May 19, 2015
Followup Letters Build Customer Comfort
Followup letters should be sent out whenever you add a major new customer or a major new service for an existing customer. Typically they are sent when the new sale includes an agreement or presched, and has an annual dollar volume over some threshold, such as a couple hundred dollars. Followup letters mostly serve to say “Thank You!” but may provide details or clarification on the new service. (Keep the details short) The intent of a followup letter is to make your customer feel good about their decision they just made to use your services.
Prepare these letters in advance. You’ll want a general “Welcome!” letter that goes out to new customers. And you’ll want a set of pre-designed letters covering each of your top ranked services. It pays to be ready. I’ve seen companies with 20 custom letters! But 5-10 is perhaps more common. But to get started, just make your ‘Welcome” or “Thank You” letter, and start using it. Make sending out followup letters a new habit. Prepare the additional letters as their need arises.
With some software you can create any number of these letters in advance, even with merge fields for personalization, so that you are ready to print needed letters with one click. If your pest control software is missing this key function, you’ll need to create your letters in a word processing program, and then use copy and paste to bring in the customers name and address.
Each letter should include a short handwritten note in the margin to help it be personal and compelling. Introduce your key staff. Refer to you partner or spouse. Include your personal phone or cell number in case they need you. Maybe you’ll even include a company photo. Make it personal. Make your letter short, but friendly. Let them know you care about them! This letter, in a way, is a letter of introduction to you and your business.
Should you send these letters by email to save money? Well, email is great for invoices and reports and scheduling, but it is not ideal for establishing a personal touch. Mail that letter! Sign it. Don’t email it. The world has lots of impersonal gestures. Make yours personal. Establish a connection with them. It is worth a stamp. I know that postage stamps have grown to be expensive but with followup letters, your intent is to forge more personal connections with your customer. So, mail those letters! A stamp is cheap compared with the cost a landing a new customer.
Tip- Buy artistic ‘Thank You’ note cards. There are literally thousands of artists who sell them in mixed packs of a dozen. And they come with their own envelopes whose very shape says this is a personal note, not just business. Slip in your printed letter and mail. Do NOT use a postage meter, instead, affix a pretty stamp.
Some years ago a study was done on customers who quit. They found that the vast majority that quit didn’t know any of the owner and staff names. And conversely, those that knew several names of people at the company, were dramatically less likely to quit. Help your customers get to know you. If they know you, and they have a problem, they will call you to resolve it. If they don’t know you, they’ll just quit.
Start using followup letters.