Gone are the days when the red tie and tough sales tactics ensured customer loyalty. Indeed, a Studied at Harvard Business School It turns out that your customer won’t buy into your business if they can’t connect with your brand.
It turns out that customer relationships are important and, more importantly, customers find it easier to connect with a brand that they can connect with emotionally.
If you want to be successful in business, whether running your own show or working in a company, you need to build customer relationships.
Why should you build relationships with customers?
In short, it’s cheaper.
The Cost of adding a new customer is up to five times the cost of keeping an existing one. This means that every customer you have on your books is potentially five times more valuable than the one you don’t have yet.
That’s a pretty big price when you measure it in dollars and cents.
But it goes deeper. A well-maintained relationship with a customer exposes you to that too Power of networking.
How does it work?
It is not enough to meet a customer for coffee or to take him for an expensive meal. You need to make them feel that the encounter adds value to your life (and especially their life!).
Ramit refers to this process as Closing the circle.
Complete the loop steps
- Step 1: meet your customer. The idea is to put them in a comfortable, neutral environment. Networking events are great because the anticipation for business is already there. Make sure that your meeting point offers the opportunity to have the conversation freely.
- Step 2: start the conversation. This is where you build up this always important rapport that you click on with your customer. Get to know your customer: what makes them happy? What are you doing for fun? Find out what is important to them and how your relationship with them can be to their benefit. This could even go beyond personal interests such as sports or the arts. Be sure to ask questions (not any questions large Ask!) and ask for recommendations and even advice. Yes. They will ask your client for advice on whether it is something that will help you in business or how to improve your fly fishing. You will need this later during your follow-up.
- Step 3: Thank you very much to your customer. Thank your customer for their time within a few days of your meeting. Your secret sauce here will remember something personal about your client. If you know of an event that has happened since your last visit, be it business or pleasure, ask them how it went. This helps to keep the communication channels open and to keep them in your customer’s mind well beyond the first meeting.
- Step 4: the oh-so-subtle follow-up. While the follow-up may seem subtle, it is your Trojan horse in their psyche. It’s what keeps you on top of your customers’ minds when a topic comes up that you’re involved in, and not Joe Somebody (your competitor). A few days or weeks after that thank you, write your customer a message about the advice they gave you or a recommendation they gave you. Give them feedback on how this turned out and thank them for the tip. You just have to follow up. This is your golden ticket.
- Step 5: the personal note. Share information on a topic that you know your customer will be interested in. This can be done immediately after your meeting or even a few weeks afterwards. It gives you the ability to create a non-sales connection with the customer, which makes your customer feel a little more important than just a number in the books. It promotes the emotional aspect of relationship building. It’s also another way to stay on your customer’s mind without bombarding them with tons of follow-ups. This could be an emerging golf tournament, a convention in their industry, or something that would be of value to their spouse.
This works for digital companies too
There are a few key differences to a digital customer relationship and maybe a bit more trust in artificial intelligence through algorithms … Okay, wait, that’s boring, isn’t it? We will stop.
You will still close the proverbial loop with an online customer.
- Step 1: meet your customer. Your welcome letter to your customer should be an easy-flowing welcome letter for the family. Remember to personalize it! You send this immediately after the website visitor signs up for your newsletter or purchases a product.
- Step 2: Get involved with the community. Building a relationship with an online community can be a simple invitation to the community groups or signing them up for training materials. It’s also important to get in touch with the community so they know that you are part of the process. This is important for building trust and maintaining relationships. If you provide valuable free information, you also have a better chance of cross-selling.
- Step 3: Thank you very much to your customer. This is still your secret sauce. Thank you to your customers for their loyalty by giving them a glimpse into a future project or by allowing them to contribute to product development.
- Step 4: the oh-so-subtle follow-up. Then tell them how their feedback has had a positive impact on the company.
- Step 5: the personal note. If possible, write a personal note. If this isn’t possible, create a personalized experience for your customers when they visit your website or through your scheduled emails.
The results of a successful relationship with your customer
The main goal of networking is to be valuable to your customer. You want to be the first person that comes to mind when an opportunity arises. The power of a customer in your corner is the possibility of a referral. This also means future business so that your customer can establish himself in your company.
Every contact with your customer is a chance to build a relationship
Even if it’s relationship shit. Yes, you read that right. There will be times when someone is not satisfied with what you are doing or does not feel what you are offering. That’s okay! Not everyone has to like you or your business.
While it’s perfectly fine to fire a customer, a complaint can be a valuable tool for filling gaps in service delivery. Here’s how:
- Take responsibility
- Apologize even if it’s not your fault
- Offer a possible solution
- Refer the matter to the appropriate department and schedule a follow-up time
- Keep your customers up to date
Not only do you learn about potential service delivery problems in your company, but you also keep a customer.
Maintain your relationship
It is not enough just to have contact with your customer during the first sale. Whether you own a business or are a professional looking to climb the corporate ladder, it is important to remember that the sales process goes beyond selling the product.
While you may be familiar with the sales funnel, there is an updated, more customer-centric approach to this sales cycle the sales flywheel.
This technique allows you to keep your customer at the center of the sales process. This means that after the first sale, you don’t just walk away from your customer like they were last week’s burger.
This offers more opportunities to connect with your customer, which can lead to more cross-selling. Win right?
But it’s more than that. This way you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and stay up to date with your customers.
By working from the flywheel, you engage your customers at both sales and service levels so you can better anticipate their needs. The result? They create an environment of lore and exceptional service.
Building and maintaining customer relationships is important to building your rich life.
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