the-importance-of-follow-upThe first thing to know about relationship marketing is that its main goal is to develop a long-term relationship with a client. If you sit down the think about it, chances are you get most of your business from repeat clients, not new ones. Therefore, it’s extremely important to nurture the relationships with those who use you.

I’m not suggesting you become buddy-buddy with your clients. You need to maintain a professionalism, but you do need to look at each interaction as one event that builds on top of other events.

So how do you do this? First, make sure to put in the effort and follow-up with customers. Many years ago my grandpa and his brother ran a business called Client Follow-Up. The entire idea behind it was to send birthday cards, thank you cards, and follow-up cards to clients for real estate companies. My uncle built it from the ground up based solely on the idea that it was important to build relationships.

When you think about it, this achieved two goals. One, it made the customer feel warm and fuzzy that their real-estate agent remembered their birthday, or sent a note to say that they hoped the new home was working out. But two, it kept the real-estate agent’s name in front of their customers. Maybe it was just once a year, but people move a lot, and this way, real-estate agents could feel comfortable knowing they never let a client slip through the cracks.

Today with email, it’s much easier to keep in touch. Companies don’t need an entire business to serve their follow-up needs (or maybe they do), but follow-up really is an incredibly important aspect of relationship marketing.

I’m going to stop here today. I think follow-up is important enough to earn its own blog post. What ways do you use to follow-up? Do you do anything individually or do you use an email blast to hit many customers at once? Do you agree that fostering long-term relationships with customers should be at the top of every company’s priority list?



Comments ( 8 )

  1. Harsh Agrawal
    Rebecca in this context I would rather call it Customer relationship.. What I usually do is when ever I have a customer and some big festival comes up..I usually write a personal Email to greet her... Another thing which is very useful which I do is send them special gifts on their birthday... I'm now eying on Halloween... :)
    • AuthorRebecca
      Hi Harsh, I think that's a great idea, sending birthday emails, or using holidays as an excuse to get in touch. Not only do customers feel special, but you remind them what you do. Great tips, thanks!
  2. Kimi
    I am starting to learn how to handle with client since people want to hire me. Thank you for this helpful article Rebecca.
    • AuthorRebecca
      Hi Kimi, Working for yourself and handling your clients can be a big adjustment. My number one rule is to never, ever, ever over promise. If I say I am going to get something to you by Friday, it's often there Thursday night. I think my clients appreciate it, and I appreciate it because I'm never left scrambling and with that pit in my stomach of knowing I didn't do the best I could.
  3. petite carousel
    Found your blog through Joel Runyon's. I'm in the process of setting up a small business, these tips will come in handy when it kicks off! Thanks for sharing and hope you had a great weekend!
    • AuthorRebecca
      Good luck with your business! Let me know if you have any social media questions. Your blog is absolutely beautiful.
  4. Rich D., Photo Studio Consultant
    Absolutely. I wouldn't be in business with this type of personal follow up. Wedding photography success is all about referrals, and people refer friends to me because they love my work and like me. I take my time to build relationships before the wedding day and to stay in touch afterwards. I do want to be seen as a trusted friend. Obviously, I have each client's anniversary date, so I mail them a custom printed photo card with one of their wedding pictures and a handwritten message from me. I also congratulate them on their Facebook page, along with a photo of them. Personal touches like these make people feel that you truly care. It also makes then remember your name.
    • AuthorRebecca
      Hi Rich, That sounds like an amazing follow up plan. I am sure you get a lot of business from it as people not only like your photographs, but you as well, so they pass your name along to friends who pass your name along to friends. This is a perfect example of the relationship marketing I was talking about. Thank you so much for sharing!