Has the customer relationship become the middle child of the corporate world – overshadowed by the older brother named Price and replaced by the adorable little sister, Innovation? Don’t let customer relationships become the Jan Brady of your company! Rather, the customer relationship needs to be cultivated and respected. While price and innovation are certainly factors in obtaining customers, loyalty, accountability, creativity, and accessibility are key components of a solid customer relationship.
Customers want to know that you are invested in their success. They do not want to be viewed as just another project but rather as part of your company’s eco-system. If you view your customers as part of your corporate eco-system, loyalty will be fostered as all parties realize that to grow and prosper, you need each other.
Accountability is also a key element to a solid relationship. Customers want to work with providers who will develop a plan and work with them to achieve it. Just as critical, customers are not interested in “passing the buck”. A solid relationship is built on the ability to admit that a mistake was made and find a way to rectify the error. Taking ownership of the situation shows the customer a level of maturity that will instill confidence in your ability to handle any situation.
There will be times when a customer wants something that you simply cannot provide. This is a perfect opportunity to show your creativity. Instead of outright denying the request, develop an alternative. Present the customer with your option and explain why the original request needed to be modified. Your willingness to work with the customer yet set boundaries will generate a new level of respect.
Finally, customers want their providers to be accessible. Tweets and texts are an excellent form of communication when used appropriately. Yet the power of a phone call should never be overlooked. The connection that is established when speaking to another person is much stronger than a text or an e-mail could ever be. A personal phone call when a misstep occurs shows the customer that you respect them and value the relationship. Success should also warrant a personal phone call to show the customer that you personally want to share their joy!
A company should never allow Price and Innovation to overshadow the customer relationship. This middle child is meant to stand tall and be the cornerstone of a company’s success!
At OneSource Virtual, we know that to continue to thrive as a company, we must foster excellent relationships with our customers.