Many people in business would be surprised to discover that, despite every company’s claims of giving great customer service, that alone is no longer enough! That’s right … it’s not enough! Consumers and other businesses that are on your client roster [rightfully] expect that you will be available to answer questions, advise them of upcoming sales/specials on your goods and services and make sure no glitches occur (or at least get them fixed expeditiously). But that’s just like paying the minimum on your credit card bills – the least of what you are obligated to do. Rarely do we stop to realize that our customers are people … just like us … who deserve to be celebrated and appreciated without any hidden agenda other than to stay in a good relationship with them because they matters to us for the person(s) they are.
According to both the SBA and the US Chamber of Commerce, 68% of customers stop doing business with companies because of perceived indifference … in other words, they don’t feel like they’re anything more than a business transaction to you. Certainly there are other reasons but that percentage is too high to go unnoticed, especially when it can easily be changed.
There is a way to distinguish yourself from the pack: reach out to them via Relationship Marketing. Celebrate them; be known as someone who truly cares: send them cards honoring your relationship and keep in touch with them so you can acknowledge occasions that hold significance to them. Cards: birthday; thank you for your business/referral; congrats on the new office or promotion; holidays, etc., sent on a regular basis, will endear you and solidify the human relationship, which is far more important than the business aspect. People [continue to] do business with those they know, like and trust and if you reach out to them, authentically, the chances of you having career-long clients/referral sources and lifelong friends greatly increases.
Always remember that no matter who signs the check or the contract and uses our goods/services, they are people with thoughts, feelings, birthdays, anniversaries and long memories … make sure they always have a pleasant one of you!
(This practice has served me well in the 12+ years I have been a sales professional. I am passionate about it. Reach out to me to discuss it more!)