Making money is important no matter what industry you are in. Without money, it is nearly impossible to grow and improve your business. However, that money must come from somewhere. That place is your customers and clients. It is so easy to get sucked in and forget that customers are just people, and we should not only be focused on what we can get out of them. We need to learn what we can give to our customers, and how that can benefit your business and business relationships. Keep reading to learn ways you can give back to your current and future customers.
Give Authentic Communication
It may sound backward, but sometimes we don’t give the customer the credit they deserve. You may have worked in this industry for years, but that doesn’t mean the customer knows nothing. In interactions with future and current customers, treat them as though they have at least the general knowledge and understanding of what you are meeting about. Making customers feel inferior is never a good way to start a lasting relationship. During these interactions, make sure that the customer asks questions if they have them and encourage open dialogue. This shouldn’t even need to be said but I am going to say it anyway, BE NICE! Your tone of voice and facial expressions say so much more to a customer than words ever could. Another way you can show authenticity to your customers is by being honest and not always sticking to the same old work track. People hate having to speak to automated systems, so why would they want to talk to someone who is simply reading a script and not actually hearing what they are saying? I am not saying you need to personally invest yourself in every little thing a customer says, but every time you interact with a customer, they should leave feeling that they were actually heard. This type of communication helps strengthen relationships and if you can get genuine and thoughtful interaction from a certain company, wouldn’t you be more likely to stay with them? Building trust and valuable relationships is a huge part of running a business. Get to know your customers, and share parts of yourself, your life, and your stories with them. Help them feel that you are more relatable and not just some corporate robot. More and more, we are seeing once highly-personal fields moving to digital and online services. You may not believe me, but there are still people who enjoy going in to talk one-on-one with their insurance agent instead of doing everything online! At the end of the day, we are all human, and interacting with each other is the only way to build trust and lasting professional relationships.
Give Your Support
Everything cannot, and will not always be perfect. Try as we might, but it just won’t happen! When something doesn’t go as planned and a customer is not happy, make sure they know you are there to help them in any way you can. One bad customer interaction being shared with others can have far more adverse effects than twenty good interactions ever could. Every situation should be treated with the same amount of effort and care. Of course, you should never allow yourself or your employees to deal with any abuse from customers. If the interaction becomes disrespectful, make sure you and your team have a plan for how to de-escalate the situation. For the other 99% of customers who will be respectful in these types of situations, make sure you are clear and concise with how you plan to fix their issue or make it right for them. Mapping out a plan with your client shows them that you are not just telling them what they want to hear. 82% of consumers report that they have left a company they were working with due solely to poor customer service experiences! Don’t let your business and your customers become part of this statistic! Make customer service a key priority. Customers who know they can rely on you for help are far more likely to not only stay with you but will be more likely to refer others to you as well.
Give a Positive and Valuable Experience
Your main goal should be to give all current and potential customers a positive and beneficial experience. You want that customer to go home and tell all their friends and family about how great it was working with you! Whether you talk over the phone, or they come into your office, you should be treating them like they are the most important person you have ever worked with. It is so important to remember that the person you are meeting with should learn something during your time together. You are offering them a service or a product, and they should leave with a better understanding of how that product or service works and how it can benefit them. If you are meeting face-to-face, the setting you are in should be professional looking, with a few personal touches. The personal touches show your personality and make you more relatable to them. This could be anything from a photo of your family, to your collection of Star Wars action figures. This creates talking points and opportunities for authentic conversation and professional relationship building points. You want that person to leave your office feeling that the meeting was worth their time. We all have such busy lives, so making time for something that is not absolutely essential should be taken seriously and appreciated greatly.
It is so easy to forget the human side of business. Don’t let yourself or your team get bogged down in the day-to-day work. Strong customer service is one asset that will never depreciate in value. People appreciate the time others have spent helping them. At the end of the day, we can only hope that giving our care, time, and full effort is enough to show current and potential customers what we are about and why they should be working with us. Use these ideas as a new way to approach how you interact with customers. When customers feel that they are viewed as more than just a piggy bank, lifelong business relationships can be formed.
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