In today’s professional climate, building long term relationships with your customers can help to boost your sales and encourage repeat business. Nurturing client relationships from the first point of contact lets your customers know you care about them and not just their money.
Initial Building Blocks
From the first time you make any contact with a potential customer, you should have a strategy in place to develop the relationship. Your customer won’t know this, but it’s good business practice to have a plan in place that deals solely with your customer service and ongoing relationships. It is these initial interactions that will determine how you are judged by your customers. Clearly, the service or product you are seeking will have a huge impact, but customer service is always king. It’s not uncommon for customers to forgive an issue if it is handled sensitively, and an apology is forthcoming. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s often how they’re dealt with that forms a lasting opinion of you and your business.
If customers have a positive first impression of you as a professional, they’re more likely to keep coming back to you. When customers know they are valued and can expect to be listened to, it gives them greater confidence in you and your business. While small gestures may seem inconsequential to you, to a customer they can mean a great deal.
After Care and Customer Service
Just add with initial interactions, ensuring the proper level of aftercare can also have a positive impact on your business’ bottom line and reputation. In a world what instant messaging and less have to face interaction is becoming the new normal, establishing robust customer service channels – and keeping these all at a consistently high standard – can pay dividends, quite literally. Service spikes always center around the needs and wants of your customer base. While youth can’t do everything they might want, though can listen and take comments on board. You can also ask your customers for constructive criticism and comment on your practice. These points can help you identify problems and take corrective action. Customers will be delighted to know that you not only value their input, but are also willing to incorporate it into your future customer service plans. Few things please customers more than feeling their input is valuable.
Don’t Forget about Existing Customers to Obtain New Ones
One of the biggest mistakes made by businesses is to abandon existing customers in their hunt for new ones. Nothing is more likely to push loyal customers into the arms of a competitor than ditching their aftercare and concentrating all your effort into picking up new clients. Loyal customers are understanding you need to increase your market share and bring in new revenue streams. However, they don’t want to feel they are being ignored as you search for new leads. A classic case, which happens all too regularly, is offering discounts to brand new clients only. This can lead to negative feelings and turn customers over to someone else. Don’t lose your loyal spenders just to replace then with someone else. When you’ve worked hard to nurture your relationships it would be disastrous to alienate long standing customers with a move like this. You may not see the problem, but they certainly will.
You need to spend as much time developing relationships with existing customers as you do marketing for new ones. Having the ability to form long term relationships with customers turns them into vocal supporters. A few positive words from a happy customer is invaluable to your success.