You’re always looking for ways to build stronger relationships with your clients and customers, right? After all, they’re the lifeblood of your business. In this fast-paced world driven by technology, devices, and social media it’s easy to miss opportunities to connect, build and feed relationships. With that in mind, here are 5 tips that can be applied both online and offline and are sure to give your relationships the boost that they need.

  1. Agendas Stink. Remember that you don’t always have to have an agenda. Go to lunch just for the sake of going to lunch. Don’t wait to see your clients until you want or need something–build relationships with them because you genuinely like them and want to get to know them better. People want to feel valued for just being them, not for what they can give you or buy from you, or whatever else it is you want from them. Relationships thrive on deeper knowledge of one another and the building of trust. This takes time and effort and, in order for it to really work, you need to go into relationship building without an agenda. So, go to lunch, get to know your customer (or your prospect better), and make sure you focus on not selling one single thing. Just focus on making that relationship a better one.
  2. Remember that Face-to-Face Isn’t Everything. Don’t wait to meet face-to-face – that can be difficult to make happen, even with the best of intentions. Instead, let technology help. Set up a monthly video conference and have coffee or lunch together via video. While face-to-face interaction is still incredibly important in today’s world, it isn’t the end-all-be-all of communication. With so many tools available to support interaction from across town or across the globe, many of them free, just set up that video conference. Resolve to make sure you can get in a few minutes of virtual face time every month and that will go a long way to continue feeding the relationship.
  3. Give Rewards. Loyal customers deserve rewards and they will remember you as a result of your efforts in that regard. Try out a customer loyalty program that provides your customers with a sense of greater appreciation. According to research from Bain and Company, repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. Aren’t your loyal fans worth going an extra step for? Not only will they spend more, but they will also be your best brand ambassadors and your best salespeople, in terms of referrals. Loyalty is where it’s at, so nurture it.
  4. Add Value. Whether it’s with a prospective customer or a repeat one, make sure you are reminding them of the value you provide at every possible touch point. Leaving them with a business card isn’t enough. Provide your customers with content, newsletters, or advice consistently that reinforces your value in their world and the problems that they have that you wake up every day thinking about. If you have reinforced what you can do for them by what you tell them and show them, who do you think they will think of first when the need you fill arises? (Reminder, don’t go overboard on this, they don’t want a newsletter every day or a sales pitch each time you see them).
  5. Be nice. Don’t treat your customers as an asset or a means to an end. These are people we’re talking about. They are not transactions; they are humans and want human relationship, just like you. Remember your customers are people at every turn in your processes and you will create relationships that are built on trust and respect. People don’t want canned responses. People don’t want cold interactions. People want real and people want nice, so be nice. It sounds simple, but this is so often overlooked that it bears mentioning.

Happy customers lead to profitable businesses. Happy customers can make or break your business. Here’s a snippet of an infographic produced by Vision Critical that takes a look at the cost of unhappy customers compared to the great value that happy customers can bring your business.

AAVInfrographicCustomerService

Isn’t it worth a little work to make sure you and your team are focused on building stronger customer relationships? We think so! Have you used some of these tactics in your customer relationship-building efforts? What have you found works best? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

If you’d like to see the full infographic, you can access it here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/dbimages/article/1402341204-businesses-cant-afford-upset-customers-infographic.jpg

At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.