Business owners would agree that a referred customer is far better than the one brought in by paid advertising. And yet many businesses are spending more to get new customers than acquiring referrals from their loyal and happy customers. Actually, good business relationships play a vital role in retaining customers and acquiring new ones.
Though sales are one of the most important metrics to monitor your business growth, it is just a number. There is more to it than seeing the numbers go up and down. Sometimes high sales don't mean happy customers. If they have a bad experience dealing with your company, do you think they would still patronise your products or services? You would need to offer them something really great in return.
The focus should be on how to convert them into repeat and happy customers. Here are some tips to consider if you want good business relationships with your customers:
- Trust. Earning someone's trust is a strong foundation of a good relationship both in business and in life in general. According to Neilsen.com Trust in Advertising report, earning consumer trust is the holy grail of a successful campaign. In today's competitive world where almost all businesses have something great to offer, the only edge now is - are you trustworthy? Can they trust your advertising or it is just hypes of impossible promises?
Think about lasting results. Strive for your customers' trust and then referrals will follow. This is the power of trust - you can get free advertising through word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Motivate and inspire your customers. Connecting with your customers in a way that they resonate with your brand messages and goals is one powerful way to keep them engaged or involved. And when things go wrong for them, it doesn't cost anything to be sincere. Sometimes all they need is a pat on the back, an encouraging smile or an assurance that you'll help them in the best way you can.
- Forget excuses. An excuse doesn't make up for a bad service or product. Being honest and accepting your mistake is more forgiving than giving customers your lame excuses to shift the blame. Again, being sincere doesn't cost anything. Sincere apologies are better than blaming others or the circumstances.
- Be proactive. Going the extra mile won't hurt you. Customers don't need to call your office just to remind you about the products they ordered. Or they don't need to ask you for help if you know already that they need it. If circumstances allow it, always opt to provide proactive service. Offer them better solutions or options to their problems.
Here at Paul Martin Chartered Accountant Ltd, we help customers to create strategies for business growth. Please feel free to call us on (09) 576 4166 for more business advice, ideas and tips.