Last week I was waiting for a parcel to be delivered by a freight company. After 7 calls, what felt like ‘endless hours’ spent on hold, five promises that it will arrive ‘tomorrow’, it finally made it 9 days later! This made me think about customer service and relationships and how important they are in any business.
Will I ever recommend this freight company? I don’t think so! Will I tell someone never to use it? Probably. Now imagine if 20 or even 30% of their customers have a similar experience! There is so much lost business!
Most businesses forget how crucial it is to look after their customers and prospects. I’m pretty sure you have had a similar customer service interaction at some point in your life.
So, let’s be different! Show your customers and prospects that you value them and don’t miss out on opportunities!
Reality- check your business: How strong are your relationships? Are you looking after your customers and prospects?
Here are 5 easy and practical tips for you on how to improve your relationships with your customers in an instant.
1. Show appreciation: Make your clients feel appreciated, there is a lot of competition out there and it’s easy for your customers to choose a different provider if they don’t feel appreciated and valued. Maybe surprise them with a birthday or Christmas card, invite them to a special event and give them more value than they are expecting. Say thank you more often.
2. Be honest: Make honesty one of the top values in your business. If you know that a certain product or service is not suitable for one of your clients, say so, don’t just sell it for the sake of selling it. Your customer will remember your honesty and refer you to their friends and family because they trust you.
To give you an example, I once saw this beautiful jacket in a shop window, I went in and tried it on and when I asked the shop assistant if it suits me, she said that it looked a bit too big on me, I was so grateful for her being so honest. She could have made a sale right there, but she chose to be honest and instead made a frequent customer. I told so many friends about my experience and her shop and even though she didn’t make that one sale, she’s got a much bigger return by having been honest.
3. Be authentic: Be real and be yourself in your relationships, it’s too much hard work in the long term not to be. We all like to deal with someone who has a personality, it is so much more interesting and fun. Think about someone you know who is really authentic, how does this person make you feel? I myself definitely prefer surrounding myself with authentic people.
4. Be a good listener: Listen to what your customers tell you and remember when you see them next time. Being listened to is one of the greatest gifts you can give your customers. A little tip here: if one of your customer tells you about her son who is into soccer and playing an important game on the weekend, remember (maybe make a little note in your database) and when you see your customer next time, ask her about her son and how he went in the soccer game. You will see how impressed she will be for you remembering it. She will use your service or product and refer you guaranteed!
5. Keep in touch: Be in touch with your customers and prospects frequently to stay in their minds. Human beings are very good at forgetting. Remind them of you by staying in touch via email, phone, face to face, mail outs, newsletters etc. Next time they need your service or product, they will remember you over your competitor.
What can you do better in your business right now? Think about one thing you can do to improve your business relationships, implement one new strategy straight away and see your relationships flourish.
To Your Success,
Franziska is a maverick entrepreneur, leading marketing strategist, speaker, author and the co-founder atBasic Bananas
“Marketing today is dramatically different. It’s no longer just market share and how much you can sell. It’s also owning the customer relationship.” John Sculley