Building relationships with your client does more than put you on a first name basis with the person that is going to purchase your product or service. Building relationships creates a better customer. Building a better client isn’t an act of greed; it’s what your client wants.
Think about it, your customer is human. Humans are social creatures and they want relationships. Why else are social rooms the most popular sites on the internet? They all provide places to meet people, share interests, and build relationships. People want to connect and don’t forget, your client is a person.
So, how does building a relationship with your customer build a better customer? A client with whom you’ve built a relationship is more willing to forgive an error, offer more honest insight into the best and worst of your product and give you feedback on how you can better serve them, get repeat business, and bring in more customers-people with whom they’ve taken the time to build a relationship.
If you have ever built a relationship you know that it takes time and nurturing. People that have taken all that time and effort to build a relationship are not going to waste it by making recommendations for something they don’t trust.
Building a relationship is building trust. When you have taken the time to listen to your customer and learn what they want you begin to earn their trust. If you have listened and deliver what they want, then you will have their trust and a solid relationship.
When you have their trust, they will return the same trust and the relationship will grow. When there is a problem they will come to you first, because they trust that you will get it resolved. When they want something more, i.e., new features, extra services or a repeat program; they will come to you.
Building a relationship is time consuming and shouldn’t end once your customer is out the door or off the phone. Follow-up is required. You know how much your client is worth to you. Compare the cost of finding a new client with the cost of a card and a stamp. A thank-you card or maybe a card for the holidays is always appreciated, but it doesn’t say you’ve gotten to know your customer. What about a birthday card or one for their children? Birthdays are personal, children’s birthdays are magical. Everyone knows when the holidays are coming; remembering a card on those days doesn’t take much effort. How many customers can brag and say their sales person or vendor not only sends them a card on their birthday, but also sends one to their kids? The cost of that card may not only bring your customer back, but remember how they were bragging about you? The person they bragged to may be your next customer.