Barry Moltz Barry Moltz gets small business owners unstuck. With decades of entrepreneurial ventures as well as consulting with countless other entrepreneurs, he has discovered the formula to get business owners marching forward. His newest book, BAM! shows how in a social media world, customer service is the new marketing.

35 Reactions
  1. Nice one, Barry!

    In my case, I usually follow up one week after I get no response from prospects/clients. Most of the times, it’s not that they don’t like your proposal or not interested in your offer; they simply forget to reply to your email or put yours on their never ending “to do” list – and get buried inside.

    Here’s what working for me: A simple reminder works, i.e. “Please let me know whether you are still interested in my offer…” or simply a little humour can also work, i.e. “If you are not interested, please tell me so I will stop bugging you.”

  2. I came from a background in the restaurant industry so I know all about the customer follow up and how important it is. A lot of customers won’t proactively share feedback, they have to be nudged.

  3. They share feedback more on Social media though- they think it is easier when it is not face to face

    • Hi Barry, very true.

      One thing about online feedback is that if it’s negative the negativity tends to get exaggerated. We find in our contact forms that if people are even the least bit frustrated, then typing it on a computer or mobile screen seems to remove all inhibitions. Occasionally we will get a comment over at BizSugar from someone having trouble registering that is simply scorching. I feel for my team who have to read those comments.

      But the good news is, if you follow up and handle their concern, the person can quickly turn very positive and grateful. Especially if you use your #6, and call the person by their first name, and identify yourself by first name, etc. — in other words, get personal.

      – Anita

  4. I love the idea about the pre-emptive strike. I work closely with a gift-giving business and we’re busy at peak seasons like Valentines and Christmas. This is also the time where most problems arise. The idea of the pre-emptive strike may help us minimize those problems.

  5. The best defense is a great offense!

  6. Nice job Barry. Amazing how common sense these are but how most businesses don’t have a consistent strategy put in place to reinforce it with their employees. Hence, inconsistent customer service = lower customer retention.

  7. I find that small businesses are overall really bad on process! its one thing that can really make their business thrive!

  8. I think being thoughtful and remember specific details about the person can also make a great impression.

  9. For sure- a person’s name is the sweetest music!

  10. I think point one is interesting. Setting expectations up front and meeting them is very important. If you let the customers set their own expectations it’s like trying to hit a moving target. If you don’t meet their expectations, whether you set them or not, you run the risk of a negative emotional reaction.

  11. Setting expectations is key!!

  12. We make a conscious effort to not have to “follow-up” on customer complaints as we try to resolve the problem during the phone call. In some cases, this isn’t possible in which case we do our darndest to resolve the matter the next business day.

    I believe the reason most businesses don’t know how to do “Follow-up” is because they don’t want to deal with it in the first place so they end up lying to themselves that it isn’t a problem.

    • Madhuresh Desai

      I think what matters the most is you step in to customers shoes and realize the problem and its consequences, this will give you an emotional ground and a strategy to subside the negation that exists, most importantly it is the psychological bond that makes the customer happy.

  13. agreed- fix it the first place completely!

  14. Barry: As an experienced purchaser, I liked to hear from my suppliers now and then, and not only when they wanted to raise the price on their products! 😉

  15. Right now i am struggling to establish my own business, i think your advice will help be to re-brand me. Thanks for posting this wonderful idea list for us.

  16. Thanks for posting this wonderful idea list for us.

  17. Thanks barry for putting this successful management theory in simple 7 steps. if 10% to 20% strike rates on follow up can bring big difference in sales figures.sales professionals should take this as 7 commandments!!! instead of 10!!

  18. Paul Odenkirchen

    I started a folow up business. I made my own pamlets & business cards & sent them to at least 10 business and no reply from any of them. Some i have talked to and explained to them what i can do for them. Let me know what your advice is & can you help me. Thank You Paul Odenkirchen

  19. We sell to dealers. How can i get my dealers to follow up their clients when we know they’ve got a great enquiry?

  20. We should treat sales as a mix of sports and war !
    manier times same strategy, mindset and formulas don’t work .
    In military lang we have to ambush to break the silence when the customer is silent due to whatever reasons .
    Institutional sales are the biggest target of long gestation period and conversion time goes haywire sometimes.
    if we don’t ambush and keep silent waiting for an answer things go haywire !
    Attack is the best defence !
    Ambush results may be in contrast to our thoughts but there is absolutely nothing wrong in doing it in the first attempt ………..once there is a clear delay in response from the customers .
    Match-fixings are the biggest threat to keeping silent awaiting replies from silent customers .
    this way many things do exist in the modern corporate life which are eye-openers and mind boggling too.

  21. ALWAYS ambush !
    attack is the best defence in modern corporate world .
    we just can’t sit and wait for the clients after providing them proposals/solutions and sit quacking like a duck !
    There are big match-fixers in today’s modern world doing mockery of the business and making their own fortunes and screwing happiness of others.
    Hence, one should very clearly keep a check on the efforts Vs productivity ratios to survive in this self-centric world.
    either you are selling with a push or pull the fate can be same.
    both the cases have the equal threat of time-wastage.
    So, once has to be proactive in today’s world to be the best in professional and personal life !
    Hope the above suits the masses and fit for a match-winning formula.

    With Regards

  22. Good!!! By doing this u make the customer feel important.

  23. Thanks for the great article. Fact 2 should be shared with most business. Normally you dont follow up with your customers on a regular basis.

  24. “Set Expectations First If you don’t set expectations, your customers will set their own.” This is controversial and many companies do NOT follow it. ” Airlines don’t say, you are going to have an uncomfortable flight which may be late. I’d add get materials which show your worth or experience to the customer.