One of the best ways to develop a successful and sustainable business, is to develop deep, rewarding relationships with your customers or clients.
A very common complaint people have, is that vendors often work hard to encourage them to become customers, but then become less interested in talking to them, once they have ‘converted’ them. This approach is myopic. It fails the customer and fails the vendor. It leaves the customer feeling unappreciated and leaves the vendor missing opportunities to strengthen her relationship with her customer. It’s also totally unnecessary!
The temptation to distance ourselves
With so many pulls on our time, it’s easier and faster to email someone when we have a message for them or we need some information from them. However, if we’re not careful, we can substitute too many of the human elements of our business for ‘efficient‘ alternatives. We can become a regular name in their inbox, whilst being a rare voice on their phone line.
So here’s a thought: What if you were to decide that from time to time, one of those emails would be replaced with a phone call or face to face conversation? What if you factored some conversation time into your working week, even if it’s just a catch-up call? (Especially if it’s just a catch-up call!)
Time is money
Yes, time is money, but investing your time building relationships with your clients is a sound investment.There will be days where you are just too busy to make one of these calls, but on the days where you can factor in 20 minutes of your time, in my experience, it’s a very good investment.
- It may simply make your clients feel more valued and less inclined to change providers, when your competitors target them with a great offer.
- It could also allow you to identify ways to be of greater service to them, increasing your value to them and their value to you.
- It might even be the encouragement they need, to feel confident enough about the way you look after customers, to refer you to their friends.
In most cases, you will enjoy ALL of the above when you embrace the human side of your business.
Photo: Mark Heybo