Strong relationships are the cornerstone of every growing and successful business.
If we neglect to build relationships with our customers or our potential customers (our prospects) then we will become a transaction and commodities based business – and that puts us squarely in a highly competitive, often price driven, short term frenetic market.
Building relationships increases your customers’ loyalty to you and your brand and they are more likely to go out and promote you to others – to be an advocate for your business. This is how momentum is built.
Warning: Once you start building and nurturing relationships don’t stop! It must be a way of business.
Perceived indifference is one of the most common reasons given for customers stopping doing business with a supplier. Inconsistent ad hoc contact will not build strong relationships which create loyalty. What it will create is a state of confusion.
The Key: Build relationships based on authenticity – do it because you believe you can make a positive difference – be genuine – add value.
Understand the opportunities to engage with your customers across the buying and delivery process – and then afterwards – what happens after the sale?
Develop a clear system around the touch points in your business – when will you make contact and how often? This contact does not need to be face to face – it can be a phone call, an email, a gift, an event. Neither does it need to be made by the same person – everyone in the organisation has a role to play in building and nurturing the relationships with customers.
- Hold a TEAM COLLABORATIVE – an innovative session that focuses on building customer relationships by upgrading the experience the customer or prospect has when interacting with your business. Involve everyone – those on the front line will have a different perspective to those in the back end.
- Ask your customers what they want – hold a CUSTOMER COLLABORATIVE – A work shop with selected customers to get a clearer idea of how your business looks from their perspective and what could be done to improve their experience.
It is the unique relationship that a customer has with you and your team which is your point of difference – your unique selling proposition. It is the one thing that your competitors cannot say that they have.