How much do you love your customers? We certainly do – and we feel the greatest sense of success in our own business, when we see their businesses achieve and succeed, knowing that they are doing so with our support. There’s something hugely special about that to us. And that success can come in all shapes and sizes – whether it be doing a video for social media for the first time, securing a new client, or pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. But a customer shouldn’t just be a transactional relationship. You want them to become supporters, advocates and champions. You want them to stick with you for the long run. But how do you build customer relationships that last?
Each customer is unique of course, and their experience in working with you will be based on their own needs and requirements. But there are a few things that cut across all of them.
This is absolutely key, and this piece from BizBritain summarises the reasons for this, well. But how do you create and grow a sense of trust with your customers? Here are a few ideas:
- Respect them, their needs, timescales and schedules
- Be clear, timely and open in your communication
- Listen – not just when they have a problem, but when they tell you what they want to hear from you, and when
- Keep your promises, and stand by your commitments.
We all want to feel loved and valued. It doesn’t matter whether your customer is speaking to you in person, or simply filling in a contact form on your website. They all deserve to feel that you’re interested in them, that you want to hear from them, and that you value them. So in order to build customer relationships that last, you need to recognise that, and build it into your customer service approach.
So what can you do to make them feel this way? To make them feel special? Again, a few ideas to get you started:
- Use their name. So simple. But so effective.
- Show an interest in them. Ask questions. Remember the details. Then follow up.
- Use what you learn to tailor your approach further
Go above and beyond
When you run a business, you don’t want your products or services to be ‘just okay’, right? So it makes sense that you treat your customers, and the services you provide to them, in the same way.
In building a relationships with your customers, it’s going above and beyond that makes their experience truly special. It’s what sets the great apart from simply ‘good’. It’s what creates the memorable. The extraordinary. And let’s face it, we all want that for our businesses.
So how do you create, and deliver the extraordinary?
- Don’t assume you know what your customers want – ask them. Seek feedback. And listen to it.
- Don’t stand still. Your competitors are always thinking of what comes next. Changing things. Innovating. So make sure you are too.
- Respond to their needs, and then add extra value – this can be something as simple saying thank you. Or providing free sample or upgrade. But fulfil their needs. Then go beyond it.
So what do you think? Do your customers feel like you care about them? Have they experienced service that goes above and beyond their expectations? Do they trust you? Why not put a few of these tactics into practice and see how your customers respond?
And if you’d like to know your audience a little better, we have the perfect module for you!