Little Things Part 8: Follow-up

Following up is something that anyone that knows about customer service goes on and on about, constantly. If anything, following up can make the difference between customer service that’s great and customer service that’s just acceptable (see this post for an explanation).

Some tips to be a great follow up’er:

  • Do what you say. The golden rule is to do what you say. If you say you’re going to follow-up, do so! And do so promptly (or at least in the time you say you will).
  • Offer to follow-up. A customer should never “Could you follow-up with me on that in a week?” – you should always offer (in advance) to follow-up. Say “If you’d like, I can get back to you in a week or so about this.” and if they accept, great. If not, no big deal.
  • Have a system. Have a system so you always do what you say with your follow-ups. A calendar (electronic or non) works very well. Most CRM and support systems have some sort of calendar/reminder/follow-up system built into them, so be sure to use it.
  • Be courteous. When you do follow-up, be very courteous. Never make it sound like you’re doing the customer a favor and always be positive. Call or email them and be happy and they should be happy too. Part of being courteous is also following-up at the time they want (not so much a problem with emails, but certainly with phone calls.)
  • Follow-up when you’re done. If you don’t already, you should send personal follow-ups for a majority of your tickets/cases/etc. You can get away with not sending personal follow-ups for standard things, but anything that gets semi-complicated deserves a follow-up. You should always follow-up after: any elevated tickets, complaints (even if they’re resolved), upgrades/downgrades (to make sure they’re okay), sales inquires, suggestions, etc. We’ll talk much more about when to follow-up (in detail) in an upcoming post.A personal follow-up is when you send an email (or give a call) with something like “Is the issue with your account’s email resolved?” not just “Is your issue resolved?”
  • Give ways to act. All follow-ups should contain or mention ways to get a hold of the company again (related phone number, emails, etc.), any related ticket/reference IDs, the name of the representativeT, and if it was a complaint or anything of that nature, apologies (again).

This post was going to be awfully long, so I decided to make it a series, isntead. There will be lots more on following-up, when to follow-up, who should follow-up, and more in our next series starting Monday. Following up extremely important and something every company involved with customer service should master. There will be a dedicated introduction (quite short) this weekend.