Timing is an essential part of serving customers effectively and expanding your business.
While you may not be able to take the randomness completely out of the process, there are techniques you can use to impose more control on the timing of your business transactions. By using a customer tracking system, you’ll be able to know when existing customers and new leads will need what you have to offer.
Customer tracking for existing customers
Your existing customers have already dealt with you and know what to expect from your products and services. When you want to know when these customers will need you again, simply ask them.
- As part of post-sale customer satisfaction surveys or interviews, ask when they might again have a need for your products and services. What are their future plans, and what are their time frames for those plans?
- As part of ongoing marketing efforts, send direct mail and email messages that remind customers of your company’s offerings. Ask them to respond to the message with updated contact information and, specifically, with a time frame for when they may require a repeat purchase. A discount, coupon or other incentive will increase the likelihood that they’ll respond with the information you want.
Tracking for leads and potential customers
Effective tracking of leads can mean the difference between acquiring a new customer or losing a sale. A good lead tracking system lets you know which leads require immediate attention and which can be slotted for future contact.
- Urgent leads: Ask your existing customers for referrals to family members or friends who may need your company’s offerings. Follow up on these leads immediately. If a current customer indicates an urgent need for your products or services, also follow up with them immediately.
- Future leads: Existing customers may indicate a need at a future point. Leads and potential customers who have filled out requests for information or interacted with you on your blog or website may also have an upcoming need. Carefully note the time frame they indicate and follow up promptly when that time arrives.
Are you tracking your customers and leads effectively enough to know when they’re likely to need your products or services again?
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