8 phone calls to get (and keep) happy customers

Aug 18, 2011 | Business

Romainian phone - we actually use newer technologyWe’ve found one reason people are happy with our software is that we keep in touch. Picking up the phone and checking in is one of the best ways to make sure we’re doing a good job.

But, just “checking in” or “touching base” isn’t very specific or useful, so we have a reason for every call.

For us, there are three distinct phases of calls – before you buy, getting started, and then our ongoing relationship.

Before you buy.

Over the years, we’ve learned how to have a sales process. It’s incredibly important to talk about what our customers need, show what our software does, and explain how to get started successfully. I’ve written a bit more about our sales process, here.

Getting Started.

It turns out that giving us a credit card for low monthly payments and a 90-day refund guarantee is actually pretty easy for lots of countertop fabricators. But, that’s when the work begins. For us, this is the most critical time in our relationship with our customers.

We need to make sure they’re getting value quickly and with as little pain as possible. So, we have a number of structured calls that we make.

  1. Training. We schedule short, daily calls with new customers for the first week. Even though we say this is “training”, it’s really a way to help our customers build the habits of logging in, adding new jobs, and scheduling their activities every day.
  2. Sales Follow-up. In addition to training, we have another type of call to double-check that we’re solving the business problems we identified before the sale. This involves making sure that you’re progressing on the training, getting the support you need, and eliminating the system you used for scheduling and managing jobs before you bought Moraware JobTracker.
  3. References. We want every one of our customers to be a reference, and we don’t consider a customer “sold” until they’re happy and willing to tell their friends about our software. This helps us focus on providing value, but it’s also a driver for our business. More than half of our new customers are the direct result of referrals.

The long-term relationship

How we think of the long term relationship with Moraware customersIt turns out that we’re in a long-term relationship with our customers. We keep providing them with a valuable service that helps them grow, reduce the time they waste, and adapt to the changing needs of the countertop industry.

In return we get money, but we also get more happy customers who help our business, suggestions for new features and products, and (I know it sounds cheesy) we’ve made personal bonds and friendships, too.

Just because someone is happy and willing to be a reference isn’t the end of the road in terms of calls. We still have reasons to call:

  1. New stuff. We’re adding new features to Moraware JobTracker, and building new products like RemnantSwap. We want to make sure that people know.
  2. Up-sell. We have multiple editions of our software, from just the bare-bones of scheduling to an enterprise solution that includes quotes, purchasing and inventory. If you originally said you wanted Enterprise, but started with Basic, we need to check in and see if those needs still make sense. Which means, we start with our sales process again.
  3. More training? Your employees might change, or maybe you need to solve new problems in your business that you hadn’t considered before. We need to offer to help, and a phone conversation is a great way.
  4. Make us better. Once a customer has been using our software successfully for 6 months or a year, they have deep insight into what we could do better. We like to ask the question “If there’s one thing you could change about Moraware, what would it be?”

So, that’s how and why we are obsessed with making phone calls to our customers. It seems ironic that in a time of electronic communication we spend so much time and effort on it, but there’s no substitute to talking to someone directly.

If you haven’t considered talking to your own customers after they buy from you, you should.

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.