Five ways to build great customer relationships
The foundation of any successful business comes from customers that love you, buy from you repeatedly and recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
To achieve this, you need to establish how the relationship will work as soon as possible. Not everyone is the same so if you can tailor what you do the service will feel more special.
Who does what
Be really clear about what you will do and what is the customer’s responsibility. If you are submitting a proposal it makes sense to include it in that. It’s one of the easiest ways to fall out if it is not clear. Even in somewhere as simple as a café a customer can get annoyed with an uncleared table while the staff are getting annoyed because no one is clearing their own table; just because you have a space for trays that won’t mean people know you expect them to collect up their dirty crockery.
What the customers get for their money
There is nothing worse than getting an unexpected bill for something you thought was included. This links to clarity about what you do. Great customer relationships are built on you pointing out potential costs that might arise but which you haven’t included such as on-going running costs.
Firstly, if it is an on-going relationship then identifying the preferred method of communication for each customer will make them feel that they are getting a better service. We don’t get a mobile signal in our office, so suppliers who text us are very annoying. If you are dealing with small companies then they may also have preferred times of the day when it is good to get hold of them.
Next it is critical to keep customers informed at agreed regular intervals, rather than them having to chase you, particularly if there are problems or delays.
Great customer relationships are built on saying what you are going to do and then delivering consistently over time. Don’t take an old established customer for granted, they still need to be cared for as if you had only just got them as a client.
What will make your service go viral is the unexpected thing you do to delight the customer. It might be like the dentist that sends a bouquet of flowers after an appointment for major treatments or the pet hotel that sends postcards home from the pets. Think of something you can do to WOW your customers and you will not only keep them but attract lots more.
Find out more about dealing with customers in our business skills session 23rd October 2018