The power of following up to make customers happy

Lee Kenny
Lee Kenny

We live in an era of “Instant gratification” and simplification. Reverse parking sensors, iPhones, year-round sales and, of course, we can instantly Google it.

One of the hidden consequences as business owners and marketers is our tendency to look at the immediate return on investment, or ROI. We may be missing a trick…

It’s easy to forget that customers are not always ready to buy, just because we are ready to sell.

If you use e-mail marketing you may look at metrics such as website visitors, orders generated and open rates. Usually after 48 hours, it’s off we go on to the next thing. Hustle, hustle right?

What about the 60 per cent of people who didn’t open the email? Or the 95 per cent of followers who didn’t see that tweet?

It’s a very British attitude to think that we don’t want to bother anyone. If someone hasn’t responded to an email or Facebook post, we assume that they aren’t interested. That is very rarely the case. Usually they didn’t actually see the message, or just didn’t feel compelled to act when they did.

So here is where follow up is crucial. We have all had the situation where someone calls us a second time after we’ve completely forgotten to call them back. Whilst it can be awkward, we appreciate them calling. After all, we meant to call them back, we just got busy.

The same is true with your marketing. As long as you have the customer in mind, you won’t risk annoying them.

Here’s this week’s tips to ensure you reach more customers and make them happy you did.

l Add value: Everything you send must, first and foremost, offer some value to the reader. Whether that is a discount or just a great tip, it’s an essential part of success.

l Be consistent, but don’t spam: Send regular communications and resend emails that you know were a big hit with those that opened them. It’s ok to sell things, just be careful not to appear like spam. Sending emails with no benefit for the reader just because you had a schedule to meet isn’t a great strategy.

l Segment your audience: Unless you have a single product, it’s unlikely that your entire audience will like exactly the same things. Aim to split your email databases into groups. Once you get a clear picture of what a particular customer really likes, you can start to offer them a more tailored update. Just be careful not to generalise. When I was the head of online at JJB Sports, I noticed that any lady who bought from us was automatically sent anything female related. However on closer inspection, more than 50 per cent of these customers were buying only for their children or husbands. A small change in what we emailed them made a big difference to sales.

So be sure to add in time to follow up with customers each and every week.

Next week I’ll show you how to reduce your online advertising costs and increase conversions.

Lee Kenny,

managing director of Snowflake Media