Are you following up with your clients after you complete their organizing projects? If not, then you are missing a massive source of potential revenue. Some experts say it costs business owners over five times more to sell to a new client than an existing client. So, nurture the relationships you have already made by creating a consistent client follow-up process.
Why Do I Need a Client Follow-Up Process?
Let’s assume that during your client appointment your organizational skills solved the client’s problem and you’re both happy. This “honeymoon” period is critical because your clients need to know that they are valued and appreciated for their business, even after completing the transaction.
Sending an email to follow-up with your clients may seem like a small gesture, but goes a long way in building trust and loyalty. People do business with those they feel connected to. A follow-up is an opportunity to show clients that you are interested in more than just the sale. You want to make sure that your clients are satisfied, that they feel comfortable doing business with you in the future, and that they would recommend you to others.
When Should I Follow-Up?
Generally speaking, it’s best to connect with the client shortly after your appointment – within 24 hours. The quicker you connect, the more likely the client will have a favorable opinion of you and your company. If you have multiple appointments scheduled, reach out after each session and thank them for their hard work, let them know that all feedback is welcome, and remind them of their next appointment. Once the project is complete, ask for feedback on the project and a testimonial.
How Do I Start?
The best way to follow-up with clients is by email. Email is easy to send, and you can create a library of email templates to ensure you include all necessary information. With email, you have a “paper trail” as a reference which can then be used to improve your communications. And services. Here are a few things to include in your client follow-up email.
- Thank them for their business.
- Provide answers to anticipated questions.
- Ask for feedback so you can improve your services.
- Inform them of best practices for maintenance, discounts, and recommended products.
- Invite them to sign up for your newsletter and connect with you on social media.
- Ask them to provide an online review or testimonial.
- Ask them for referrals.
Your follow-up should be timely, purposeful, professional, and personalized. Email templates are great because they save you time and ensure you consistently include all relevant information. Choose irresistible email subject lines that people can’t overlook. The phrase “Just following up…” means they will likely ignore the email. Choose something more personal like, “[Client name] I’d love to hear your thoughts” or “[Client name] What are you thinking?” and then ask what they were thinking immediately after you finished organizing their estate sale, home office, or closets.
Tips for Follow-Ups
- Have a friend or colleague review your templates to check for style, spelling, grammar and consistency. Or better yet, use an online app like Pro Writing Aid or Grammarly. Both have free and paid versions.
- If you are using email templates, take the time to personalize them with each client’s name and a signature line.
- Be consistent and send messaging that is on-brand.
- If you send your invoice by email, send your follow-up email separately as you are more likely to get a response to your follow-up points.
Creating a Client Follow-Up Process
The client follow-up process does not end after sending the follow-up email. If they have provided an online review, you’ll want to respond to it. Acknowledge them if they have signed up for your newsletter or joined you on social media. Finally, you will need to incorporate their feedback to improve your services.
This is a lot of information to manage. Some organizers use their electronic address books to record all of the details; others use a spreadsheet. Several customer relationship management (CRM) software platforms are available to help you automate and track your client interactions*. But, before you download the app or subscribe to a cloud-based service, you should have an idea of what tasks you need to accomplish and what information you want to record, track, and take action on. Take a look at the checklist below for ideas.
Continue the Conversation
Engagement keeps people connected to your brand. Reaching out to clients long after the final appointment will keep you and your company at the forefront of their minds. But don’t just send them advertising; send them useful information. Your clients might appreciate articles related to their hobbies, interests, or their business. If your client loves shoes, forward them a discount code when shoe organizers are on sale.
You might reach out to congratulate them on a business accomplishment via LinkedIn or send them a reminder of the anniversary of doing business with your company. Just make sure you honor the code of ethics and do not reveal any client-organizer relationship information when doing so. Many clients do not publicize the fact that they work with professional organizers or virtual assistants.
There is no single customer engagement method that works for every organizer and every client. It’s a bit of trial and error. Most experienced professional organizers agree that sincere, open communication is best.
*Organizing colleague Amy Payne of Lasting Order has a great free checklist to help you choose the right customer relationship management (CRM) system for your needs.