Have you ever had a bad car-shopping experience? Jim, an acquaintance, was shopping for a high end, luxury car. He contacted six dealerships. All sold expensive cars, yet only one showed
genuine interest. The manager took all the time Jim needed, was highly knowledgeable and even told him when he could come back to look at a new model just being released.
Jim’s experience at the other dealerships was quite different: one salesman didn’t get off his chair or approach until he was called, another was indifferent and acted somewhat patronizing (maybe because Jim was dressed in jeans and driving a small rented convertible). Yet another “sales manager” told him they didn’t have the top-of-the-line model he wanted and didn’t even bother to ask his name or get his number.
Jim could have bought whatever he wanted on the spot. So can some of the people with whom you deal.
What do customers experience at your company? How do you or your staff make potential customers feel?
- Are they greeted with a smile, even when they call?
- Did you address them by name at least once in the conversation?
- Are they thanked for thinking about your business when they needed to buy?
How about current customers?
- Do you send them an occasional “Thank You” for using your services?
- Have you visited their blog, company website, Facebook or LinkedIn page? Better yet, have you left comments on them?
- Do you offer long-term customers incentives to stay such as discounted rates, or a loyalty program where they get special offers not available to new clients?
- Do you keep a database of all your customers telling when they started doing business with you? Do you track what they’ve purchased and when so you can better understand and anticipate their needs?
- Before making contact do you re-read their messages and history so that you can offer them the ideal, tailored solution?
- When you deliver a product or a service, do you call your customer and get feedback and make changes based on what they say?
- When you meet someone who could benefit from networking with one of your customers, do you offer to do a connecting email to help them out?
Jim bought a top-of-the-line Mercedes from that attentive manager many years ago and has purchased several other expensive cars from him since. That manager’s genuine interest, product knowledge and customer service has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of business for him over the years.
A customer relationship strategy is a vital part of your ongoing business success. Don’t leave it to chance.