It’s all about the relationship. Your product and service don’t really factor into the decision making process of your potential customer. Sure, they’ve decided that they need it, but past that point, it all comes down to the relationship that you are promising to deliver.
Think about your personal relationships. Don’t you spend more effort and time on those relationships that are positive in nature? People tend to gravitate toward those who make them feel good and generate positive feelings. This same premise holds true in the business world. People do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Get to Know Your Customers
The time that you spend up front with your customers is invaluable. You want to know about them. What prompted them to need your product or service? How did they find you? How do they use your product or service? What benefits does it afford them? How do they earn the money to purchase from you?
What Matters Most to Your Customers?
An essential part of any successful relationship is getting to know what matters most to the other person in the relationship. Partner with your customers. Customer satisfaction levels dramatically increase when special attention is paid to the very ones that drive the business. Discover the pain points and critical issues that your customers face every day. Discover what makes them feel successful in their field and, on the flip side, what makes them feel vulnerable?
Relationships Thrive on Communication
Communication with customers is ranked as one of the highest driving factors in customer loyalty. Communication breeds engagement. Everyone likes to be asked what their opinions and ideas are. Customers are no different. They like to be asked what they like, what they don’t like, what they want to see more or less of, what ideas they have to make products or services better. Your customers will gladly tell you what you want to know if you simply ask them for the information. They’ve already prequalified themselves as market research because they’ve purchased from you before. They’ve used your product and have formed an opinion. Now ask them for it.
Communication is a Two Way Street
Now comes a critical point to differentiate yourself from your competition – when you engage and communicate with your customers, you need to consider and act on the information they provide. When companies request information and feedback, yet don’t act on it, the relationship of trust suffers. They gave you the input that you asked for, they need some sort of a response from you. Even if you can’t do it, that’s fine. At least let them know that you’ve actively considered it. If you are able to implement their ideas, let them know it was thanks to them.
Connect the Head and the Heart
People make their buying decisions based on emotion and back it up with logic. By focusing on the relationship that you can provide your customers, you’ll be setting yourselves apart from any of your competition. Your competitors are caught up in sales numbers and widgets. You need to be caught up in your customers and how you can strengthen the relationship you have with them. Strong relationships equate to strong businesses.