Good customer relationships don’t only make your work life a pleasant experience, they also save you a lot of money and give you free marketing. But how can you get that customer relationship bobbing along at a nice pace? We talked to a marriage counselor to get their opinion because if anyone knows how to counsel on a relationship, they would know!
The Ins & Out Of Customer Relationships
Relationship management is not filled with groundbreaking science. You have probably heard it all before but, being human, we forget and need a refresher! A customer relationship actually boils down to your employee relationships with you and employee relationships with your customers.
If building great customer relationships was easy, millions of self-help books would be unsold. These relationships need effort and patience, but let’s see what the professional has to say!
Communication Unlocks Happiness (And Profits)
Communication is like the location of real estate ‒ communication, communication, communication. Words are very powerful and have a profound impact. Choose what you post and what you type in emails very carefully. Use professionals preferably. If a customer is confusing you, don’t get irritated. Take a deep breath and ask them what they mean. Always be respectful, think respectfully of the clients, and never talk negatively about clients to employees or they will not respect clients.
The Respect Tango
If you lose respect for your client, you will fall out of sync with them and the relationship will start stumbling. When respect goes out the door, the relationship will soon follow, so do whatever you can to maintain your respect for the client ‒ and this may require deep buckets of empathy. If you persist with respect, even a very difficult client will probably come around.
In our book The Business Kamasutra, we talk about the Trust-O-Meter. By following this, you nurture your client towards buying and sticking around long term.
Trust requires consistency, reliability, and the abovementioned respect. If you say you will respond in 24 hours ‒ respond in 24 hours. If you fail, own it. To be trusted, you must be trustworthy. The more a customer trusts you, the more they will buy from you.
If something goes wrong with a customer journey, put all your focus on resolving it fast. Don’t blame the client. If the client feels ‘cheated’ or ‘abused’, they will spread the news like wildfire and never buy from you again. What a waste of a huge investment.
Explain your position and avoid being defensive. Be frank ‒ ask what will make them happy, and don’t try to guess. Sometimes they just want a listening ear and acknowledgment of their inconvenience.
Choose Your Battles And Win The War
You do not have to win all the battles in order to win the war. Sometimes the customer is just plain wrong, but you do not have to rub their noses in it. Be polite, respectful, and firm. Avoid pointing out that they are wrong; it does not score you any points in your business and bottom line.
Relationships are not plain sailing but making an effort usually gets handsomely rewarded. Good customer relationships will earn you great profits and a happier time at work. Is that not worth the effort?
Tell us what has worked for you with customer relationships here. We’d love to hear your stories!
Want to discuss how we can help?