April 4, 2019
What’s the Best Way to Follow Up on a New Customer Inquiry
In the world of digital marketing, the first shot on goal is getting a prospective customer to make contact — by phone, email, online contact form, even in person when possible.
One problem we hear a lot is that companies don’t know exactly what to do when they receive the ultimate prize — that voicemail, email or contact form requesting more information.
Now, you may think: what’s the big deal? Pick up the phone. Answer the email. Reach out to the contact form client in the quickest way possible. After all, you have a fish on the hook and you want to reel them in before they getaway, right? Besides, people are widely fickle these days and customer activity is all about timing.
For example, I may be interested in booking a venue for a party. I Google my local options and I narrow down my choices. Maybe I pick up the phone or send an email. Maybe I simply request more information via an online form. Regardless of how I make contact, I am now an official “lead.” The challenge for the company is that they need to get back to me when it’s convenient for me to communicate.
A return phone call or the email may come at a time when I can’t focus on my party. And, the time has a nasty way of changing plans and priorities. Next time I think about my party planning, I may or may not reach out again. And, if I do, the company better have the information I need or I’ll get frustrated quickly.
This is simply the world of online commerce. It’s about being at the right place at the right time with the right information and the right price. It’s about making a connection with the prospect so they want to continue the conversation. In my example, that venue needs to get me to actually come in to take a tour and discover what the venue has to offer.
There is a huge leap between filling out a contact form and actually getting someone to show up for a meeting.
Therefore, it’s important to have a strategy in place about the best way to follow up on a new customer inquiry.
Make sure your entire staff is on the same page.
Since you may only get one shot to get the prospect to take action (make the appointment, purchase, etc.) your “talk track” has to be solid.
Don’t be afraid to role play customer interactions with any staff that may make contact. Have a script on-hand with answers to common questions. And, very important: have a particular way of handling the contact if your team member doesn’t have the information being requested. It’s important to make the prospect feel taken care of and that their inquiry is of top importance to you.
A Thought about “Cold Calling.”
In this particular case, cold calling refers to someone who is either inquiring about general information (a warm lead) or when you have been given the name of someone you feel may be interested in what you do or sell. Think of this as a very lukewarm lead.
First things first, you have to decide whether you will respond by email or phone call. Many experts suggest there is a lot of wisdom in going the email route.
In his book “Cold Calling Early Customers,” author Robert Graham suggests there are three reasons to start the conversation via email.
- You get to layout the information YOU want to share. You can offer background, a special deal, and/or education about what you sell so the prospect can have a clear path to action. You basically are telling them what they can do and making it easier for them to do it.
- An email gives you the ability to ask for a phone call. This way, the call is made at their convenience and they are more likely to be open to the conversation and sales pitch.
- Lastly, an email is a great conversation starter that doesn’t leave the company open to questions they might not be able to answer at the moment. It’s a slow entree into the relationship.
However, it’s important to remember that regardless of how you make the first connection, your company has to step up its game to close the deal and keep the customer. There is plenty of competition out there.
Our advice? Use the best digital marketing practices and some ahead-of-the-curve strategies to attract traffic and win new customers. Learn more by contacting Harmonia Media for a free phone consultation. We promise we’ll be ready for your call!