Follow 3 Golden Rules
July 16, 2020 is also known as Get to Know Your Customers Day. In 2020, businesses are learning painful, surprising, and sometimes inspiring lessons about customer relationships and how well they really know their customers.
Whether in normal, booming, or bad times, building and maintaining your customer relationships is just as important as your sales results. Here are three golden rules to follow:
The 1st Golden Rule: Listen, Don’t Just Tell
Getting to know what they want is more than just tracking what items or services are the most popular. It’s a purposeful and interactive undertaking. Your goal is not to tell customers about your business but to tell them what they want to know about your business. Hint: They’re not the same thing! Discover their needs so you can meet them, and uncover their pain points so you can solve them. Those reveals will tell you how to find new relationships and maintain the ones you have.
The 2nd Golden Rule: Get Customers to Engage
To promote relationship building, you want your customers to engage with you. This can be done in many ways through multiple channels:
Surveys: What is it about your products and services that keep customers satisfied? Ask product-specific questions to tailor current or create new products/services they want and to see trends. Ask if they consider your operations efficient. Your product may be great, but what about how your customers order it, how you deliver it, and how they can reach you with questions? Ask what else they would like to see from you.
Encourage reviews: You provide high-quality products at a great value. You offer excellent customer service. Your store is beautiful and welcoming. Your products look gorgeous on your very-easy- to-navigate website. But with no reviews about any of the above, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to entice new customers.
Social Media: Leverage different channels to do the above and also to:
- Talk about a topic of interest (not just your products)
- Join or start a Q&A
- Share colleagues, vendors & small business association content
- Promote incentives & offers, and gauge the response
- Offer free help, advice, and recommend others
- Respond to any comments from your followers
The 3rd Golden Rule: Pick up the Phone (or Start a Webchat)
When the COVID-19 crisis disrupted, and in some cases, completely shut down, my clients’ businesses, my first instinct was to reach out to each of them. I’m glad I did. I wanted to know exactly how the crisis would impact their staff and their operations.
It became clear that some were in “we just need to survive” mode. My usual services weren’t going to be enough. I needed to make adjustments to keep them as clients. Because of the rapport we had built over the years, our team was able to make adjustments and rise to the occasion.
Yes, the tougher the time, the more awkward it can be to ask questions that likely have difficult-to-hear answers. But if you’ve been engaged in relationship-building all along, your clients won’t be surprised that you called to talk about a difficult situation, and your connection will help you find a solution together.
Bottom line: Don’t let your customers and clients think that personal attention has fallen by the wayside. Online and in-person (or over the phone/webchat) engagement will remind them that they are your most important priority. Your attention to their needs will keep them loyal in good times and help you navigate rough waters in bad ones.
I want to get to you know you! PM me on the Brigade Facebook page, and I’ll be sure to follow your business. I can’t wait to become your newest Fan