The customer experience truly is a journey. If your goal is to build customer relationships for life, then there are some logical steps to take to move those relationships forward in a positive way.
In the previous two articles we addressed ways to dramatically improve financial performance without major investments, and the importance of retaining profitable customers for life. Now let’s discuss how to establish those lifetime customer relationships.
The life-cycle of any great business relationship begins with the initial contact and progresses forward from that point. However, the experience doesn’t have to be overly complex. At the end of the day we all want the same thing when it comes to the customer experience. Each of us wants to feel important.
How do we enrich the customer experience, and begin to establish those lifetime business relationships?
One thing I encourage new coaching clients to do is to eliminate the words “I am” from their vocabulary when it comes to building profitable business relationships. Keep the focus on “their” business challenges and opportunities, not yours, and how you can deliver high-value. Now, in order to enrich the customer experience, follow these steps:
- Stay engaged. Any great business relationship begins with the initial contact and then progresses forward from there. So, identify the touch points and interactions required to move the relationship ahead and stay actively involved.
- Be consistent. No confusion or disconnects in what you say and do. Your 30-introduction, marketing materials, web site, and so forth, should coherently and consistently speak to your brand, services, support, and value proposition.
- Deliver value. Emphasize quality versus fluff. Customers don’t want a ‘Star Wars’ sales pitch. Delight them by delivering value-based solutions to their problems, not hype.
- Honor commitments. An integral part of the value component is accountability; delivering on-time, within budget, follow-up, etc. Keep your promises and follow the Golden Rule principle.
- Build partnerships. Establishing customer-supplier-partner relationships are critical to any business. Why? They enable you to cultivate strategic alliances with selected customers that help both parties increase revenues, lower costs and deliver greater value to their respective markets.
Finally, keep reminding yourself that developing enduring customer relationships is a marathon, not a sprint. If you are committed to building customer relationships for life, then do it the right way and be willing to make the investment required to accomplish this goal.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2014 John Carroll
SPECIAL NOTE: As many of you know, the past several months have been particularly difficult for our family. My wife Laura has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and is once again receiving chemotherapy treatment, after being cancer-free for the past 10 years. “THANK YOU” for the cards, flowers and prayers during this very challenging time. Your support has been a blessing to Laura and our family.
Please continue your prayers for Laura’s complete recovery.