What We Do

FAQs

Be sure to browse the list below for insightful questions (and answers) regarding CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. and our services. If you have a question not covered here, ask us

Frequently asked questions about "follow up":

Q: What is “follow up” anyway?

Q: We already do our own follow up calls to our customers. Isn't that enough?

Q: We have a mail-back feedback system in place. What benefit does CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. offer us by calling our customers?

Q: Does it really pay to ask my customers what they think of my products and service?

Q: Aren't there other ways to measure levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty?

Q: Aren't you just an impersonal call center?

Q: What is the return-on-investment that my company will realize from the services of CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc.?

Q: What goods will we receive from CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc.?

Q: How can we use the information that you obtain on our behalf?

Q: What marketing value can your service bring to my business?

Q: Why should we contact customers who have stopped doing business with us?

Q: Aren't "satisfied" customers the same as "loyal" customers?

Q: Won't customers get offended that we aren't the ones calling them?

Q: Who decides which questions we should ask our customers?

Q: What should we do with the information that you give us?

Q: If we work with CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc., should we continue with our in-house efforts?

Q: What should we consider before using your services?

Q: What is the objective of CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc.?

Q: How often should we contact our customers?

What is "follow up," anyway?

"Follow up" is a business strategy (really, it's a mindset) that fosters open communication between a business and the customers they serve. This system encourages and enables customers to voice their opinions honestly concerning the goods and services they receive from the business. A successful follow up strategy can consistently monitor customer satisfaction and loyalty levels.

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We already do our own follow up calls to our customers. Isn't that enough?

Most companies can "follow up" with their customers. However, most find it challenging to do it consistently. Most companies also find that the information they receive may not be as objective as they would like. In addition, the information obtained by in-house staff may get "watered-down" by the time it reaches the top levels of management.

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We have a mail-back feedback system in place. What benefit does CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. offer us by calling our customers?

Generally, customers who complete a mail-back survey are either very angry or very happy. Typically, these customers are only a small percentage of a customer base. The majority of customers will not express their opinions fully (if at all!) using a mail-back system, and if they are unhappy, they will simply take their business to the competition. In addition, information obtained from a mail-back survey does not tell the complete story of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

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Does it really pay to ask my customers what they think of my products and service?

YES, YES, and YES. Not knowing will cost you.

  • Customers are the best source of business information.*
  • In many cases, the differentiating factor from one business to the next is the level of customer service given. Cost advantages are no longer relevant.*
  • It costs 5-8 times more to get a new customer than it does to hold on to an existing customer.**
  • A "very satisfied" customer is 6 times more likely to be loyal and to repurchase and/or recommend than a customer who is "just satisfied."**
  • 5% increase in customer retention = 25% to 85% profitability**
  • General Electric found that word-of-mouth influenced customers twice as much as advertising did.***
  • Businesses with perceived high customer service can sustain higher prices than their competition.****

DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:*
96% Won't tell you why they are not satisfied
90% Won't return to give repeat business
100% Will tell at least 9 people they are not satisfied
13% Will tell 20 or more people

SATISFIED CUSTOMERS:*
70% Will return
100% Will tell at least 5 others how well they were treated

* Edward Lowe Foundation
** White House Bureau of Consumer Affairs
*** TARP, Management Consulting Agency
**** The Profit Impact of Market Strategy Report (PIMS)

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Aren't there other ways to measure levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty?

Yes, there are other ways but they are not as current or as reliable as talking to your customers on a regular basis. Other methods include monitoring sales volume, the frequency of complaints and accounts receivables. While these methods provide some sound business information and can indicate a problem, none of these methods will tell you in a timely manner what customers are unhappy about and which areas of your business may need more attention.

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Aren't you just an impersonal call center?

No. We are very "hands-on" in our management style and we supervise each project closely to ensure a personal and professional approach is taken to each call made. Also, there is no background noise during calls, so customers get our full attention and our research assistants are not distracted.

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What is the return-on-investment that my company will realize from the services of CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc.?

Your return-on-investment from our services will include:

  • Operating your business or organization more efficiently
  • Marketing more effectively
  • Training your sales team to be more productive
  • Serving your customers more proactively
  • Increasing your customer retention and repeat sales

Here are a few return-on-investment comments from some of our clients:

"The data CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. provided has made us a much better customer service company. That has obvious practical value — greater customer satisfaction leads to more referrals."

— Bob Poole, CEO/President, S&A Homes

"The services of CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. translated directly into economic value for our company. They helped us solve several problems — some of which we were not even aware. The information that CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. presented made immediate sense to us. The data enabled us to make changes to improve the quality of our service.

