How would you react if you got a call from the panel beater a week after having you car repaired just to make sure that everything was OK? You got a call from the pool shop after you purchased chemicals to balance the pH in your pool, just to check that the levels recommend turned out fine. You got a questionnaire in the mail from a restaurant you dined at asking for your comments and suggestions and offering you a special deal.
Some business owners think its asking for trouble. It is really the opposite – it’s looking for rapport, loyalty, satisfaction and repeat business. If follow up turns up a lot of dissatisfaction you need to make some changes. The truth of the matter is that there is dissatisfaction whether you discover it or not.
How would you react if you got a thank you note a few days after buying a new suit from a clothing store, you got a birthday card from your insurance agent, you got a free dinner gift certificate as a thank you from a hotel chain, you got a personalised luggage tag in the mail as a gift from your travel agent?
Recognition and appreciation can be very powerful and very inexpensive as a marketing strategy. It is true that comprehensive follow up and follow through may reveal some inadequacies in your business operation and that’s good if you use those discoveries as impetus for improvement.
Of course every business, no matter how well managed, will have to deal with dissatisfied even angry customer from time to time. Sometimes the customer is justified in their complaints, other times they are not, but the handling of the dissatisfied customer can have a far reaching impact on your business.
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