Building good relationships is crucial to doing good business and the strength of these relationships will define how successful your business is.
Relationships are never easy. Whether it’s personal relationships, relationships with our colleagues or relationships with our customers, for them to be successful they require constant work and attention. In our world of automation and innovation, it’s never been easier for us to build great relationships with our customers. Equally, it’s just as easy for customers to leave us if we’re not delivering for them.
That’s why we need to make our customers love us. When we love someone, we want to tell others about it, in fact, when we are deeply in love we want to shout it out from the rooftops so the whole world can hear. This is why we need our customers to love us, because even though marketing automation is becoming increasingly intelligent, it’s still word of mouth marketing that carries the most power and leads to the most conversions.
The good news is, it’s easy to make your customers love you, it isn’t hard to implement and everyone can do it. We should all be pros when it comes to seducing our customers. You don’t necessarily need to woo them with gifts but you do need to care about pleasing them.
Here’s where to start…
Deliver an enhanced experience
Our experiences matter and our interaction with brands and products is now much more than the product itself. Of course, consistency and a quality product will always be key but to make our customers fall in love we need to give them amazing experiences; ones that leave them richer in ways they didn’t even see coming because then, not only will they tell others about it, they will keep coming back for more.
Look at Pret a Manger. They deliver a consistent product of great quality all across their stores. Their cafes are usually places full of positive energy and their staff are genuinely engaging. And then to top it off, every now and then they will give you a free coffee or free food for no better reason than it’s a nice thing to do.
The experience doesn’t end at purchase though. After the first blush of falling in love we have to work a little harder to make our relationships work (read more about Customer Satisfaction in this article). This is where after-sales care and support comes in. At Quinyx, this takes the form of our Academy and our dedicated support team. Other businesses use social media to great effect, responding quickly and engagingly to any potential detrimental posts.
Why settler for customer satisfaction? No one wants to go through life just feeling satisfied, they want to feel great. Deliver great experiences to your customers and go beyond mere satisfaction.
Listen to what they are saying and communicate well
“He never listens to me.” “She talks too much.” Common complaints these may be in personal relationships but they are also true in the way we interact with our customers. Do we really listen to what they want? Do we understand their needs and are we able to act on them? Customer feedback is vital to ensuring the product and experience we deliver remain exemplary. Ask your customers about everything from their favorite aspect of the product to any additional functionality they would like to see. When customers see their suggestions being implemented the bond they have with you strengthens further.
As well as being good listeners we need to be able to communicate effectively and sensitively. Through a deeper understanding of our customers we can learn the way they want to be spoken to and communicated with, giving them power to shape the relationship and always feel like they are unique in your eyes.
Build trust and always be open
A breakdown in trust has been the curse of many a promising relationship, cutting them down in their prime before they can really get going. Being open and honest is what builds trust while a break in trust will lead to customers heading elsewhere because they will feel like that have been mislead by false promises.
Last week we talked about the benefits of financial transparency within a business. The same lessons apply when we consider our relationships with our customers. Don’t over promise, always make sure you exceed their expectations and remember to take the time to say thank you.
The Beatles were close to the mark when they said, “All you need is love.” In reality, you also need a great product, a great team and a clear vision. If you can throw a dash of love from your customers into this mix, then you’re business will only ever get better.