Building Customer Relationships and Sales Opportunities
All too often business set up obstacles in the customer’s journey. Online, your customer journey can be measured with a tool such as Google Analytics, which tracks how many people visit your website, individual pages, duration of each visit and their geographic location. Offline, it is more difficult to assess where along the customer journey you ‘turned-off’ your potential customers.
I see businesses making their customer work too hard to buy from the business. We have all experienced being unable to find a product in a store or an assistant to help us, many of us have eventually given up and walked out feeling frustrated and stupid. Well, you should be frustrated and you are not stupid! Many stores still order their products in a way which makes it easy for them to stock and categorize, but this is completely illogical to customers. Do not start me on outsourced call centres; cheaper for the business but it comes at a great cost to the customer relationship and a loss of potential income! I don’t know ‘anyone’ who would spend more money with a business that has continually ‘pe.ed the customer off’.
Building relationships online is about sharing YOU, your uniqueness, your personal interests and less than 20% business. Sharing something of YOU will allow online connections to get to know your character and helps to establish empathy and build trust. You would not normally go up to a stranger and start telling them about what you sell, so don’t do it online.
Building offline relationships (face to face) is quicker, not easier but similar; it is still about sharing something of YOU! We have 3 seconds to make an impression, so start with a firm handshake, eye contact and a warm smile. You will need to have a desire to connect and share, always give more that you expect to receive. Small talk that includes active listening is a great way of finding common interest and opportunities and of developing connections with complete strangers, exchanging information and giving genuine compliments. Use these same skills to get closer to your customer; find out what your customers think by asking them, look for opportunities to get feedback, incentivise your customers, thank them for it and then act on the valuable information.
Remember your customers are scarce and precious, like a diamond they need to be cherished, loved and listened too. Think of your relationships; the people who genuinely care for you would happily do a lot for you; your customers are no different, it is worth the effort and time to develop a relationship online and offline.
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.