12 Importance of Developing a Follow-up Plan into your Marketing and Business Strategy.

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12 Importance of Developing a Follow-up Plan into your Marketing and Business Strategy.

Follow-Up Strategy Image

This Article contains 12 Strong Benefits to Integrate Follow-up into your Marketing and Business Strategy.

 

It is almost one month that I bought an LED TV from a store and it would have been the best idea to show that someone cares if I got a call or message or a mail asking me how I was able to fit the pieces of the components together, If I had one or two challenges and if I am enjoying the new TV? What purpose was my email address and phone number serving then?

Well, I guess their hands are full with customers and maybe someone did not see it as another marketing avenue to reach out to me if the next thing would be other appliances they have in store.

Sincerely, most businesses are like that, we lose money not relating well with customers or potential customers. We rarely follow-up because we believe after a sale of items, the deal is closed and everyone goes to sleep again, until the next meeting.

Businesses rarely incorporate a detailed plan and strategy on how to follow-up clients and potential customers. They leave it just open-ended to anyone within the organization that bears customer representative.

There are many benefits a business can derive from operating a follow-up strategy using the most effective, none-bugging ways. According to statistics by Social Media Princess, points to the fact that 80% of the sales are made from the 5th to 12th contacts while 25% of salespeople usually make a second contact and stop, meanwhile only 10% get to give the third contact. Well, this shows a gap that can be filled to help turn leads of customers, to move potential leads a step closer to the buying funnel or to borrow genuine ideas that can help serve customers better.

Follow_up_Strategy

Infographics by Joy Gendusa. (April 10, 2015). Dental Economics.

Infographics by Joy Gendusa. (April 10, 2015). Dental Economics.

I have highlighted 12 reasons why you need to integrate follow up into your marketing channel and business strategy. Here are some of the reasons I specified:

  1. People want to be valued:

    whenever you follow-up on people before and after sales to either answer some of the questions they can be had before the purchase (as they can be in different stages of the customer cycle) or knowing how well the purchase or services has satisfied their needs, they feel very valued. The purpose of having and keeping people’s contact is not just to sell, it is to make people valuable by interacting with them in a unique way your competitors will not. A bank can always call occasionally to ask their customers about recent services, their challenges, and troubles, what they love about the bank, in fact, to know the top reasons they chose them from others.

  2. People want to be remembered:

    Even in the busy world, people still need someone to remember them and talk to them. Businesses should build a relationship with potential customers and customers, and not be a distance away for them. Remembrance creates the relationship and when people feel good, they build trust easily. So try as much as possible to let your business remember people. Get someone within your organization to call, send a message or send an email. One of the good cultures of today’s banks in Nigeria is the art of sending messages on birthday. Well, they can borrow one good tip, a pre-recording sweet happy birthday song that is personalized will make it wonderful.

  3. Follow up means Customer Service and Customer Support:

    Yes, integrating a good follow up strategy will involve you designing a template that ensures you reach out to people more often, people have requested one information or the other from your business, or perhaps, people who have done businesses with you. In designing the templates, outline channels that are best suitable for your kind of audience, what is easier, appealing and comfortable for them will be the best medium to choose. Also, plan the timing, as you do not want to disturb them at odd times. So, one of the unique qualities of customer service is a good follow up which comes from a well thought out business strategy.

  4. Follow-up opens communication:

    Integrating follow-up into your business channel can be a good opportunity for people to communicate how they feel about your business and the staff. For a business to grow, you need to know what customers are saying and it is important you hear the good, the bad and ugly from them. Let people pour out their minds through excellent and convenient medium open to them by your business. If you own a restaurant or a grocery store, leaving a box for people to fill and submit a response form will be a good idea while you reward them with a customized pen of that is convenient for your business.

  5. Follow-up makes people feel excited and special:

    Aside people feeling valuable when you decide to hear them talk. The thought of listening to them can be thrilling to them. When next they think about a business in your line, the best thought comes from the ones that have listened to them because, in a way, you have made them feel so special. It is time to count the number of businesses that have reached out to you after purchase.

  6. Follow-up is an innovative advertising strategy:

    How else do you feel you can sit properly and consistently in people’s mind. Yes, you got it, by reminding them of their last visit, ways the product can help them get satisfied, what payment options are now available that they can choose from. For them, remembering the brand name alone is a sticker on their head. Consistency and not being rude and bugging about it can push your business into their hearts. So let your business preview follow-up as an advertising tool, in fact, whenever you follow up, do not be scared of requesting that they mention you to others. A follow-up thoroughly thought-out and strategize can be a cheap advertising medium.

