Probably the most valuable letters I say in an email at my first job… F/U.
Yup–follow-up. And that’s what we did. That was my job for the first three years post college. It was to follow-up. But it’s more than that, it’s actually two letters that define customer service.
But think about it–it’s the most undervalued part of customer service, the most forgotten and yet, the most valuable. No client, customer, patient, wants to be forgotten. It makes you feel like you spent money on a service or good, and no one cared how it went. For example, you order a dinner at a fancy restaurant. I don’t know about you, but I want my server to follow-up on how my food was, to see if I need anything, etc. I will actually spend MORE money, if I have an attentive server. The same goes for using a wedding planner, photographer, graphic designer… I want to know that the business I’m using is paying attention.
I find that when a business doesn’t follow up with me, I get annoyed…downright cranky. I feel like they took my money but don’t value me or my time. That’s what made my first boss so good at his job. It’s not natural talents, abilities, or superhuman powers that he possessed, but just being really good at customer service and doing it over… and over…and over again. That’s what makes such a great entrepreneur, a business owner. Because, at the end of the day, if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. And if you can’t perform 110% in serving customers, then you will not thrive in business.
So follow-up, touch base, and be on the offense with customers not the defense. You should be in front of them and anticipating their needs before they have them. Think of yourself as the server in the restaurant, expecting the next need, the next round of drinks, the coffee and dessert. Those are the best servers who get the best tips because they provide the best service, and that exemplifies good business.