Connecting with customers
Connecting with customers is more than just communication. Linking is a strategic effort to create relationships that go beyond the initial transaction. This includes communication, but it is much more than that.
Communication is a two-way street. Both parties, you and your client, have different points of view and different needs. Each of you is looking for something, and you both have something to give. What do you want from customer relationships?
Sale, reasonable profit, loyalty and recommendations.
What about your clients? What do they want from you?
Quality/value, honesty, information and support.
If your business provides what the client needs, it is much more likely that the client will give you what you want.
Communication with the client begins even before your first personal interaction. The image of your business plays a role in how you are initially perceived. If you present your business in a professional, trustworthy and useful way, the client will come to you expecting a positive experience. Your website, advertising, social media presence, and store appearance all influence your image and customer expectations.
The key to a successful first meeting is listening. Ask questions, get to know the customer and find out their real need, not just what they came to buy. Their needs are why your business exists, so meeting those needs within their budget and to their satisfaction is essential to sales success. Remember that consumers generally want options, both in product selection and payment methods. In your discussion, help the buyer avoid potential problems, provide value, and reassure them of post-sales support. And, make sure they do their fair share of talking.
If they are willing to share their contact information, then you can start chatting with them on an ongoing basis. It is important that you do not abuse this privilege.
Excessive communication disconnects and can kill the connection. When you communicate, remember three things:
Provide useful information – a special sale or discount, a new product offer, a seminar, or something else that has real value for the customer.
Make it personal – use their first name and pronouns like “you” and “I”. Write as if you were writing to a friend, and be concise. And don’t forget to mark their birthday, purchase anniversary, and other important dates.
You are an expert in your field. You know more about your products than anyone else (or you should). Clients are waiting for your answers. Become their trusted advisor. But also be careful; make sure you know the correct information. Make sure you stay up to date with all the latest industry innovations, trends and local news.
You can become a trusted advisor by sponsoring or participating in events. Host seminars or webinars. Become a media contact in your area of expertise. Use social media to create groups of friends related to your business. The goal is to make your business the center of information and activity in your area of expertise. This will encourage customers to appreciate their connection with you.
It’s nice to feel appreciated. Show your customers their value by amplifying their behavior with a connection.
After sales service is a great way to connecting with customers and make them feel appreciated. Any time you can solve a problem or do something right for a client, do it, even if it doesn’t make absolute financial sense for you. If you do your best to make the customer happy, it can bring significant profit to your business. Your customers will feel special, it adds value to the purchase and strengthens your reputation as an honest and decent person.
Rewards programs are a great way to connecting with customers. Points or gifts for purchases are a good incentive and provide additional value for the buyer. An in-store credit card program can offer several benefits to both the consumer and the retailer. Store Cards promote ongoing communication with the shopper through special credit offers and other member benefits.
Connecting with customers is not a campaign, it’s a commitment. It is a business philosophy that affects every aspect of your organization on a daily basis. Consumers are always looking for companies they can trust. Earn their trust on the first visit, and then increase it through strategic and consistent communication. Stay connected and you will get clients for a lifetime.