New customers are exciting as you look to scale your food business, however what’s most important is to keep the customer base you have already established. Customer follow ups ensure a positive relationship between you and your customer, so let’s take a look at our 5 step checklist to help you manage your customer follow ups:

1. Give a warm welcome to new customers

The first step when getting a new customer, is to give them a warm welcome. Don’t send them an email, give them a call. Connect with them so that they know that their business is important to you. Starting the sale off on a positive note with customers helps ensure a successful relationship in the future.

2. Check in

After the initial connection, check in with your customers no later than 24 hours after they have received your product. Ask them if they enjoyed your product, if the delivery or pick up was successful, and if they had any complaints that you can improve on. This will give you an idea if they would order from you in the future. It is important to get feedback to help you improve your business and understand what consumers are looking for.

3. Communication!

Often, customers are forgotten after the first initial sale. Don’t forget about your loyal customers! Establish a communicative relationship. Send frequent emails to update customers on new products, sales or what’s new in your business. Not only are you showing your customers you still care, you are also keeping them in the loop of what else they can get from your business (hint: this is what catalog schedules are for!).

4. Be personal

Create a personal relationship with your customer base. Introduce yourself, tell your story, and get to know who your customers are. If your customers can put a face to a product and if they enjoy your product, they will be more inclined to continue to buy from you. Local food is about creating relationships between local food producers and the community, so be sure to make this a goal for your business. Most importantly, you should make sure you understand their business.

5. Ask for a referral

If people love your product, they will rave about it. References from happy customers are extremely credible as they have experience with your business and enjoy your product. A referral is the best kind of marketing. You could even offer a discount on their next purchase if they refer to a friend. This comes across as personalized and will increase your customer base. And remember, if you don’t ask, it won’t happen!!

The key when having successful customer follow ups is having an organized system that lets you track all incoming orders. It is important to not let customers fall through the tracks - follow up!