People do business with people they like? But why?
– They trust them
– Feel comfortable
– Feel Assured
– Have past experience
– Have built up a good report
In the early days of establishing your business, you would do anything to get a client just for a couple of extra dollar, and even take shortcuts to deliver something, when you know you could have put in that extra effort…this just leads to disaster. It always comes back to bite you one day or another. – Trust me it hurts when it does 🙂
So what happened to all the trust and rapport you built with the prospect at beginning, well that tends to deteriorate over time, and the chances are that you will not get repeat business from this prospect. It can take years to build trust with some clients, and one minor mistake can mess everything up you. For many business repeat sales can be vital, there no point acquiring new customer when your existing ones are leaving you, it’s good as filling up water in a bucket with a whole.
You can read more on how to build trust for your online business on my article at: Building a Trust online & I Want To Deal With You Factor, I will be focusing more on the retention element.
Your customers need to be sticky.
So what are the key points to ensure that your existing customer stay with you, and you get the most out of each customer.
Building a rapport: Having a good rapport with your customers is vital, this doesn’t mean that you need to be over friendly and get personal, instead, having a good business / work relationship. Making your customers feel important, and that you are there for them to ensure that their experience with your business goes well. Whether your business is face to face, online, or over the phone, having a good rapport goes a long way.
Some simple tips on building a rapport:
• Smile: A smile can do wonders, this will make you more approachable and also comfort your customers.
• Have a warm approach: You don’t want to portray yourself as if your following a script or unapproachable robot, there’s no harm in asking your customers “how’s your day going” or “how’s the weather” this again will bring the human element into your conversation. Again being friendly, building a rapport, but not getting to personal. – Remember customers buy from whom they feel comfortable and can trust.
• Listen attentively: Just how annoying is it when you have to repeat something again, even if it’s just that one extra time, same applies to your customers. Don’t be in a situation where you customer have to keep repeating the same thing over and over again, and remaining you of what they need.
• Use similar words as your customers. You will find that some people use certain words to describe certain things, generally to express their feelings and expressions, if you listen attentively you can pick up certain words that the customer uses, and use them in your dialog to explain to the customer about your services and products. This if done well can be very powerful, and also assure the customer that you are understating their requirements.
• Be use self: don’t be a fake, if you want this customer to stick with you, show them the true side of you and your business.
Look after them: What you will find is that once the sale is acquired, most business do not give much attention to their existing customers, as most of the efforts are still in acquiring new business. This mistake is made with even major companies, I’m sure you have also experienced this when dealing with utilities suppliers. – At times you end up pulling your hair out 🙂
Having a good afters sales support, and assisting your customers even after the sales is as important as making the initial sale. This Customer will always recommend your customers service to his or her network, as they have had not just a good sales experience, but even after the sales support was excellent.
You may feel that what’s the point, i have made the revenue I wanted, why invest in more time with this customer, where else I could spend that time in acquiring new business. – This is where many business trip over, this new customer of your can be your best marketing tool, take care of him well, and he will recommend your business to others. – Remember People buy from people they trust.
Some simple tips on how to look after your customers:
• Follow up call: Once they have bought your product or service, after couple of days just give them a 2 minute call to ensure everything is okay, and if they have any issues or concerns.
• Give a gift: sometimes small things like this go along with, even if it means giving a promotion calendar at the end of the year.
• Always have time for them: When your customers try to communicate with you (phone, face to face or email) do not push them aside, take time to answer their queries.
Stand up to your blunders: Mistakes can happen with everyone, if it happens with you, the last thing you want to do is shy away from it, as this will just make the situation worse. At times it may not even be your direct fault, it could be due to the supply chain breaking down or a situation which was out of your control. But your customer is not interested in your supplier letting you down, or an office disaster or any other point that has let you down, as they have paid you for a product or service which needs to be delivered to them on time and according to their expectations. In such situation, do what you can to meet customers requirements, even if means eating into your profits and making a loss, and most importantly be very open and clear with the customer informing them of the situation. Do not leave them in the dark, as it will come back to you.
This situation may not go down well, and it all goes down to how you control the situation and customers demands and expectations. At the end if it was a genuine disaster, it could have also happened to your competitors, hence the importance of keeping your customers in the loop at all times.
Just as Bill Gates quotes, “Unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – You can’t please everyone, but at least you can try, and after trying you can learn from the situation.
Some tips to avoid blunders:
• Don’t make promises that you can’t keep
• Be open and clear with your customers
• Do not hide any mishaps from your
• Do not take shortcuts
Benefits of having your customers sticky.
Trust: You know them, and they know which is built with you engaging and dealing well with your customers.
Cost effective: It’s easier to sell to existing customers, as they already know about you and your business, compared to spending on new marketing strategies.
Repeat Sales: The more products and services the customer has with you, the less likely they are to go elsewhere. You become their one stop solution.
So overall building trust doesn’t happen overnight you have to work for it, but most importantly once you have built that trust the real work starts on keeping that trust with your customers.
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