3 Methods of Follow Up

Let’s think about follow up for a minute. It’s a much talked about subject and one that we all wish we had answers for. The way I see things, you’ve got three ways to follow up with your customers. The first and most obvious is by telephone. After that, many shops prefer to use email follow up and often do so in an automated fashion. The last, and likely most effective are hand written thank you notes. So when do you use each method?

Use the telephone for those occasions when you really, really want to make sure things are going well. Maybe it was an unforeseen challenge during the repair, or a difficult customer satisfaction scenario, but using the phone and hearing a human voice, even in a voicemail, sends the message of care. Make sure you are careful to phrase your initial conversation starter as a “thank you for your business” rather than “just wanting to make sure everything is all right”. It will make a big difference in how the conversation goes! Also, use the telephone with those customers who you know wish to be contacted via telephone. Do not use a third party service for this type of follow up!

Use email follow up for general service reminders and acknowledgment that the customer was in for service recently. Keep in mind that many email reminders and follow up communications get deleted without being opened. That’s not to say it isn’t effective, just that your expectations for what email follow up can truly accomplish should be kept in check. Email is especially effective if you know the customer likes to communicate via email, and the email comes from your own business email. (As in Greg@xyzautomotive.com….rather than info@xyzauto.com even XYZ Automotive).

Hand written follow up cards get the best, and most positive response from customers. Of course, these take the most time out of the day as well. Send hand written cards as a follow up to email communication, for a special ‘thank you’, or when you feel the extra effort will reward the shop. Customers are forming relationships with you every day. As someone once told me “There are three people in my life I need to trust: my doctor, my hair dresser, and my mechanic.” A hand written card helps to cement that relationship.

Whatever method of follow up you choose, the important thing is to thank the customer for their business! Without the customer, you don’t have any business!

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