A business is as good as the good customers it serves. There is no business that would go far if it loses its customers. The key to success is building relationships that go beyond one-off projects and provide value to customers on a consistent and consistent basis.
Here are some tips for developing a productive and lasting relationship:
1. There is no such thing as over-communication
Customers rely on you to keep them up to date. Make regular calls and meetings with one of your top priorities. This includes updating and reminding of different projects and questions, as well as getting acquainted with any bumps that you encounter.
2. Be a useful resource
The more value you offer, the more your customers start to depend on you. Do not hesitate to share information that your customers may find useful, whether it benefits you in some way or not. At the same time, refrain from shooting them with irrelevant news or gossip, and do not worry about offers that you know are unlikely to interest them.
3. Be honest at all times
There is no way for a long-term relationship to survive if the two sides are not honest with each other. In addition to providing a product or service that your customers need, your primary responsibility is to be open and honest in all their dealings with them. Customers are smart; they know when they are misled or manipulated. Even using a “noble lie,” for example, about why you could not return a phone call can damage your reputation. Without a reputation for integrity, you will never be able to cultivate the type of long-term relationships your business depends on.
4. Always keep your terms
“Stated word – thrown stone” should be a guiding principle in all your customer relationships. When you say you do something, there should be no doubt in your client’s mind that this may not be the case. By tying up with a deadline, you release your client from the worries that a vital product or service may not be ready on time. This lack of anxiety builds trust and customers prefer to work with a business they can trust, instead of wasting time looking for someone else, even if it is cheaper.
Developments in customer relationships are critical to getting repeat business and referrals. Make it easy for your current clients to recommend you by contacting them regularly (but not annoyingly!). Make sure you send different and useful messages, not just notes to increase your sales. Do you remember those annoying friends in your life that they always take and never give? Do not become the business equivalent of these people. Make sure you provide value to your clients and they will reward you with long-term loyalty.