  7. Follow-up is a great marketing campaign:

    Have you just introduced a new feature to your product or services or did you just discover other things your products can do? Follow-up will be a convincing and simple way to pass this information to people. Following up with people would be a good way to excite and educate the users of your products or services. Get people inspired by being the first to tell them what new thing just occurred.

  8. Follow-up can increase your market share:

    With great follow-up, you can win more customers to your side, thereby increasing sales at the end of the year. Business is tough and the best strategies to always use are the ones that keep winning you more businesses and keeping you relevant in the minds of people. This is simply what following-up every sales and request will do. If you want to increase your market share, improve your follow-up strategy at each point of your customer’s journey. Consistent follow-up will always put you at the lead of the game.

  9. Follow-up is an excellent Feedback channel:

    Like I said earlier, follow-up is communication but it is not a one-way communication. Even though you called, you intend to ask questions and receive genuine opinion and answers. This is why it is important to design a strategy for it and constantly train your customer service section on how to properly work out follow-up for your kind of business.

  10. Follow-up could be a good research tool:  talking about qualitative research now, I mean, gathering of opinions, interview, and surveys. Well, we can always include follow-up in this mix. From responses collated overtime, analysis can be done on information to extract useful data that can be used to develop the business units. The fact is that customers are sometimes open, free and good researchers for businesses. One thing to keep in mind, do not ignore their opinions and suggestion, file it, work on it.
  11. Follow-up is a way to introduce new business ideas:

    Looking for what else customer wants from your business? Well, follow up is a cheap means to get that from those who actually matter to your business, the customers. Your customers or prospective buyers have ideas on how they can be serviced; why not take the little pain to gain immensely from their input. You can correlate series of ideas from them to pick topmost point everyone has been consistently talking about. If people want a part of your product replaced with another feature, through follow-up and good feedback channel, you get to know. You can even scan for prices, delivery techniques, marketing tactics, branding, packaging ideas, better comfortable means to use the product from them.

  12. Follow up are the very little thing that counts sometimes:

    The very little things matters to most customers and paying attention to that can benefit your business as it is geared to grow. Pay attention to every detail they want, listen and do what is necessary that they want. Customers are very good referral agents when you take them seriously by placing more emphasis on those very little details they want.

I have highlighted the advantages businesses can benefit from follow-up and why it is essential to integrate it into business and marketing strategy. However, what are the tools businesses can use for follow-up.

  1. Emails: Even though it is a busy world and people do not have the time for the plenty of noise in the world; it is imperative for your business to interact via email if this suits your audience better than the other channels available for following-up. A concise and well-designed email that answers and solve people’s problem and elicits feedback would be a good tool. To use email, you need to know if a large percentage of your audience finds this convenient, proper and secure to use.
  2. Phone Call: A week after a request or purchase, a good practice is to do a follow-up to that request or sales with thank you if it is for sales or some prepared answers to drive the prospective customer to another level up the Buyers Journey.
  3. SMS message: You should know how people feel with just 160 characters. Do not wait until their birthday’s alone, try to pick up other aspects you can compose using 160 characters to relate meaningfully to the audience of your business. I have highlighted how best to use SMS marketing and WhatsApp for marketing and sales in one of my most read articles.
  4. Social messenger: Well, do not make it a bulk message. Personalize the message can be a way to ask and receive responses from your audience.

As you use any of the available tool, measure for effectiveness based on the attitude and responses to each medium and try to collate people who preferred some of the listed channels to others.

The summary of the message is that there are benefits businesses can derive from the simple follow-up actions that can greatly influence the success and growth of a business. You can use channels like email, SMS, phone call and social messengers to build strong communication with your prospect and customers.

By follow-up with people, you do not only show they are important and valuable to your business, you make them feel excited and special to relate with you, you tear up resistance to become top of mind for them; and with the fact pointed out by Marketing Donut,  that if you follow-up within 5 minutes of business contact, you are 9 times more likely to close the sales.

Also, it is important that you know from Gleanter research that 50% of leads that are qualified are not ready to buy and that 63% of the people who are requesting information from your business may not buy for at least 3 months and for some 20% of people who make request, it may take 12 months to buy (Marketing Donut). So consistent follow-up is vital and critical to marketing research, meeting needs, developing a feasible and better customer strategy than your competition, and more importantly, improving the bottom-line.

