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When Did Follow Up Stop Being A Necessity?
The definition of courtesy according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is the following:
"Polite behavior that shows respect for other people"
I've spent many years in the financial industry and I've learned with time the most common courtesy is a simple follow up to a client, coworker, or employee. Many wouldn't think follow up is a part of courtesy however they would think it is a part of every day business. Meeting with clients I have found in my opinion one of the largest reasons people repeat business with someone is the ability for that person to follow up in a timely manner.
Currently at this moment I am waiting for 3 separate companies to follow up with me. I have called, emailed, left messages and it's been anywhere from days to weeks since I have heard back. Having a discussion with a friend about this her comment was simply "You know how long these things take" and "Don't people usually say it takes 24 - 48 hours for someone to respond?" My question to you is how is this okay? At what point did the general public decide leaving a message and waiting a few days for a response is the correct way to do business?
Below you will find some companies that make it their duty to stand apart from their competitors in the realm of customer service. In my opinion these are the people you need to compare yourself to. Often people don't consider companies their competition unless they are within the same industry or sell the same products. The truth is when it comes to customer service you are competing against everyone.
Walt Disney Company
When considering your clients are you thinking about the way you would want to be treated? That golden rule we all learned as a child comes in handy in day to day business. Many times the lack of follow up by one person makes the ability to follow up impossible for the next. Following up with someone in a timely manner is just good business practice. If you wait 24 to 48 hours to follow up with someone and they wait an additional 24 to 48 hours to follow up with the next person your client or end user is then waiting up to 4 days for a answer to a question or solution to their problem.
This is the information age, a age where we all have technology at our finger tips. It simply should not take 24 hours to call your customers back. If you have the ability to do so sooner then do it, and if you don't know the answer to their question it doesn't hurt to make a call and let them know you are working on it. Stand out from the crowd and make the call or send the email that you have been procrastinating over.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.— Bill Gates