How to Design a Customer Touch Program

Consider reaching out to your clients more often. You don’t want the only time a customer hears from you to be when you want to sell them something or when they have a problem.

Image of a customer service survey with "Excellent" checked.

We have learned how to strategically leverage our existing client base in order to increase customer retention, provide opportunities to up-sell, and get referrals for new business. We call it our Customer Touch program, and it’s essentially a formal schedule of customer service touch points.

There are a few considerations that need to be made when designing a Customer Touch program:

  • When and how often will you contact the customer?
  • What will you discuss, and how will it be presented?
  • Who on your team should be responsible for making contact?
  • How will you contact your customers?

Read on to find out how you can design a program that fits your business’ needs.

When and how often will you contact the customer?

Ask yourself the following questions about your customers in order to decide how often they should be contacted:

  • How heavily does the client use your services?
  • How often does this client experience changes that are likely to impact the service you provide?
  • How organized and proactive will they be about notifying you of changes? You may want to reach out to your least proactive clients more frequently in order to ensure that your team has what it needs to execute.
  • Has the client recently had changes in key personnel who may decide to change their vendor if they have no relationship? You should be proactive in engaging with new decision makers.
  • How often will you contact each client – monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly?
  • What will you discuss, and how will it be presented?
  • What are you trying to accomplish with each client? Focus on one or two key objectives and know in advance what questions you are going to ask. SUITE 1000 has a standard questionnaire that we go through with each of our clients. The results are stored in a CRM software package to ensure quality and consistency, and also to allow anyone in our company to access the customer’s feedback.

We ask questions that allow us to know about internal changes that might impact the services we provide, gauge customer satisfaction, collect ideas for new services, identify opportunities to up-sell, and get referrals. Remember to focus on only one or two of these points so you don’t overwhelm your customer. It takes time to build a relationship.

Who on your team will be responsible for making the contact?

I put my Customer Service Manager in charge because I wanted a “softer” approach that encouraged honest feedback. I did not want the contacts to be perceived as merely a sales call. The Customer Service Manager assigns herself and two other supervisors to a schedule, and they stick to it, month after month. This is not often a strong suit in salespeople.

How will you contact your customers?

Find out how your customers prefer to be contacted. Many of our customers prefer to have a phone call, but some who are frequently in the field or traveling prefer to correspond via e-mail. We also send a biannual Customer Satisfaction Survey via e-mail, fax or mail. If you are trying to get the point across that you care about customer satisfaction, you do what suits the client.

Results

SUITE 1000 has successfully used our Customer Touch program to significantly increase sales and eliminate customer turnover.

How are you engaging your customers?

This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.

Copyright © 2019 SUITE 1000. All rights reserved.

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