How to Eliminate Chaos in Your Business
The Important Issue of Creating Strong Business Relations
Relationships are not to be taken for granted. We work with relationships in every aspect of our lives. The best relations are those that are sincere.
When everyone wins in a relationship, there is no reason for that relationship to go sour. The problem is getting everyone to think in terms of a win/win relationship. While you can’t make everyone think in this way, you can start by implementing this mentality yourself.
It’s nearly impossible to overstate the value of a lifelong customer. If you have a product or service where repeat sales apply, your customer base is the most important aspect of your business. Your customers are your business. The following are some steps that will help you strengthen your customer relations:
Listening to your customer really means understanding him or her. People rarely listen. If two people are having a conversation, one person is talking; the other person is usually thinking of how the conversation affects him or thinking about what he wants to say. Listen to the customer, and try to understand him.
People love to have someone listen to them, so give them what they want. They will feel appreciated and comfortable. When the customer is comfortable, he tends to do business with you.
Helpful Tips for Listening:
- Engage in the conversation.
- Always keep your eyes on the customer; don’t listen with your eyes focused on something else.
- If there is no reason for you to talk, you can nod or give some expression, just to show that you are listening.
- The human mind can process words at a speed higher than people can speak; therefore, sometimes when someone is talking, our minds wander because we become bored. If your mind starts to wander, try to get more involved in the conversation.
Treat the customer with the utmost respect. Treat them, as though they were coming to visit you in your home. How do you treat visitors at your home? The same concept applies. Treat your customers with hospitality. Customers have one thing on their minds, themselves! Treat them like they want to be treated, and you will win them over.
Personalize a Relationship:
A customer base is really a relationship with many people. It is easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell a new customer. Try to do special things for your existing customer base. Here are just a few examples:
- During the holidays or on a customer’s birthday, send out a card.
- Give discounts according to their buying habits.
- offer free samples.
- offer free gifts for purchases over X amount of dollars.
Call the customer by name.
A customer that you lost is a customer about whom you will be sorry. It’s human behavior to concentrate on what we’ve lost as opposed to what we have. If you had meetings set up with three different clients, plus one client that you had lost, you would put all your effort into trying to get the client you lost. Why don’t we try to strengthen our relationships, before we lose them? Give it a sincere effort.
Jump to the Other Side:
- Analyze your business from the customer’s point of view. Thinking you are the customer, ask yourself these questions about your business:
- Would I buy this product or use this service?
- What makes me feel comfortable doing business here?
- What makes me want to do business here?
- What makes this business different from the competition?
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, and answer all the above questions. This should give you a rough idea of how the customer feels. This process may also reveal your strengths and weaknesses.
It’s As Easy as Asking:
Obtain as much information from your customers as possible. Your customers are a source of invaluable information. They can tell you more about your business than you probably know.
The best way to get this information is to simply ask your customer. The following are some sample questions:
- Why did you purchase our products/use our services?
- How do you like our products/services?
- How was our service? Was it efficient and courteous?
- How can we improve our products/services?
- What can we add to increase your satisfaction?
- You may want to do this through a survey, given by you or an independent party. With an independent party, your customers can express their true feelings without being put on the spot. Remember: always offer an incentive for them to give you the information. This may be a discount or something to that effect.