How to Build Lasting Relationships with Your Customers
You think you know your customers, but do you really know them? In order for your customers to stick around, surface level relationships are a thing of the past. You should truly understand your customers’ wants and needs when it comes to your business. Check out ways below that can take your relationships with your customers to the next level, ensuring a lasting bond.
Move Beyond Small Talk
“So, where are you from? The weather outside has been so hot lately.” Small talk comes in a variety of forms and questions, but the concept remains the same. Surface level questions won’t get any relationship very far. Know your audience. Some customers will want you to know more about what’s going on in their lives, while others want to keep it strictly business. Even if you don’t want to get too personal, try to make a point to know some of their favorites the next time you have an in-person meeting. Having their favorite drink or food handy is the perfect way to show you care.
Write It Down
Are you taking notes? You’re going to want to write this down. When you hear an important nugget of information from your customer or potential customer, you’ll want to make a note. Not necessarily while you’re having the conversation, but directly after, write it down. If your business is able, consider investing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software which helps your business keep track of information such as contact information and special instructions or tidbits of information. This could be as simple as a birthdate so you can wish them a good one this year, or more elaborate such as their interests or family life.
Personalize Your Messaging
Nobody likes to feel like they’re one of a million. Instead, they want to feel like one in a million! When you know your customer base, you understand what is important to them. While one customer waits to stock up during your clearance sale every year, another steadily buys every month and expects a small discount because of their continued business. The more you know about what the customer likes and what they don’t, the easier it is to personalize your messaging. If you have a large customer base and don’t have the workforce to support detailed personalization, there are small steps you can take like adding in a first name to your email pushes.
There’s a difference between listening and actively listening. Actively listening involves comprehending what is being said, and then responding thoughtfully to further the conversation. Passive listening occurs when you’re hearing the words but not retaining or responding to the information. Passive listening can occur when we have too much going on at one time, are distracted by other things or aren’t interested in truly understanding what the customer has to say. By simply putting distractions aside and focusing on conversations with your customers, you’re sure to build better bonds with your customers.
Your customers are just like you. We’re all human, so follow the golden rule, and treat your customers the way you would like to be treated as a customer. Pay attention to the details, and truly listen to what they’re asking for. Before you know it, you have bonds and relationships that will last a lifetime.