Forgotten Tips on How to Build Better Relationships with Your Customers
By Katrina Holmes
The number one rule in business is that the customer always comes first. If you want to build a great withstanding reputation and generate repeat customers, you should be prepared to interact with the people that determine your company’s success. Providing outstanding customer service often means putting them before your morning latte, your long-awaited lunch and your days off.
If you’re up for building better relationships and engaging in more customer conversations than simply “how’s the weather,” employ these tips and you’ll have happier customers and a great reputation for hooking prospects.
1. Treat them like a friend
Your customers are not strangers; they have invested time, money and effort into your product/service.
- Use their names. This may sound obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many people fail to use a simple ‘Hi Sandra’ at the start of contact.
- Engage on a deeper level. Ask them about their day, what they’re doing at the weekend, what events they have coming up. Rambling about your product/service won’t win you any brownie points.
- Personalise your emails. Don’t be afraid to put a little razzmatazz in emails before hitting send. It will get them smiling, laughing and rushing to reply.
2. Know their company
Knowing your customers and what company they work for gives you more insight into why they’re using your product/service and if there’s more business opportunities.
- Do your research. Showing you have done your research is impressive — know what they do and what they stand for. They’ll instantly see you’re interested and a mutual understanding will develop.
- Ask questions. Dig deeper. Ask them questions like ‘where do you see your company in five year’s time?’ This is an opportunity for great interactions, great information and a great way of determining if there is a chance of a long-running business-to-customer relationship.
3. Don’t forget about them
Your relationship doesn’t stop when a prospect becomes a customer. They haven’t fallen off the face of the earth or gotten lost somewhere in cyberspace.
- Use email communication. Send an email to see how they’re doing and to find out how they’re getting on with your product/service. Companies better themselves when receiving feedback, good or bad, so use this as a vital tool for your personal and company development.
- Send a calendar invite. If you’d prefer to have a proper catch-up, send them an email, arrange a time convenient for both of you, and send them a calendar invite. This way, they’ll know you’re serious about finding out the effectiveness of your product/service and care for their opinion.
4. Deal with problems INSTANTLY
We’ve all been there as unsatisfied customers, so nip problems in the bud quickly for guaranteed customer satisfaction.
- Determine the go-to person. You might not be the go-to person for problems, but alert the genius that is and ask for an estimated time for when the problem will be resolved. Let your customer know instantly that you’ve contacted the relevant person and you’ll be putting the “A” in attentive.
- It’s all on you. If you can fix their problem, don’t write an email. Call, engage in conversation and instruct your customer on how to fix the problem in real-time. This ensures it’s dealt with ASAP and you’ve caught up with your customer in the process.
5. Go the extra mile
Not all companies have time to go the extra mile but this could be the difference between a customer spreading the word on your product/service or never wanting to speak of it again.
- Interview customers for customer success stories. This gives you real insight into your product/service success and shows your prospects the positive impact it’s having on other businesses.
- Connect with them on social media. Get tweeting, Facebook-liking and pinning on Pinterest; they’ll return the favour and you both get publicity.
These tips seem obvious to those that have budding relationships with customers, but they are refreshers for others who need a reminder. As customers continue ruling the business world, give them your best efforts and get rewarded with customer satisfaction and loyalty.
About the Author
Katrina Holmes is a creative writer, digital socialite and content marketer at Ebsta. @ebstaholmes/@ebstahq
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