Your resource for people wisdom and trends
Building Relationships to Deliver a Positive Customer Experience
6 ways to build a better connection with your customers
Happy customers become repeat customers. One of the biggest challenges in sales is forging relationships with customers that build loyalty and retention. The relationship starts with the first contact, whether in person, via email, social media or on the phone. After that, it’s imperative to establish a connection with every interaction. An easy thing to say, but it’s not always so easy to do.
We offer 6 tips to help you retain customers
1. Get real.
Genuine engagement is the key to making connections. Be honest in your dealings and you will build trust, which is really the foundation of any successful relationship. Get to know the needs and wants of your customers and then be the person who meets those needs. The most successful marketing and communications strategies involve a commitment to building authentic relationships.
2. Get connected.
If you have social media platforms, but all you do is post your own content, you’re missing a big opportunity. One of the best things about social media is that it gives you the ability to connect with customers in real time. Create polls, ask questions to solicit feedback, and answer any messages or posts. It’s an opportunity to build a real, emotional connection with your customers.
3. Listen more than you speak.
Being a good listener is so important. Don’t be that person who won’t shut up. Yes, selling is about talking, but listening will help you understand your customers’ needs and learn what to say. Listening sends a signal that you care. It’s another way to build trust, and the more you listen, the more your customers will tell you exactly what they need.
4. Be human.
Establishing connections hinges on our shared humanity. Marketing (and selling) is ultimately about emotional connections. The best brands have established emotional resonance with customers, whether they’re selling tennis shoes or ovens. There’s a famous quote from Kodak that says, “We don’t sell a film, we sell memories.” Part of your job is to show that you relate to your customers’ pain. You understand they have a problem and you can help them solve it.
5. Tune in to your customers’ communication style.
People have different personalities and different ways of communicating and processing information. There are four basic communication profiles in sales and customer relations, so become familiar with them and then figure out the best way to connect. Forbes shares these helpful tips, “Task-oriented extroverts fear being taken advantage of, so sell data-driven results. People-focused extroverts fear social rejection, so pitch client testimonials. Task-oriented introverts fear criticism of their work, to minimize personal risk. People-focused introverts fear a loss of security, so sell safety.”
6. Meet face-to-face on occasion.
Yes, modern technology allows us to make connections with people across the country and even the globe. As useful and convenient as email, smartphones, and texting are, they are still no substitute for a personal conversation with two people in the same room. This gives you the opportunity to read body language, facial expressions and hear subtle inflections in the person’s voice that are missed in other forms of communication. You will probably learn more about your customers in a few minutes together than you will in a year’s worth of emails or texts.
Overall, the goal is to demonstrate a true understanding of your customer’s needs and develop a personal connection. Sending regular emails to check in, capturing conversations and input, being accessible, and providing unmatched value and service are great ways to build better connections with your customers. If you’re interested in evaluating your current customer service and learning how to evolve it, download our free eBook, “The NEW Customer” and learn how to create your own red carpet experience for your customers.