It is almost one month that I bought an LED TV from a store and it would have been the best idea to show that someone cares if I got a call or message or a mail asking me how I was able to fit the pieces of the components together, If I had one or two challenges and if I am enjoying the new TV? What purpose was my email address and phone number serving then?

Well, I guess their hands are full with customers and maybe someone did not see it as another marketing avenue to reach out to me if the next thing would be other appliances they have in store.

Sincerely, most businesses are like that, we lose money not relating well with customers or potential customers. We rarely follow-up because we believe after a sale of items, the deal is closed and everyone go to sleep again, until the next meeting.

Businesses rarely incorporate a detailed plan and strategy on how to follow-up clients and potential customers. They leave it just open ended to anyone within the organization that bears customer representative.

There are many benefits a business can derive from operating a follow-up strategy using the most effective, none-bugging ways. According to statistics by Social Media Princess, points to the fact that 80% of the sales are made from the 5th to 12th contacts while 25% of salespeople usually make a second contact and stop, meanwhile only 10% get to give the third contact. Well, this shows a gap that can be filled to help turn leads of customers, to move potential leads a step closer to the buying funnel or to borrow genuine ideas that can help serve customers better.

Infographics by Joy Gendusa. (April 10, 2015). Dental Economics.

I have highlighted 12 reasons why you need to integrate follow up into your marketing channel and business strategy. Here are some of the reasons I specified:

  1. People want to be valued: whenever you follow-up on people before and after sales to either answer some of the questions they can be had before the purchase (as they can be in different stages of the customer cycle) or knowing how well the purchase or services have satisfied their needs, they feel very valued. The purpose of having and keeping people’s contact is not just to sell, it is to make people valuable by interacting with them in a unique way your competitors will not. A bank can always call occasionally to ask their customers about recent services, their challenges, and troubles, what they love about the bank, in fact, to know the top reasons they chose them from others.
  2. People want to be remembered: Even in the busy world, people still need someone to remember them and talk to them. Businesses should build a relationship with potential customers and customers, and not be a distance away from them. Remembrance creates the relationship and when people feel good, they build trust easily. So try as much as possible to let your business remember people. Get someone within your organization to call, send a message or send an email. One of the good cultures of today’s banks in Nigeria is the art of sending messages on birthday. Well, they can borrow one good tip, a pre-recording sweet happy birthday song that is personalized will make it wonderful.
  3. Follow up means Customer Service and Customer Support: Yes, integrating a good follow up strategy will involve you designing a template that ensures you reach out to people more often, people have requested one information or the other from your business, or perhaps, people who have done businesses with you. In designing the templates, outline channels that are best suitable for your kind of audience, what is easier, appealing and comfortable for them will be the best medium to choose. Also, plan the timing, as you do not want to disturb them at odd times. So, one of the unique qualities of customer service is a good follow up which comes from a well thought out business strategy.
  4. Follow-up opens communication: Integrating follow-up into your business channel can be a good opportunity for people to communicate how they feel about your business and the staff. For a business to grow, you need to know what customers are saying and it is important you hear the good, the bad and ugly from them. Let people pour out their minds through excellent and convenient medium open to them by your business. If you own a restaurant or a grocery store, leaving a box for people to fill and submit a response form will be a good idea while you reward them with a customized pen of that is convenient for your business.
  5. Follow-up makes people feel excited and special: Aside people feeling valuable when you decide to hear them talk. The thought of listening to them can be thrilling to them. When next they think about a business in your line, the best thought comes from the ones that have listened to them because in a way, you have made them feel so special. It is time to count the number of businesses that have reached out to you after purchase.
  6. Follow-up is an innovative advertising strategy: How else do you feel you can sit properly and consistently in people’s mind. Yes, you got it, by reminding them of their last visit, ways the product can help them get satisfied, what payment options are now available that they can choose from. For them, remembering the brand name alone is a sticker on their head. Consistency and not being rude and bugging about it can push your business into their hearts. So let your business preview follow-up as an advertising tool, in fact, whenever you follow up, do not be scared of requesting that they mention you to others. A follow-up thoroughly thought-out and strategize can be a cheap advertising medium.
  7. Follow-up is a great marketing campaign: Have you just introduced a new feature to your product or services or did you just discover other things your products can do? Follow-up will be a convincing and simple way to pass this information to people. Following up with people would be a good way to excite and educate the users of your products or services. Get people inspired by being the first to tell them what new thing just occurred.
  8. Follow-up can increase your market share: With great follow-up, you can win more customers to your side, thereby increasing sales at the end of the year. Business is tough and the best strategies to always use are the ones that keep winning you more businesses and keeping you relevant in the minds of people. This is simply what following-up every sales and request will do. If you want to increase your market share, improve your follow-up strategy at each point of your customer’s journey. Consistent follow-up will always put you at the lead of the game.
  9. Follow-up is an excellent Feedback channel: Like I said earlier, follow-up is communication but it is not a one-way communication. Even though you called, you intend to ask questions and receive genuine opinion and answers. This is why it is important to design a strategy for it and constantly train your customer service section on how to properly work out follow-up for your kind of business.
  10. Follow-up could be a good research tool: talking about qualitative research now, I mean, gathering of opinions, interview, and surveys. Well, we can always include follow-up in this mix. From responses collated overtime, analysis can be done on information to extract useful data that can be used to develop the business units. The fact is that customers are sometimes open, free and good researchers for businesses. One thing to keep in mind, do not ignore their opinions and suggestion, file it, work on it.
  11. Follow-up is a way to introduce new business ideas: Looking for what else customer wants from your business? Well, follow up is a cheap means to get that from those who actually matters to your business, the customers. Your customers or prospective buyers have ideas to how they can be serviced; why not take the little pain to gain immensely from their input. You can correlate series of ideas from them to pick topmost point everyone has been consistently talking about. If people want a part of your product replaced with another feature, through follow-up and good feedback channel, you get to know. You can even scan for prices, delivery techniques, marketing tactics, branding, packaging ideas, better comfortable means to use the product from them.
  12. Follow up are the very little thing that counts sometimes: The very little things matters to most customers and paying attention to that can benefit your business as it is geared to grow. Pay attention to every detail they want, listen and do what is necessary that they want. Customers are very good referral agents when you take them seriously by placing more emphasis on those very little details they want.

