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Follow Up to Gain More Customers in your Area

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By Eric Twiggs, ATI Performance Coach

How do they do it? I asked this question several years ago as a new member of my local Toastmasters International club. The meetings were held every Tuesday, and the room was always packed with aspiring speakers.

At the district conventions, the leaders of the other clubs complained about member count being down in the area. When one club leader spoke about their low member count, the others would console her by saying, “It’s not just you; everybody is slow.” (Sound familiar?)

So, how was my club able to grow while everyone else was slow? I got the answer at our next meeting. Clara, the club president, asked all the new members who joined within the last 30 days to stand, introduce themselves and tell everyone why they chose our club.

Four people stood up, introduced themselves, and each stated the following reason: “I called several clubs that were listed on the Toastmasters website, but Clara was the only one who called me back.”

Clara is living proof of this well-known fact: “The fortune is in the follow-up.” How many customers are currently with your competitor because you failed to get back with them?

Since most businesses are bad at follow-up, being great in this area can give you an unfair advantage. In his book Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi points out that great follow-up alone would put you ahead of 95% of your competition.

Do you want to make a fortune while gaining an unfair advantage in your area? Keep reading to discover what to do.


Focus on the Fundamental

ATI Fundamental #19 states that “Appearance Counts.” The fundamental reason that appearance counts is because it creates the first impression. Following up (or failing to do so) also creates a first impression. When Clara promptly called me back, I got the impression that the club was proactive to the needs of its members.

The club appeared to be on top of its game. Do you appear on top of yours?

This is an important question to answer because YOU create a similar first impression by promptly following up. The failure to get back with your patrons speaks volumes!

Consider this: according to a recent study, 68 percent of all business is lost because of a failure to follow up. By failing to follow up, you send the message that you aren’t concerned about your customer’s car, and creating the perception that your customer isn’t the priority is a recipe for lost business.

Follow-Up Tools

If you only have a hammer, every situation looks like a nail. Since the situations will vary, the key to gaining an unfair advantage is to use a variety of tools.

Below are three of my favorites:

The “Three-Day Thank You” Call

This will give you an unfair advantage in your market because nobody does it! When was the last time you received a thank you call from a retail business after you made a purchase? 

Customer Service Follow-up Calls

Using this to scheCall your customers within seven to ten days of their last visit to ensure they're completely satisfied with the service they received. This not only builds value but helps keep you in tune with your customers' needs and reveals areas of improvement.

The “How Have You Been?” Call

This is not to be confused with the “Where have you been?” call. “Where have you been?” sounds judgmental, while “How have you been?” sounds like you care. Keep in mind that the typical response rate for this type of call is 15 percent, so it will take twenty calls to get three inactive customers to return (20 x 0.15 = 3).



So, there you have it. As I mentioned earlier, appearance counts. By excelling at follow-up, you will appear to be proactive in the eyes of your customers, which will give you an unfair advantage in your area. Click here to learn more from ATI's Customer Follow-Up Guide.

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