Communicating with your customers is vital to continued success in business. Poor communication is the fastest way to lose existing customers, whether it’s because of lack of communication or unclear communication. Sometimes communicating with your customers can be a job in itself. This is especially true for companies with a large clientele list. You do not have to be like Michael Scott from The Office, who memorizes the names of every client’s kids, their allergies, and their favorite sport. That may be a little creepy. But you sure don’t want to come across as an insensible person, who has no care for personal relationships and is only in business to make money. So here are a few steps a business owner, manager, or even a salesperson can take to make their relationship with their customers indissoluble.
Michael Scott may take it too far with his knowledge of his client’s children’s habits, but it shows that he truly cares about the business relationship they have and most of the time it works to his advantage. Whatever you do, you want to stand out, so the next time that client picks up the phone looking for the service you provide, there is no way they are calling anyone else. It is difficult to stand out when business is becoming so impersonal. With the internet and phone being the connection between most businesses and customers, how do you stick out?
First, find a talented receptionist. This person is the voice of your company. When those clients start calling, you want someone with confidence and cheer taking care of whatever problems or questions they might have. The receptionist should be the epitome of your mission statement bundled up into the perfect employee. Train them to care for each phone call as it is their own customer and offer them bonuses or incentives to keep them upbeat and focused. There is software available that can simplify the job and keep your company on track. A receptionist plays a huge part in the operation of a company and should be rewarded for hard work.
Next, create an online forum for your company for those clients who prefer to work over the internet. Your receptionist can also be in charge of this forum with your guidance and knowledge. This will allow your customers to have a place to ask questions that are not time-sensitive, which will promote a more transparent relationship. Your customers will have faith that you care for their questions after they see you invested in an on-line forum which caters to their needs.
Finally, acknowledge any special days or holidays. Don’t do it the old fashioned way! For example, you should have the first day your company did business with the client on record. It is almost like your anniversary! On major holidays like Christmas and New Years, send them a New Year or Christmas corporate holiday E-card thanking them for their continued business. These e-cards are the newest and fastest way to show your customers how much you care. They will be happy to know you are thinking about them during the holiday and impressed with the tech-savvy card. It also saves a lot of time that most people don’t have anyway! No more cramming written holiday cards before your precious few days off.
This is the way to build a personal relationship first and a business relationship on top. It guarantees a level of trust between your business and your customers. Trust will always win a customer over; once they know you provide the best service, the personal rap you build with them through these steps will ensure repeat service and a fruitful relationship.
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Ashely is part of a team of writers that has contributed to business blogs and news sites. If you want to see more, follow her on Twitter @ashelymarie1985.