Loyalty Leader Quick Tips

Stay in Touch Without Smothering Your Customers

April 26, 2012

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As I was getting a manicure the other day, the receptionist interrupted my nail technician, Angie, and said, “That woman from your Toyota dealer is on the line again. Do you want to take the call?” Angie sighed and instructed her to tell the caller that she was unable to take this type of call while at work. She told me that the last time she spoke with this representative she told her that she was very happy with the car and there was no need to call again. She had also asked her not to call at work anymore.“What was that about?” I asked.“That,” she replied, “is about too much customer service.”Angie went on to explain that she had purchased a new car in January and was satisfied with the buying process. Then the calls started. One week after she picked up her car, a woman from the customer service desk called to see if she was happy with her new car. A week later, she received a second call. They were just checking in to see how everything was going with the vehicle and to make sure that there were no problems. Since January, Angie had received multiple phone calls from the customer service representative, who basically asked the same questions every time she called. Her customer contact diligence has shifted Angie from being a happy customer to someone who is simply annoyed by too many calls.There is such a thing as too much customer contact. It’s beneficial to follow-up with customers to let them know you love them. But when those calls or letters become a nuisance, it will begin to unravel even the best customer relationships. You can stay close to your customers without smothering them.5 ways to respect your customers’ boundaries

  • Pay attention to timing. When you call a customer, listen carefully to what they’re saying between their words. For example, your customer may say, “Thanks for calling.” But if their tone is telling you that they are extremely busy or even annoyed by your call, the timing may be off. You need to respect their schedule and keep the call very brief. 
  • Avoid cookie-cutter letters. Nothing will convince your customer that you truly care if you send a form letter that reads “Dear Valued Customer.” That type of message will only reinforce their feelings that they are simply regarded as a number rather than a human being with feelings.
  • Don’t send mixed signals. Follow-up thank you calls or notes should not contain hidden sales agendas. The “thank you” needs to be sincere and the more personalized the better. 
  • Offer value. When you do follow up with a customer, offer value in the form of information, helpful tips, discount coupons or gifts. Forwarding an article that contains information that can benefit your customer’s business or personal life will send a message that you paid attention to what’s important to them. Customers also enjoy receiving lumpy packages with a small “thank you” gift such as a pen or key chain enclosed.
  • Honor your customers’ privacy. If a customer asks you not to call again, honor their request, even if it goes against your company’s policy to make three follow-up calls per customer.

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