Fresh Ideas to Build a Solid Relationship with Your Customers
By: Leamon Crooms
Building positive customer relationships is critical to any organization. The challenge is maintaining those close, personal relationships as your small or medium business continues to grow. The good news is there is help available and plenty of good, fresh ideas to build a solid relationship with your customers. Here are a few.
Consciously or unconsciously, many businesses work to build their customer or client lists and track sales. A slight shift in attitude can help build stronger, longer-term relationships. Shifting our approach from collecting customers to creating partnerships can make a dramatic difference. A partnership is where ultimately, you work together for the common good. This can also relieve some of the competitive stress that is present in many business relationships.
The better you know your customers, the better opportunity you have to build positive customer relationships. Every contact, conversation, and meeting is likely filled with nuggets of information that can help you become closer with your clients. They may mention their anniversary or son’s birthday or even internal sales goals. When this info is noted and gathered, it can become a powerful relation relationship-building tool.
Look for Ways to Exceed Expectations
Satisfying customers is just not good enough anymore. Your company should be on the constant lookout for ways to exceed expectations. Perhaps it is just exceeding delivery goals or follow-up customer service calls. If a customer has expressed concern with another vendor casually, make sure your company doesn’t create those same concerns. Be proactive in your search to exceeds expectations.
Ask for and Encourage Feedback
One of the best ways to create closer, long-term positive relationships with customers is to ask for their input, feedback, and suggestions. Ask them why they do business with your company and what improvements they would make. This could be done through a conversation or even through a survey. What products or services would they like to see you offer? This is particularly powerful when you implement one of their ideas or suggest their comments inspired another idea you implemented.
Don’t “Sell” with Every Connection
Remember, every contact is designed to build stronger relationships, not just sell a product or service. Some representatives only contact their customers when there is a new item to sell or it is time to re-order. This can create a situation where your company only contacts a customer to ask for or sell something. Find reasons to connect with clients other than to sell them. Perhaps it is sending them a business-related article you found or another piece of helpful information.
Listen with Empathy
We’ve all been there. You are so excited about your product that your presentation becomes one-sided. You forget to listen. When your goal is building longer-term, positive customer relations, you should focus more on asking questions and listening with empathy. Avoid the temptation to pounce on a customer’s response or objection that you feel you have THE answer to. If a client has questions or concerns, they deserve a thoughtful response. When they understand you are there to listen, you are beginning the path to a relationship.
Communicate Through Their Preferred Method
Most of us tend to communicate through our favorite vehicle, whether through phone, texting, email, etc. We should focus on speaking to our customers through their favorite method. This is not only courteous but increases the odds of improved communication and response.
Who are Your Most Loyal Customers and Why?
You can learn a lot from your most loyal customers. What do they have in common with each other? Are there common threads that make them so reliable? You should always know not only who these customers are and what contributes to their loyalty. You can get to know them through surveys or questionnaires, or if you have the opportunity, through mixers and events to not only get to know them better but to thank them.
Consider Getting Help
If your company is growing fast enough, it may be time to reach out for help for your customer success management program. This could be in the form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, working with a digital marketing agency, or even using a marketing consultancy. These are all viable options to facilitate growth while maintaining close relationships with your customers.
At StratGrow, we specialize in assisting small to medium businesses maneuver their way successfully through a gauntlet of digital marketing challenges they face. From website design to content marketing, social media marketing, or SEO, we help our customers achieve more. To learn more, we encourage you to contact Strategic Growth Advisors.