In business, we are building relationships for life, whether with your clients, your team or your external suppliers and advisers, and this becomes an important part of building the reputation of your brand. Every one of these relationships needs to be moving forward and staying with you for the long haul. To build strong long-term relationships you need to ensure that your strategic outcomes are aligned with your target market.
Relationships with clients
As you shape your business for the long term it’s critical that you stay humble and grounded, and that you respect the clients who are giving you the opportunity to serve them. You must aim to develop relationships of mutual benefit, and this starts with providing clients with a value proposition and then following through on it. They have chosen your business and given you their money based on what you have promised to deliver to them, so meeting these expectations must be the basis of your relationships with your customers.
But, this won’t necessarily keep them coming back. You keep them coming back by going above and beyond what you promised to deliver, by doing something unexpected that is of value to them. Show them that you care and always do the right thing by them. This is vital to sustainable long-term growth, because attracting customers to your business is expensive and time consuming; once you’ve done that hard work, it’s much more profitable and productive to keep these people in your stable rather than let them leave and then must find new customers who want to buy from you. Repeat customers and referrals provide a much higher ROI for your business.
It’s not hard to figure out if you are good at this or not!
Clients who have already handed their money over to you and experienced your products and services are a barometer for your customer service systems; if they keep coming back you are clearly on the right track. If they buy from you once and you never see them again, clearly this side of your business needs work. People want to – and sometimes are desperate to – find businesses they can deal with on a regular basis. A good mechanic or electrician or physiotherapist or accountant is worth their weight in gold.
When you have a problem you want fixed you don’t want the added hassle of having to find somebody who can help you or dealing with a person you don’t know. You want to be able to jump on the phone and call up your regular guy or girl because you know they will give you what you need. They will get you from A to B. In your customers’ eyes you need to be the number one option. In fact, you need to be the only option.
Consider this week, who are you the only option for?
Power to you!
Stefan Kazakis on 5 May 2018
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