Customer Follow-Up Crucial to Avoid Wasted Business Opportunities

Even if you’re busy with current jobs, it’s important to follow up with potential clients you gave estimates to in order to ensure the work keeps flowing

Customer Follow-Up Crucial to Avoid Wasted Business Opportunities

Carter Harkins and Taylor Hill

Interested in Business?

Get Business articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Business + Get Alerts

Hey, did you hear that? The sound of new business circling the bowl and getting ready to go right down with a flush — all those potential customers with open estimates that haven’t been followed up with.  

Following up with potential clients sounds straightforward, right? But when you're knee-deep in a job, hustling to secure the next one, who's got the time — or the patience, honestly — to keep up with that? It's like this old industry riddle that most businesses don't solve until things slow down. Suddenly, your phone stops ringing off the hook, and you're left sifting through old estimates, hoping to find jobs that can keep your company afloat. We've all been there, and while we're surviving, we’re not exactly growing.  

As the folks behind a digital marketing company helping service businesses, we get a common question: How do some companies manage to keep busy all year round? Well, here's the secret. These companies have figured out how to keep their calendar filled even during the so-called "slow season." They've basically canceled the "slow season."

How? Through a simple mix of marketing, doing the work, offering estimates, and — here's the crucial bit — following up on those estimates.  

The follow-up myth

Good follow-up practices can keep you busy all year, not just when things are booming. However, we've noticed some people think, "Nah, I don't need to follow up." Seriously? Relying solely on your customers to reach out to you might not be the best game plan. Consider this: They're busy, they probably didn't anticipate needing repairs, they might be suffering from sticker shock over the unexpected expense, and they've got the option to get other estimates. Leaving the decision entirely in their hands? That sounds like a high-risk move.  

Nothing wrong with a gentle nudge

Sometimes customers — or potential ones — might need a gentle nudge or a clearer breakdown of the work, cost and value. If you don't check in to address their questions or concerns, you might lose the chance to highlight your value and dispel any doubts they have.  

Say a customer received your estimate but decided to wait due to financial reasons. If you don't check back with them, you might never know when they're ready to go ahead. Worse still, they might just get another estimate from a different company when they're ready to proceed. Do you really want to leave that up to fate?  

A better approach  

Following up might seem like an extra chore, but it's crucial if you're concerned about your business' well-being. If you don't, you're practically letting jobs slip through your fingers and missing the chance to stay busy throughout the year, thus letting that potential client get flushed right off of your customer list.  

Here are some things to consider when following up:

Personalization — If you can, each follow-up should be tailored as best as possible to the customer. Reference details from your previous conversations to show that you're truly invested in their needs. If you are using automation, there are ways to do this to scale if you have the right type of system.

Promptness — Aim to follow up quickly or when the customer requests after an estimate or meeting. This respects the customer's time and helps keep your services top-of-mind for the customer.  

Clear communication — Ensure your follow-up message is clear, concise and professional. Make it easy for the customer to understand the next steps and to communicate back with you.  

Value reinforcement — Use the follow-up as an opportunity to reinforce the value of your services. Share testimonials, case studies or specific benefits that will resonate with the customer.  

Frequency and timing — Don't overdo it. Too many follow-ups can come off as pushy. At the same time, don't wait too long between communications or you risk becoming forgotten. We find that somewhere between seven and 10 follow-up touches over a 3-month period works well.

Different channels — Don't limit yourself to one method of follow-up. Use email, phone calls, text messages or even snail mail, depending on what best suits your customer. You can use push notifications along with automation to easily accomplish this.

Follow-up system — Utilize a customer relationship management (CRM) system or similar tool to help you keep track of follow-ups, ensuring none of your leads fall through the cracks. You can also use a manual system, however, doing follow-up manually is the least effective as it gets put on the back burner as other tasks take precedence. 

Politeness and respect — Always be courteous and respectful in your follow-ups, acknowledging the customer's time and decision-making process.  

Ask for feedback — If a potential customer decides not to use your service, don't be afraid to politely ask for feedback. This can give valuable insights into how you might improve your services or your approach to following up.  

Persistence — Remember, following up is part of the long game. You may not see results immediately, but persistence can pay off in the long run. Keep at it and don’t give up.  

Following up is all about maintaining a connection and reminding customers of your value. Done right, it can make a significant difference in your business' success.

Consider this: You've already fielded the call, gone out to see the issue, and if needed, given the estimate and built some rapport. Don't let all that go to waste — follow up!

And with so many automation tools out there, we suggest setting up an automated system, which you can tweak as you go. That way, it's less about extra work for you and more about getting more jobs on your books and more money in your pockets. That’s a win-win situation if we ever saw one.

About the authors: Carter Harkins and Taylor Hill are the authors of Blue Collar Proud: 10 Principles for Building a Kickass Business You Love and the owners of Spark Marketer, a "no bull" digital marketing company that’s been getting sh*t done for home service businesses across the nation for a decade. They’re trusted thought leaders in the industries they serve, which is why you’ll find them regularly speaking at service industry trade shows and conferences and writing for trade magazines. Tired of empty promises and ready for focused digital marketing and balls-to-the-wall dedication that gets your business seen? Visit


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.