BUSINESS MARKETING: Follow-up is just (un)common sense

2014-04-19T13:42:00Z BUSINESS MARKETING: Follow-up is just (un)common senseLarry Galler Times Business Columnist
April 19, 2014 1:42 pm  • 

Why is common sense so darn uncommon? Well, if I could answer that question I’d probably win the Nobel Prize.

A little background: Last week I was talking to a business-owning friend and told a story about an email I received from a local company I buy from fairly often, maybe once every three or four weeks.

The short email asked me to evaluate the quality of their service, their timeliness, the courtesy of their staff, their value and my impression of their facility. I mentioned I was impressed the company truly seemed interested in my opinions instead of this being just another marketing ploy.

The person I was talking to said, “Well, it’s just common sense.”

I replied, “You’re right, but common sense is very uncommon!” Since then, I’ve been pondering the reasons why we get so few quality control calls or emails.

I think the answer is we are optimists wanting to believe our customers are thrilled with their purchases. We would like to believe our products and services are close to perfect, they are priced correctly and our customers enjoy buying from us.

The only way to know if they are thrilled is to ask them. And if we discover they are less than thrilled, we should know that also so we can understand what we need to do to thrill them.

Maybe we don’t ask because we’re scared to get negative feedback. There is a lurking fear we might somehow remind the customer they really were not satisfied or we might get into an argument if they are not overjoyed.

Yet, unless a customer feels so badly about a purchase that they are angry enough to complain, there is almost no way to discover that customers are dissatisfied unless we ask. But it is only when we discover what makes a customer dissatisfied that we can make changes to overcome their dissatisfactions.

Asking for feedback takes courage, but it is the way we can discover whether our customers are thrilled or angry. So take the common sense approach and ask them.

Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Discover whether your company has created a Culture of Excellence by taking a free, two-minute self assessment. Send an email to and put “Assessment” in the subject line.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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