Today, it’s become easy to forget the necessary skills to create and improve relationships with our customers. We need to remember that clients are more than just electronic transactions that come to us through the internet.
The first step to better customer relations is to identify your customers individually and differentiate them from one another. Every client is different from the next, and as such they all have different needs. Some need a little more hand holding than others and will appreciate friendly reminders to keep their orders on track, while some are super organized and need very little help.
The second step is interaction. Simply put, it’s impossible to have a relationship with out interaction and every interaction either builds or weakens a relationship. It’s much easier to forge a strong long-term relationship if your interactions with your clients are based on “what can I do to help my client”, rather than simply trying to make a sale. Looking out for your client’s best interests, even when there is no short-term profit to be had, will cause your clients to appreciate and respect your assistance, which in turn generates a long-term relationship and sustained growth for your firm.
The third step is customization. Customization in a business relationship is like a marriage. In dating and then in marriage, we are constantly observing and learning our partner’s traits and habits. As we learn them, we respect these traits and work with them to build our relationships. The same is true in business and based on our observances, when we start treating Customer “A” differently than Customer “B” we are now “customizing” our relationships. Customization adds value to our relationships. When you treat your clients more personally, remember things for them, or simply make it easier for them to do business with you, you are adding value in your client’s eyes. Often, it’s the little things that mean a lot.
Lastly, throughout all of the steps, there are certain qualities that are also needed to help grow a relationship… Honesty, Sincerity and Gratitude. Having an honest and sincere approach with your clients goes a long way towards establishing a long-term relationship. And let’s face it, without our clients we would not be in business, so exhibiting our gratitude to them should go without saying.