I had the privilege of spending three days in Washington DC last week with the MREA, educating our legislators on issues important to electric cooperatives.
Every legislator expressed appreciation for our visit; one made the comment, “When you don’t come to see us, we forget you’re there.”
His statement rings true, not only in politics but in life and business.
- Friends and family: Social support is critical to emotional well-being. The more a person feels she has friends and family there for her, the less likely she is to feel depressed and anxious.
- Business: Relationships between businesses and clients are changing. The days of simply providing a product or service are gone. Consumers have an abundance of brands to choose from; they prefer to buy from businesses they like. It’s important to touch base with your customers frequently, and across multiple channels.
- Get involved with your customers online; comment on blogs and social media. Not only will this keep you updated on important news, but your show of support is likely to be reciprocated.
- Write newsletters to your customers keeping them up to speed on your business and offering other items of interest. Keep the communication focused on benefits for them, rather than around your business.
- Remember birthdays and other special occasions. Everyone likes to be remembered on their special day, sending a birthday card adds a personal touch to your customer relationship.
- Offer exclusive programs for customers. This affords the opportunity to promote your offerings and make the customers feel special as part of an elite group.
- Connect with your customers in person. This is an opportunity to put a face on your business. It is especially important when developing repeat business. Your meeting can be as simple as a visit to their office or buying lunch or coffee.
There are many ways to stay in touch with your customers; the key is to be genuinely focused on benefiting them rather than pitching your business or pressuring them into a sale. This allows you to stay in touch AND build a long-lasting relationship.
The road is easier together,