Customer Follow-Up


What was your method of doing a follow-up visit with a new customer? How did you handle customers that might have been displeased with the response?

Thank you.

I would only talk to the happy customer once per year, to ask him what we wanted on his renewal artwork. I would always go into the call as though it was a given that they were renewing – and normally they would. Don’t even ask if they are renewing, just ask them what they want to change on the artwork for next year.

On the unhappy customer, that is a different matter. An unhappy customer will not pay their bill timely, and will not renew. So job #1 is to see if you can convert them into a happy customer. 99 out of 100 times, the problem is that the artwork was lousy. Whether you did it or not, you need to go to them and say “I’m afraid that your artwork did not turn out as well as planned. Let’s try this. I’ll go ahead and make you up some new artwork and, once we’ve chosen a winner, I’ll get the vinyl printed and installed. If you renew the sign, I won’t charge you, and chalk it up to the next year’s artwork. If it still does not work, I’ll only charge you 50% of what it costs me. I think it’s worth a try, what do you think?” On a fair percentage of bad ads, this does the trick.

If you try everything and the customer is still unhappy, tell them “obviously, the sign is not working as you want it to. Let’s acknowledge the problem, and I’ll start trying to re-lease it and let you out of your contract.” Then you have them sign a letter confirming that they want you to re-sell the space, and then try and re-sell it. But they have to pay until you find a new advertiser and get the new ad installed.

Nobody bats 100%. Do your best to appease the occasional unhappy customer, but sometimes it’s better just to replace them with a customer who is a better fit.

One final thing: you often create or avoid this problem on the front end, based on who you rent to. If a Wendy’s wants a billboard for $500 per month, and Betty’s Cake Shop wants the same sign for $700 per month, go with Wendy’s for less money, but greater security and peace of mind.


Those are some good points. Let’s say you have a 6 month agreement. What was your timeline to reach out?

In my agreements, I have a clause for the customer to decide whether to extend the ad by the end of the 4th month. From a customer service standpoint, I feel compelled to reach out before that deadline to see how well the sign has helped. Is that typical? I don’t want to develop a reputation for grabbing the ads, cashing the checks, and to hell with the customer until it is time for renewal.

I’ve been lurking here for a couple of years ,but I’ve only posted once.Frank is so on the beam on this topic,.his reply looked like my own thoughts.What he wrote might have have looked sophomoric to the unenlightened, but being in the business for over 26 years I know what he wrote is" on the beam" If you want long term mailbox money,read and internalize what you read here…it’s literally millions worth of advice for free.


That’s not typical – but I like the extra service you’re providing. Anything that you can do to make the advertiser feel comfortable and give the sign a try, is a good idea. I’ve used the exact same concept, and I called it the “Freedom Lease”.


Thanks for the kind words – I really appreciate them.

Hello Everyone,

This is Harry, new-comer here. Regarding the customer follow-up, it is an important topic for every sales. And anyone has a set of method of himself or herself. Let’s share our ideas.

Hangel Technology Co., Ltd.

Thanks Frank! This is brilliant, systematic advice. I will refer back to this for every renewal until its in my bones.