This is not as easy as it seems. Small business owners are often too busy to provide this much needed service that could differentiate his or her business from other competing companies. Follow up directly by the owner is a nice personal touch, but it may be better to have your administrative help provide that service, as it tells customers that you have a support staff. If you don't have a support staff, a third party follow up service is a good idea. Using a third party service is also good because customers are less likely to volunteer objective opinions to the company owner or office personnel. And a high quality, reputable third party follow up service has the time, expertise, and resources to handle these calls efficiently, while adding a level of professionalism to your business.
Following up with customers and leads is crucial in determining their level of satisfaction, so you can take steps to resolve the issue with that customer, and you can find out how to improve your customer service in general. Your customers are also a valuable resource. You can't be everywhere, so customers can clue you in on what's going on with subcontractors on the job, if your workers are showing up late, if your salespeople are too pushy, if your prices seem too high, if your work needs improvement, etc.
But follow up calls are not just for checking your customers' level of satisfaction. There are many other compelling reasons to keep in touch with customers, including:
Remember that, on average, 98% of dissatisfied customers won't complain to you; instead, most of them will simply not be repeat customers. And they will tell 9 other people about their experience!
The differentiating factor from one business to the next is often the level of customer service and not the price!* And businesses with perceived high customer service can sustain higher prices than their competition.**
* Edward Lowe Foundation - http://edwardlowe.org/erc/?ercID=6328
** The Profit Impact of Market Strategy Report (PIMS)