When it comes to any business, the customer is always king. The customer is the person that purchases your product and, in effect, signs your paycheck. You need to make them the most important component to your success by establishing and building a strong rapport. It’s not enough to charm them in order to ‘seal the deal’. These days you have to establish a long-term relationship based on honesty, accessibility, and a genuine interest in their needs.
Nurturing New Relationships
How you approach the relationship and how you nurture it can make a massive difference in your client relationships. Before your first meeting, you should research the prospective client’s brand. Your goal is to have a basic understand of the brand’s audience, tone, and goals before the first client meeting. This will give you a base on which to build your interactions. Once you have your first client conversation you can confirm, or alter your findings, and start creating a campaign that accedes the client’s goals.
The Devil’s In the Details
Once you’ve established a connection, you need to keep that high level of interaction alive. If you create that strong rapport in the initial meeting but completely forget everything you talked about or worse, confuse intimate details, the connection will be shattered. Don’t be afraid to take notes. If you take a few moments while your client’s individual details are still fresh in your mind to record them, you can refer later.
Be Ready and Willing
It’s hard to keep a strong rapport alive if you’re never available to maintain it. In today’s technologically obsessed culture, there is no excuse not to be constantly plugged in and ready to help. If you get an email, answer it directly. If a client posts on your blog or site, respond right away. Be available over Skype or FaceTime. Be ready to answer calls right away. Your customers do not want to feel like their needs are on the backburner, particularly if they’ve invested money in your company or product. By making yourself constantly available, you are sending them the message that you care about their business even after their check has been cashed.
Deliver the Goods
Accomplish what you set out to do. If you promised to meet a certain goal for your client you need to meet that goal. If you do not think you will be able to meet a goal that you originally set, you need to let the client know immediately. Nothing is worse then not meeting a goal and not keeping your client informed.
Your relationship with your clientele determines how well your company fares in today’s competitive economic climate. Remember – customers are people just like you, and they can smell insincerity a mile off. By taking each one of your client relationships seriously and working hard to ensure their continual satisfaction, you will form a solid foundation that will serve your company for years to come.