Over the last few years I’ve been surprised at how slow so many business owners are to respond to an email or voicemail. And I’ve heard virtually every excuse for why an email went to spam, or a completed contact form on a website never reached its destination. 

Here’s my point – One of your best marketing tools for building your business is responding quickly to customer requests. There’s no such thing as getting back to a client too soon, and response time is even more important when it’s with a potential customer!

Here’s a great example with two different consumer companies outside imaging:

I called the company that fertilizes our lawn and landscaping. We had been with them for almost seven years. I wanted somebody to come to the house and explain why they don’t seem to be doing as good a job as in the past. After two weeks and multiple phone calls, I never heard back, so I went in search of a new company.

Around the same time, I contacted our “pest” company, which regularly sprays for roaches, fire ants, etc., which is part of the challenge of living in Florida. All I wanted was an estimated price for mosquito control. It was no big deal; just a ballpark price. They wouldn’t do it over the phone and needed to send a manager out to review my property—even though we’ve been with them for at least ten years at two different homes!

There are two issues here:

  • Because neither company responded quickly, I went off to search for somebody new. I found a company that provides the services of BOTH companies and even saves money in the process.
  • Once I terminated the relationship with both companies, nobody ever contacted me to follow up on why a long-time client would drop their services.

Years ago, I had a friend who was a residential realtor in Las Vegas; whenever he didn’t get the listing, he always made it a point to contact the client and ask why. He did it in a thoroughly kind and gracious way, “It was great to meet you, and I’m hoping you’re comfortable sharing why you didn’t choose us. We’re always working to improve our business, and if we’re missing something, your feedback will help us with future contacts.” That’s paraphrasing what he’d ask, but close enough to make my point.

A big part of the strength of your brand is built on integrity, trust, and good communication. Respond quickly to customer questions. And when you lose a job, don’t be afraid to ask what was missing. Everyone knows their strengths—the challenge is understanding and building up your weaknesses!

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