Follow-up in stages
If you offer credit, thank your client when they pay your bill. It’s another chance to contact them. Don’t use it as a hard sell opportunity. Just say thanks and remind them of any guarantee you offer on the goods or services.
Depending on your buying cycle, send another email after a few months checking they are still happy and reminding them of the other services you offer. If you have a long-lasting product that they may not need to buy again for a while, then it can be a chance to request a referral.
Dare you ask for a testimonial or referral?
If a customer says they were happy with what you did you can reply “I am so glad you are happy, I know it can be hard to find a reliable xxxxx, I know people often have a bad experience with xxxxx. Then if they reply with a horror story you can empathise and add something like “Yes, well, if you know of anyone else finding it hard to get a good xxxxx, please pass on my details. Or let me know and I’ll save you the hassle and let them know myself.
If you have your smartphone with you, why not record their testimonial then and there and then write it up later? It will sound more natural than if they have to think too hard and write something formally.
Recommend a Friend
Depending on your business you may offer an incentive to thank those who pass on your details. This can vary from a finders or referral fee to a discount voucher or simply a thank you box of chocolates or free coffee.
Did your mother teach you to share?
Referral schemes are effective, but do you make sure you include a sharing link on all your blog posts, videos, etc? Make it easy for people to pass on your good work. Add “share” buttons with a clear call to action to share ”Did you enjoy this blog? Share it with your friends and colleagues.”
Handling lapsed sinners
Don’t simply rely on keeping them on an email list for occasional newsletters. Send something specific referring to what they bought from you and ask if they might need something similar.
Consistency of branding
Have you any great ideas for keeping in touch with your old customers? Do let me know below. And share, share, share.