I wanted to share an example of great customer service and follow-up that happened to me this weekend. It reminds me of how much the personal touch goes a long way. You can't survive with "template" emails anymore. Email campaigns are great but if you forget the personal touch in your correspondence, you are doomed.
I am reading "The Wealthy Freelancer" (every freelancer should read this book). I can't put this book down and wanted to let the authors know how much I loved it. I also tweeted about how much I enjoyed it as well. I received a personal message on my Twitter from one of the authors, and then received a personal email message from the other co-author.
My first thought was: "Wow, these authors really care about their readers and our thoughts!" Not only do they care, but they really appreciated my feedback and took the time out of their busy schedules to respond personally to me. They could have easily sent one of those annoying responder emails: "Sorry, we have too many questions and we might not be able to answer your question personally." That's usually when I opt-out of newsletters or stop subscribing to the website. It's a huge turn off and it makes me wonder if they really care about their customers and clients.
It's also nice to know that Pete Savage and Ed Gandia (the authors who personally responded to me) practice what they preach in their book. Instead of paying lip service, they walk the walk and talk the talk. They really want fellow freelancers to succeed and are REALLY there (beyond the scope of the book) to provide encouragement and support. It made me feel like someone was finally taking us freelancers seriously and that my opinion DOES count!
So what can you learn from this example and how can you apply it to your own business? The personal touch goes a LONG WAY - even if it's just a quick "we haven't touched based in awhile, how are you doing?" email to let clients know you are thinking of them. Instead of blasting out template emails when people send you positive feedback on your website or blog, take a few extra minutes to send a personal email. In this crazy, busy world people still want to feel appreciated and "heard."
You can also take it beyond personal emails with your customers and clients:
- Send hand-written thank you notes and cards for referrals, etc.
- Follow-up with emails that include articles or helpful tips
- Pick up the phone and call them - remind them that you are there for them and ready to help them!