I have highlighted the advantages businesses can benefit from follow-up and why it is essential to integrate it into business and marketing strategy. However, what are the tools businesses can use for follow-up.

  1. Emails: Even though it is a busy world and people do not have the time for the plenty of noise in the world; it is imperative for your business to interact via email if this suits your audience better than the other channels available for following-up. A concise and well-designed email that answers and solve people’s problem and elicits feedback would be a good tool. To use email, you need to know if a large percentage of your audience finds this convenient, proper and secure to use.
  2. Phone Call: A week after a request or purchase, a good practice is to do a follow-up to that request or sales with thank you if it is for sales or some prepared answers to drive the prospective to another level up the buyers Journey.
  3. SMS message: You should know how people feel with just 160 characters. Do not wait until there birthday’s alone, try to pick up other aspect you can compose using 160 characters to relate meaningfully with the audience of your business.
  4. Social messenger: Well, do not make it a bulk message. Personalize the message can be a way to ask and receive responses from your audience.

As you use any of the available tool, measure for effectiveness based on the attitude and responses to each medium and try to collate people who preferred some of the listed channel to others.

The summary of the message is that there are benefits businesses can derive from the simple follow-up actions that can greatly influence the success and growth of business. You can use channels like email, SMS, phone call and social messengers to build strong communication with your prospect and customers.

By follow-up with people, you do not only show they are important and valuable to your business, you make them feel excited and special to relate with you, you tear up resistance to become top of mind for them; and with the fact pointed out by Marketing Donut,  that if you follow-up within 5 minutes of business contact, you are 9 times more likely to close the sales.

Also, it is important that you know from Gleanter research that 50% of leads that are qualified are not ready to buy and that 63% of the people who are requesting information from your business may not buy for at least 3 months and for some 20% of people who make request, it may take 12 months to buy (Marketing Donut). So consistent follow-up is vital and critical to marketing research, meeting needs, developing a feasible and better customer strategy than your competition, and more importantly, improving the bottom-line.

Olufemi
Olufemi
Lawore Olufemi is the Founder of Dreamspire Media Agency, a digital marketing expert with over four years in the industry. He believes Digital Marketing will help Small and Medium Scale Companies who cannot cope with the huge expenses of traditional marketing.

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