Customers are important stakeholders in any business or industry. Without them, what would the company be doing? Nothing actually. If you’ve been in a customer-facing position which you must certainly have at one point or the other, you’d agree that it’s quite easy to spot the difference between good client relationships and bad ones.
Good client relationships make the customer feel they’re well appreciated and are partners in your business. It becomes easy for them to trust you and you, them. At the end of the day, you feel great about your role and the work you do for them.
The end result? That relationship grows into something bigger and better — they become more inclined to do more business with you and go as far as referring other people to you. Clients who are treated right become the ad you never pay for but keeps paying off.
Here are six tips to help you create a strong and lasting impression on your customers.
1. Ask for Feedback
Asking for feedback isn’t solely so your team can wrap up just finished projects. Develop the habit of intentionally asking your customers what they think about your services and how you can improve their experience with you.
For example, after providing your services to them, call to ask for feedback about how it was helpful or not. Give them the opportunity to tell you what was challenging and could have been done differently. By engaging them that way, you not only show interest in their opinion, but you also get to learn credible information that might benefit your future clients. The benefits of customer engagement cannot be overemphasized and should be taken seriously. They can affect your bottom line and help you stay ahead of the competition.
Let them know early enough that you don’t mind feedback and strongly encourage them to. That way, you get to lay the foundation for long-term collaboration.
2. See Your Client As More Than Another Number
Even though your relationship with your client should be usually no more than a professional one, seeing them as more of a person than another paycheck would go a long way in improving the way they relate with you.
The limit to which the relationship is appropriate would depend on your organization’s purpose. In the sales scene of any business, giving more value to your clients is always profitable. Perhaps your client is a parent, simply asking about the well-being of their children is a good way to begin. If the relationship is tighter, you could make the discussion just a little bit more personal.
3. Exceed Your Set Expectations
When you make a promise to your client, do what you said you’re going to do and deliver on time. Do more than just fulfill your promise —exceed them with fantastic communication and energy.
That is more reason why you shouldn’t set expectations you can’t meet with your client; this makes it easy for you to actually deliver. It’s not incompetence, it actually means understanding your abilities, turning in time, and being sincere about challenges you might face if you discover any.
In setting expectations, be clear with your client about the details of your offer. Remember that a crucial factor in exceeding expectations is your character. Rather than getting frustrated, patiently explain as calmly as possible.
4. Air Your Opinions Freely
In building strong and lasting client relationships, you need to ensure that they are always able to trust and depend on your expertise; this is why maintaining an open policy with your professional opinions regarding the best interests in their situation is crucial. It is usually simple and easy to want to agree with them sometimes and avoid unnecessary situations by telling them what they want to hear.
The outcome of that practice can damage your integrity or reputation, lowering the possibilities of building lasting relationships. Don’t hold back on informing your client of better solutions; they would no doubt respect your opinions in the long run.
5. Maintain a Positive Attitude
This can be a difficult thing to do as a professional because of the number of responsibilities you carry. However, no matter how stressed or worn out you may feel, don’t let them see that. Giving off positive energy is crucial to how they’d relate with you. People always enjoy working with people with enthusiasm, zeal, and positivity.
6. Communicate Effectively
Communication is of high priority with your customers. Even though it shouldn’t always encroach into your personal time, being available sends a message to your clients that their satisfaction is important to you. That way, they feel comfortable around you and can be open with you too.
Building strong relationships with your clients goes beyond fulfilling your contractual obligations or answering their questions. You need to actively seek to please them but not at your expense or personal time. In seeking their interest, they not only become more loyal to you but would refer your services to their friends and families.