just any old product — you want them to have the best product, and well, you happen to be it.
Offer eBooks, Whitepapers, etc.
There are plenty of other ways to offer valuable content through follow ups too. One efficient way to do so is to offer a free eBook or white paper when customers subscribe to your email list, newsletter, or make a purchase, like LFA Capsule Fillers does.
Picture 4. LFA Capsule Fillers example
This is an easy way to provide value to your customers with an immediate and effective follow up.
Customers want to feel like you’re looking out for them. They want to know you’re invested in them before they make a purchase — and long after. Crafting useful, informational content and following up with customers to ensure they have access to it is a huge first step toward this goal.
2. Ask For Reviews or Feedback
Customers love to do research before making a purchase, and they overwhelmingly trust reviews from other customers over the word of the company. That means it’s in your best interests to actively curate reviews.
Asking customers to leave reviews after they’ve made a purchase is one of the best ways to make use of your customer follow ups. The personal request makes customers feel as though their opinions are valuable to the company, which increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.
And when you display those reviews for future customers to see, you’re bringing in more sales. In this review example from Runners Athletics, customers can not only leave a star rating and text review, but can also include a picture of the actual product.
Since they sell sunglasses, prospective buyers can see exactly what their chosen item will look like on someone who looks like them.
Picture 5. Runners Athletics example
Featuring reviews so prominently on your site can encourage more customers to leave them — people love being featured by brands. Consider featuring top reviews into your newsletters, marketing emails, and on your social media.
And of course, whenever you feature a customer in your marketing campaigns, be sure to follow up with them and let them know where they can see their review.
Ask for Feedback Via Email
For some businesses, you may not need or want a full-fledged customer review, but you can still follow up with customers to ask about their experience. That’s what online tutor provider Preply does.
Preply sends a brief email to customers after they’ve completed their private tutoring session. Customers can provide feedback and flag any issues so the company can address them promptly.
This approach also provides an easy opportunity to encourage or incentivize customers to leave a review for their specific tutor or for the Preply platform itself. Sending an email after each tutoring session makes it clear that Preply cares about their customers’ feedback, and encourages strong and long-lasting relationships with their client base.
3. Send a Deal or Coupon
This is one of the simplest customer follow up strategies: send a special deal or coupon to your customers.
This is what companies like Orizaba do. In their case, you get an immediate follow up with a coupon when you subscribe to email notifications, but this strategy can work in a number of ways.
Picture 6. Orizaba example
Consider sending a coupon to customers who have been on the fence about making a purchase. Or, follow up with past buyers and offer them a deal on a second purchase to encourage repeat sales.
This tactic is particularly effective because it helps customers feel like you’re following up to help them out and get them a good deal. They won’t feel like you’re just hounding them relentlessly to get the full-priced sale.
4. Always Personalize
This is possibly the most important customer follow up strategy: personalize, personalize, personalize.
You might think a mass email that starts with “Dear Valued Customer” will do the trick, but we’ll tell you right now: it will get deleted immediately.
At the very least, every follow up to a customer should address the customer by name. This can still be done efficiently with email marketing software, so it’s a step that’s expected by most consumers today.
But there’s a lot more you can do to make your follow ups more personal. Here are a few options:
- Have agents refer to customers by name (and introduce themselves too)
- Suggest products related to a customer’s previous purchase
- Send coupons or deals on birthdays or holiday
- Assign a dedicated service agent to each customer, when possible (such as for SaaS companies)
Customers want to feel like they’re talking to a person, not a business machine. And they want you to recognize them as people too. These efforts help form a human connection that is the foundation of your customer relationships.
The Next Level of Personalization
If you want to take follow up personalization even further, consider assigning your customer service agents based on segments of your target audience.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by geographic location. With this approach, customers from that area can connect with someone well-versed in the issues and nuances of their location.
This kind of personalization can also tie into the first strategy we covered — following up to offer value-adding content. Geography-based content can build trust among customers in certain industries by demonstrating expertise in a very specific problem area.
Florida law firm Florin & Roebig does this with a series of location-based content addressing car accident concerns.
Picture 7. Florin & Roebig example
This is a great example of how combining your customer follow up strategies can create a powerful experience for your customers that makes them happy and loyal to you.
5. Ask For Referrals
If you’ve done a good job at cultivating your customer relationships, chances are you have some happy, loyal customers on your hands. Leverage that satisfaction by asking those customers to refer their friends and family to your brand.
One of the best ways to do this is to offer an incentive. If you’re an ecommerce business, you could offer a certain percent off their next purchase for every new customer they recruit. If you’re a subscription-based business, you can offer a free month for every new subscriber your customers recruit.
This strategy can be adapted to almost any business model, and it benefits your existing customers, your future ones, and your business — a real win-win-win.
Other Strategies for Proactive Customer Relations
Clearly, following up with customers is a rich area to mine for boosting your customer relations. But there are a few other strategies we can’t help but mention. These proactive approaches to customer relations can take your business even further.
Create a chatbot. If you get a high volume of support queries asking the same thing repeatedly, consider developing a chatbot that can answer standard questions immediately. For example, this chatbot from A Gift Personalized can check order status, help apply a coupon code, and even provide recommendations for personalized gifts.
Picture 8. Chatbot example
That kind of quick and easy service makes customers happy and loyal — all while saving your team time.
Keep your knowledge base up-to-date. For those customers that dread having to contact support, the best way to keep them happy is to keep your FAQs, support center, or knowledge base up-to-date. Keep an eye on common questions from customers and ensure they are accurately answered on your site.
Get your brand featured. Look for ways to get your company featured on specialized sites for your niche or industry. This could range from holiday gift guides to “best of” roundups to ratings and reviews for software, subscription services, or even schools. Getting featured like this not only establishes credibility for your company, but it’s also a great opportunity to follow up with existing and prospective customers by sending them the site on which you’re featured.
Serve Your Customers Better Starting Now
Sometimes it seems harder than ever to cut through the noise and build strong relationships with your clients. But by focusing on following up with customers to add value to their experience and cater to their exact needs, you can boost your customer relations and watch your bottom line grow.
Following up with customers makes them feel valued and heard. And when those follow ups are highly personalized, it builds a trust and rapport that will be hard to break. It’s a long-lasting customer relationship that will only help your business grow more.
Bethany is a former HR Officer who later found her specialty in digital marketing. With a keen interest in content optimization and market behavior, she’s become a walking database for industry news.
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