Improving Client Relationships | The Art and Science of Creating Great Client Relationships
Improving Client Relationships | If we could tell you how to increase your sales by 50% without increasing your marketing budget, would you be interested? Of course you would, what business owner wouldn’t be interested? One of the keys to maintaining a thriving business is a steady client base. A successful business typically sees 80 percent of its business come from 20 percent of its clients. Many business owners, however, are uncertain how to build strong customer relationships. Like any other relationship, the foundation you establish with your client or customer is crucial to how the business relationship will develop over time. Improving client relationships requires taking the time at the start, going the extra mile and paying attention to detail.
You’ve got a choice here. You can be like most other businesses and continue to tell yourself that your high service standards are enough to bring the clients back. Or, you can be like a relatively small number of businesses that decided to take customer relationship building seriously – and profit handsomely because of it. Relationship marketing is a strategy created to foster customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement. It is designed to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their won needs and interests, and by promoting open communication.
Here are four ways to build rock solid relationships with your clients for exponential growth. When your client realizes there’s more to the relationship than just a financial transaction, you both win.
Pick Up the Phone | Improving Client Relationships
Email and other forms of electronic communication make it easier for business owners to stay in touch with clients, but they are not the most effective way to build a relationship. To build a strong relationship with your client, you need to pick up the phone and call to discuss the client’s satisfaction with your company and any improvements the client would like to see.
Communicate | Improving Client Relationships
Listening is just as important as telling. Think about how often you actually speak with your clients. Why does Jeff Bezos write personal letters on the front page of Amazon.com? Because he recognizes that even as CEO of the world’s largest online retailer he can create an emotionally valuable connection with his customers. What’s funny is many businesses make the mistake of training employees to memorize greetings, sales pitches and apologies, when all clients really want to do is communicate with you. When speaking with your clients, try to get face-to-face, make sure you use their names, make jokes and be polite, but conversational. If Amazon can do it, you have no excuse.
Provide Great Customer Service | Improving Client Relationships
Good customer service means going the extra mile to meet your client’s needs. Clients remember being treated well, and positive experiences result in repeat business. Make sure that there’s a clear and accessible way for clients to communicate with you, whether it’s in person, by phone, or by email, and that you have someone assigned to customer service on an ongoing basis.
Negative feedback and client complaints give you the opportunity to hear what your customers really think about your company. Complaints help you improve your service, give you a chance to redeem yourself and, keep potentially toxic reviews from hitting social media.
Provide Customer Incentives | Improving Client Relationships
Customer incentives give people a reason to return to your business. They come in a variety of forms; buy two and get one free, frequent shopper points, rebates, adding a free service to the sale, gifts, and gift cards all offer enticement for people to choose your business when they decide to spend their hard-earned dollars. Customer loyalty programs are the next-generation marketing strategy in improving client relationships. It is a viable and measurable marketing tool that small businesses can use to retain their customers and grow their business.
Reach out to your clients with free promotional items from time to time such as mouse pads, sticky pads or any office supplies that the client can use every day. They help the client reduce their office supply costs and act as constant marketing tools for your business.
Be Flexible | Improving Client Relationships
Be quick and attentive to a client’s problems or complaints. Remember that each client is an individual with unique circumstances and needs. You should set aside some strategic ideas for dealing with an unhappy client, but you shouldn’t waver far from the old mantra that the customer is always right. Don’t assume you understand the situation before you have heard the client out and made an effort to see things from their perspective.