A conversation I had recently with a fellow writer left me wondering about the ones that got away. She was sharing her frustration about one-time customers who disappeared into the horizon, despite her very best efforts to serve them.
Closing the back door to her copywriting business had become a major issue. Her marketing is great, she’s bringing in new clients, but they don’t stick around to become regulars. She admitted it was causing her to doubt her talents as a content provider.
I began to wonder if common customer service mistakes were the reasons too many of her clients were getting away. With that thought in mind, I asked her about the way she treats new business. Sure enough, her answers revealed two ways her own habits were failing to capture repeat business.
Keys to Improving Customer Service
The first way my friend failed to capture the ones that got away was by disconnecting from them once the first project was completed. Ironically, her frustration with customers who disappeared was probably caused by her own disappearing act after the first transaction.
How to cure that problem, if you suspect your clients are disappearing due to neglect? It’s simple: stay in touch. With the huge collection of follow-up tools available, there’s really no reason why we can’t connect on a regular basis with folks who’ve done business with us. One of the easiest ways is by email.
Capturing email information really is easy, whether you’re selling through a website or a store on Main Street. Not long ago, my favorite Payless Shoe store asked me for my email address! Backed me up for just a second, but when the cashier explained I’d receive notice of sales ahead of time, I gladly gave the info.
Constant Contact, MailChimp and other tools for collecting email addresses for customer follow-up pretty much automate all you need to do. They’ll help you create newsletters, if that’s how you decide to stay in touch, and take care of all the messy no-spam details to keep you out of trouble. And while we’re on that topic, being given a customer’s email address is a privilege. Don’t abuse it by constantly barraging them with emails. Plan your strategy, automate it with your email tools and keep in touch without being a stalker.
One more thing I discovered in talking to my friend was that by failing to suggest additional services, she was allowing money to walk out the door. When they ordered ten articles, she delivered them promptly, but failed to mention that she also created web content and ghost writes blogs for other customers.
Especially for small businesses who may not update their content often, it’s important to tell them on your first contact the other services you can provide. One client she did hear from a year later told her if he’d known she wrote blog posts, he’d have asked her to do that all along. We can’t assume they read our websites; we have to tell them how we can help.
So if you’re watching your customers fade away with no return business, take inventory on how you follow up and what services you’ve failed to offer. By doing those two things, your customers could become frequent flyers instead of watching them disappear into the horizon.