The 10 Elements of Great Customer Follow-up

by Ken Mueller on July 15, 2013 · 4 comments

The 10 Elements of Great Customer Follow-up

Last week my youngest son, Eric, took me to a Phillies game as his Father’s Day gift to me. We had an amazing time, and more importantly, the Phils beat the first-place Braves. Everything about the day and the game was perfect.

The following morning I got up, and was greeted by an email from the Phillies. It was the type of email that I’d probably just delete without even opening, but since I had been to the game the day before, the subject line drew me in:

Game Recap and Thank You from the Phillies

So I decided to click and was glad I did. The email was incredibly well crafted and very inviting. Last week Stacey Hood wrote a guest post here about ways you can get customers to return to your website. This particular email was a perfect example of that. And the Phillies understand, as Mack Collier has pointed out, that fans have gravity; that there is power in catering to your hardcore fans.

Taking this email from the Phillies, and I’ve attached an image of the entire thing, I think it illustrates well the 10 elements that are factors in great customer follow-up:

phillies email

1. Personalize it

As you can see, the email is addressed to my son, Eric, who purchased the tickets for us. Something as simple as addressing someone by name can make a big difference in how they respond to you, and whether you can bring them back.

2. Thank them

Right up top the Phillies thanked us for our ticket purchase. They didn’t launch right into some sort of sales pitch; they just simply thanked us for purchasing tickets and attending the game. And they knew we were there because we printed our tickets out online and then they were scanned when we got there. If something had prevented us from going, they would have known we weren’t there. I have no idea if they would have sent this, or another email, but they had the information they needed, either way.

3. Help them relive the experience

This might not work for every business transaction, but a baseball game is truly a participatory experience. You’ll notice that not only do they provide links to recaps and the box score of the game, but also video highlights so that we could relive the experience. And since it was a win for the Phils, we are more likely to click on those highlights. When you watch the game in person, you don’t have the opportunity to watch the action from close-up or from different angles. This is something we could click on to further enjoy the experience of the previous day.

4. Ask for feedback

This wasn’t a case of thanking us for our money and then sending us on our way. They wanted to know how we felt about the experience, and provided a link to a short survey. The questions related to how well we could navigate the ballpark and concessions, and about our interactions with the staff at Citizens Bank Park. It was short, but included great questions that covered a variety of important topics. Of course, like any other feedback, what matters most is how they respond to our answers, particularly if they are negative. Thankfully, our experience was incredible, and they got nothing but positive responses from me.

5. Invite them back

At the end of the survey, as well as in the original email, we were given opportunities to purchase tickets for future games. They wanted us to come back, and used this customer follow-up opportunity to do so. And they gave us several options.

6. Reward them

Not only were we offered the chance to come back, but because we completed the survey, we were offered tickets at a generously reduced price. We were being rewarded for not just being fans, but for being engaged fans.

7. Keep it simple

Check out the image above. That’s the entire email. Easy to navigate and simple to understand. The more simple your approach, the more likely I am to respond and engage.

8. Proper timing

This will be different for everyone, but for the Phillies the morning after was perfect. Timing is very important; you want to make sure they receive your customer followup at just the right time. Not too early, not too late. For some types of businesses, you might want to wait a bit longer, to make sure your customers have had a chance to really try out your product or service. Not only will it be a proper reminder, but you’re more likely to get accurate feedback.

9. Calls to action

This particular email has a variety of calls to action. They asked me to do a variety of things, and I did most of them. About the only thing I didn’t do was purchase more tickets. Granted, that’s probably what they wanted most, but I still responded and engaged. They didn’t just send me an informational email that I would read and discard. They gave me things to do, and I did them.

10. Promote social sharing

It’s not readily evident in the email, but not only were there a variety of calls to action, but along the way, as I clicked through, I was given plenty of opportunities to share my experience and my actions with my friends across social channels. If I’m a brand advocate, a fan, they want to make sure I have the chance to tell others. Whether I watched highlights or ordered tickets, I was offered the chance to share those experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Not everyone will share, but you should at least make it easy for them to do so if they wish.

Yes, the Phillies are a large organization with lots of money and technology at their disposal, but even the smallest of businesses or organizations can adapt these to use for their own situations.

What positive experiences have you had in terms of customer follow-up? What other elements would you add to this list?



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