— Dean Bunnell, former CEO/President, Maxtech, Inc.

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What goods will we receive from CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc.?

CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. compiles all of the information into very detailed reports. (For samples, please visit the "SAMPLE REPORT" area of our site.) Often the reports are delivered in person and presented to management and staff. During the calling phase of the project, CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. staff keeps clients updated on the progress of the project. In addition, we notify clients by phone and/or email about any customers who request contact from our client. We also contact clients about situations in which we feel the clients would be best served if they contacted the customer directly. Also, CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. staff is available to offer advice on implementing the changes which the data suggests, as well as to strategize with clients regarding how to capitalize on the marketing potential of the information.

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How can we use the information that you obtain on our behalf?

Clients use the objective information we provide to help ensure that their business is running as efficiently as possible. The information we can provide you will help you keep a close eye on the way you do business. Inefficient polices and procedures are identified, and you can spot problems while there is still time to resolve the issues.

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What marketing value can your service bring to my business?

Because we ask a lot of open-ended questions, you will receive many anecdotal, "off-the-cuff" quotes that can make for great ad copy. Also, the quantitative information we obtain can be used in marketing as well. For example: Perhaps we determine in calling your customers that 98% of them said that that they would strongly recommend your company. Since our information is objective, you can use it in your advertisements. That type of data is very compelling in marketing pieces. In addition, your sales team can use this information to add credibility to your company and the services that you provide.

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Why should we contact customers who have stopped doing business with us?

Often these customers are a gold mine of information regarding what needs to change in your business. CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. can obtain this valuable information because with us, the former customer is talking about your business, not to your business.

Also, sometimes the issues that caused these customers to stop doing business with you can be addressed and rectified, possibly saving a valuable account. Seldom will a customer tell YOU why they stopped doing business with you; they simply take their business to your competitor.

Many companies do not have a reliable system in place to indicate why customers stop doing business with them. The faster you can make contact with a "former customer," the better for you. The information is fresh in the customers' minds and it may not be too late to save the account(s).

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Aren't "satisfied" customers the same as "loyal" customers?

No. If a company had to go "above and beyond" with a customer to remedy a particular problem, the customer may be satisfied that the problem was fixed but may feel the problem should not have occurred in the first place. This customer may not use the company again. This customer is satisfied but not loyal. Loyal customers continue to use a company's services. Repeat customers are both satisfied and loyal. In addition, loyal customers will bring new customers to a business.

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Won't customers get offended that we aren't the ones calling them?

No. Most customers appreciate this "extra step" our clients take in asking for their opinions. Before we call a customer we have our client send a "survey announcement" to the customers that we will be calling. This letter thanks the customers for their business, stresses the importance of their feedback and informs them that CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. will be calling them on the client's behalf.

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Who decides which questions we should ask our customers?

The staff of CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. works closely with clients to identify exactly what they would like to learn from their customers. Once these objectives are met, CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc. generates the questions. The clients always have complete control, including approval of the final draft of questions.

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What should we do with the information that you give us?

Study it and implement the changes your customers are saying need to be made. Congratulate any employee who is mentioned by customers as someone who is doing a great job.

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If we work with CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc., should we continue with our in-house efforts?

YES. No matter what service you offer, there should be some contact with your customer once your service is initiated, installed, completed, etc. This contact will sift out immediate and technical issues that, if not addressed, could lead to much larger problems.

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What should we consider before using your services?

First and foremost: Are you (or is your company) ready to hear and act upon the objective customer information we will obtain for you? It is very important to avoid the situation of asking customers for their feedback and then giving the appearance of not doing anything with that information. This will be counter-productive because your customers will think that your commitment to customer service is merely lip-service.

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What is the objective of CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, Inc.?

We believe that customers are the best source of information that a business can draw on. Our goal is to help a business grow by tapping into the power of objective customer feedback. Obtaining this kind of information and implementing the changes the information suggests helps ensure continued growth.

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How often should we contact our customers?

There is no set formula for determining frequency of contact. However, too much contact can be counter-productive. It is very appropriate to call a customer relatively soon after you provided your service(s) to them. Their experiences with you are still fresh in their minds. Also, if there are issues the sooner you know about them the better for all concerned. In addition, it may be very useful to call customers several months after you provided services to them. This will help you assess if your customer/technical support initiatives are working the way you think they should be. These types of "check-up" calls can go a long way in making a customer feel that you are really sincere in providing strong customer service.

Have your questions been answered? If not, ask us

"CUSTOMER FOLLOW UP, INC. provided a good product, good process, valuable results."

— Art Hoffman
Gannett Fleming