Every year companies spend trillions of dollars on customer acquisition; unfortunately, much of that money is wasted when companies fail to build strong client relationships. It takes time and dedication to foster any kind of relationship. To help improve your current client relationships, here are 3 strategies that you can start implementing in your company today.
Relationships are built on communication, especially in business. Your communications strategy with your clients should incorporate three things.
- Share the important information that your clients want. Shipping confirmation or an update on the status of a project are vital pieces of information your clients need to run their business, and they appreciate regular updates.
- Communicate your expertise. Establish your company as their source of information for products or services related to your business, because, when you do, they’ll come to you for your advice.
- Be open to their feedback. Follow up with your clients to make sure their experience with your company was more than satisfactory. Listen to what they have to say, and address their concerns in a real way.
RELATED POST: The Importance of Good Listening Skills
Focus On The Person
It’s easy to forget that your clients are people. You spend so much time looking at sales reports and financial statements that you neglect to see your clients as individuals, with their own preferences and ways of thinking.
To focus on the clients as individuals, make up a client profile sheet for each of your clients that details important information about them. Areas to cover should include pertinent professional information, like preferred communications style, best time to contact, and a secondary contact if the client is unavailable, but it should also include some of the client’s personal information, like birthday, or interests outside of work. Use the information to customize your clients’ experience and show that you appreciate them as people. A thoughtful birthday card can go a long way to establishing meaningful client relationships.
As your client relationships mature, you need to reward the client’s loyalty. Reward programs demonstrate to your clients just how much you value them, and show that you recognize the length of the relationship.
Rewarding your clients can take many forms. Simple discounts or savings programs deliver real dollar benefits for doing business with your company over a long period, but they can lack the personal touch that some clients want. Customer appreciation days offer a personalized opportunity to thank your most important clients for their business, while also showing your clients that they are more than just a number to you.
Client relationships are essential to the long-term health and success of your business. In 2016, make an intentional effort to strengthen those relationships, and watch your business grow.