Recently I received an invitation from a former client to the launch of a new business venture. The invitation got me thinking of how important it is to cement customer relationship. I wondered about the lasting impression I must have left with that business owner that would cause him to reach out to me to share in the growth of his business long after I would have changed my career path. Then I reflected on the actions that would have helped me to cement that customer’s relationship.
In today’s article we share tips from Serial Entrepreneur and CEO of Patriot Software Company Mike Kappel on simple ways to cement customer relationships.
Communicate. As a key to any good relationship, communication is an essential way to build customer relationships, said Kappel. He emphasized that companies should not wait for customer service to become a problem, instead they should teach employees how to effectively communicate with customers to strengthen customers relationships.
I remembered when I first met that former client. Rather than just telling him about the range of services my company provided, I listened to him talk about his business. He was passionate and driven and knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish. Having understood his needs, I was able to communicate with him so that he recognizes that my interest was also to build his business.
Exceed expectations. Kappel cautioned that businesses should under promise and over deliver. “You should continue to raise the bar on what your company offers, because when you impress customers, they keep coming back.”
Show appreciation. Kappel highlighted the importance of saying thank you in a tangible way. He suggested that business owners reward long-time customers. Customers will remember the way service providers make them feel. If you treat them well, you will have their loyalty for a long time.
Ask for feedback. “Always listen carefully to comments and respond promptly, whether it’s a compliment or a complaint.” Kappel advised that the worst thing you can do is ask for feedback then not address concerns. He said even negative feedback is valuable and can give you an honest gauge of customer satisfaction.
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