Customers are the make it or break it point for your business. Good, loyal customers are dedicated to your business and promote it to their friends, family and coworkers. They become your greatest form of marketing. But unlike your other forms of marketing, the hard part with customers is that they can’t be bought. So what do you do to ensure you maintain a consistent level of customer service throughout the customer’s lifetime with you? And how can you strengthen these relationships to ensure they remain promoters of your business for many years to come? Below are 5 tips to do just that.
1. Be a good listener. Often times people are just looking for a listening ear. Whether they want to talk about their day or talk about an issue they are experiencing with your product, being able to truly listen to them and make them feel as if they are the only customer you have, is key to providing great customer support. Repeat back their concerns or questions so they know you are actively listening, and be sure to acknowledge with simple queues such as “mmhmm” or “yes” so they know you are still focused on them.
2. Frequently communicate. You know that feeling when an old friend messages you on Facebook after years of not hearing from him? That’s how customers feel when you randomly communicate after months of silence. But we know you are probably saying, “I don’t want to annoy them with too much communication.” The key is to provide them with valuable communication. Send them relevant and authentic communication on a frequent basis to establish this value. Don’t just send new promotions or sales. Instead, try sending inventory maintenance tips and tricks. This kind of content will keep customers wanting more and keep your business relevant.
3. Build trust. Trust is what will hold your relationships with customers together. So, what is the easiest way to build it? Simply doing what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. If you told a customer you would have the quote to them by the end of the day, do it. Or if you told them you would follow up by 5pm, do it! By simply meeting the expectations you establish, your customers will begin to trust you.
4. Ask for their opinion. There is no better way to make people feel valued than to ask for their opinion. Do you have a new product you want to test? Invite your loyal customers to an exclusive demo day. Then before they leave, ask them to answer a few questions about it. By reaching out to customers, they feel involved with you and feel like their voice is heard. And it’s a win-win as you will get valuable insight from them to help change your strategies.
5. Treat every customer like your one and only customer. No one wants to feel like they are just part of a larger group, or that they are not valued because they don’t spend enough with you. Today, many want to feel like they are receiving individual attention from those they do business with. Take the time to learn their names and address them by it. Thank them no matter how much they just spent. Listen to each and every one with the same attentiveness. You never know if that person who just spent $10 doesn’t know someone who is looking to spend $10,000. So treat every customer like they are your most important.
Quality customer relationships don’t just happen after one meeting. You will have to continue to develop and foster relationships so that they understand your expertise, your products and your value. It’s easy to build your dealership via advertising and online marketing, but truly investing in a customer takes dedication and commitment. But investing in your customers is time well spent, as they will become your biggest advocates and help grow your business even more.