The Power of the “Sales-Free” Phone Call

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My phone rang the other day and the call went to voice mail before I could answer it. “Hi Mr. Silverstein, this is Tracey from AWeber Communications” the message began. “I was just calling to thank you for signing up for our service. If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Solutions department at….. Thanks again and have a great day.”

Folks, that is how you follow up with a customer. No sales pitch trying to get them to by more of your stuff and no request to take another friggin’ survey (“if you don’t rate us with all “5?s” then we fail”..errrrr!)

Clearly Tom Kulzer, CEO and founder of AWeber, gets it. From that single phone call I was able to discern that AWeber is a customer-focused organization and, like always, it starts at the top. As I was doing some research for this post I was shocked (insert tongue firmly in cheek) to learn that AWeber is listed as one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania! In an earlier post, The Customer Must Come Second, I discussed the fact that the companies with the best reputations for customer service also happen to be rated as great places to work; take care of your people and they’ll take care of the customer.

When used correctly, the phone can be an amazingly powerful tool to help build customer loyalty. Unfortunately, most companies screw it up. They don’t understand that a call to a customer just to say “thank you” is good enough (it’s great, actually). They have their associates poison the call by having them try to add on to the sale with things like extended warranties or by asking the customer if they have “just a few minutes” for the dreaded “survey.”

So what are some ways to build customer loyalty with a phone call?

  • If you provide any type of on-site service – plumbing, a/c, construction, computer work etc. – call the customer to thank them for their business and ensure they are happy with your service.
  • If you deliver merchandise to a customer – bedding, furniture, appliances etc. – call the customer to ensure that everything arrived okay and thank them for their business.
  • If you sell anything that come with an instruction book – computers, t.v.s, appliances etc. – call the customer to see if they need any help in setting up, or using, the item and thank them for their business.
  • If you sell cosmetics, call the customer to see if she’s happy with her color or needs help in how to apply it, and thank her for her business.

There are dozens of other examples, but you get the idea. When done right, a short phone call can go a long way to building customer loyalty and as I wrote in an earlier post, “Adding Value Doesn’t Have To Cost A Nickel.”

…that’s just what I think.

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