How to Build Customer Relationships (Step-by-step)
Customer relationships are crucial to the success of any business. Businesses that build strong customer relations get loyal and returning customers that love your business and work as advocates. Let’s look at how you can work to build your customer relationships to get more loyal customers.
Listen to the customer
Perhaps this is the greatest art of all, and also the biggest challenge that way too few businesses focus on. Do not only sit and wait for your customers to speak but really listen, feel, and try to understand what the customer means. Both the pronounced and the unspoken. What is it that they actually say? What are their needs? If your customers are not saying anything, you need to ask them.
Practice asking open-ended questions, ie questions that cannot be answered with just yes or no. Then the dialogue usually becomes more vivid and nuanced.
Take every opportunity to interact – fast
Time is money. Waiting creates worry. Make sure you take every opportunity to interact and build your relationship and make sure you do so fat so your customers don’t have to wait.
If you are unable to provide a detailed answer quickly, you can inform them that you have received the question and set a time for when you can return to them.
Give special care to the returning customers
In order to build strong relationships, you need to value them. Make sure your customers feel seen, heard, and are appreciated. It’s not really that hard, it just requires consistent action and work.
Help your clients and colleagues with their careers
Growing and developing is a basic need of all people. Especially those with courage, self-confidence and ambition. We are basically curious individuals who want to see what is in the corner, want to discover our strengths, strengths and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to help those you meet with advice, tips, inspiration and contacts.
You may risk losing a customer or colleague for the time being, but you will win a friend for life. You never know where they will end up in the future but one thing is for sure, you have won an ambassador and a loyal customer and this is extremely valuable.
Check all the text you send to the customer
Spelling errors and poorly formulated texts give a careless impression and it always affects a relationship. Especially if it happens often. It is easy to become blind of your own mistakes and not discover faults and shortcomings, what do you do? Of course, you use spelling programs or why not let someone else read the text, someone who comes in with fresh eyes? Then you often discover what you missed. Make sure you always proofread.
And, if you can, leave a text to rest overnight. As you read the next day, it is often much easier to see and detect errors and shortcomings. This is good for both the text and the relationship. Fort and error is not a good combination.
Be loyal to your workmates – and the customer
Everything you focus on will happen. If you send out uncertainty, you get uncertainty in return. If you send out positivity and faith in the future, you will get back faith in the future back. And if you focus on building a loyal, safe and developing collaborative climate, you will most likely get the same back.
Be loyal, believe in man, seek solutions, show respect, be clear and seek common solutions and goals. Then you will be able to move mountains together. This applies to customers, colleagues, employees and suppliers. Shyness pays off in the long run.
Don’t talk negatively about the competitors
Don’t talk negatively about the customer. Don’t talk negatively about the employees.
So simple, yet so difficult. It’s so easy for bad words to slip out. But remember. Negative thoughts and statements spread and sooner or later come back as a boomerang. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes at times. Wickedness and toxic comments only create a breeding ground for uncertainty and a bad mood. Be straight and clear, take any criticism in a single room but do it with a good heart. Otherwise, you might as well be quiet.
The basic questions that one should always ask themselves when the nasty side of one’s self is trying to get out are: 1. Is it true? 2. Is it nice? Is it necessary? If the answer is yes at all points and you can see the person in the eye, that criticism can be constructive. If you mean it.
Have evaluation calls with the customer at least once a year
Don’t just let the years go by. If you are an expert and want to be a partner who takes the relationship seriously, you should book continuous evaluation calls.
It’s professional. It shows that you are committed. It strengthens the relationship. Remember to send out proposals on the agenda before a meeting and ask the customer to add or subtract. An evaluation conversation should be a dialogue where you think together. In a positive spirit.
Have catch-up calls with the customer at least once a year
Update about yourself and the customer about the state of the market, new trends, new competitors, new ways of working within the industry and in society.
How will digitalization affect the customer and your relationship? How do the world’s global events affect the customer and their work situation. Regularly reflecting together and looking for the future creates both confidence, self-confidence and courage.
Never forget that you work in the service industry
You exist for the customer – not the other way around. It is actually very strange how many people actually seem to forget it.
70% of all business relationships end because the customer did not feel the right commitment from his partner. The same goes for customer relationships.