When you have a product or service to sell, one of your main goals is to foster repeat business. You want your clients to keep coming back for more. Apart from this, you also want them to tell others about how great your service or product is.
It doesn’t matter what business you are in—a restaurant or small burger joint, a lawn mowing service or dog walking business, a giant law firm or psychic hotline. The way to keep your business afloat and profitable for a long time is by maintaining loyal clients.
The key to business longevity is no different from maintaining long term relationships with loved ones or friends. You need to make an investment in the relationship. Here are some tips in building a loyal client relationship:
Listen to your client. Whether this is your first meeting or your 25th, listen attentively. Communication starts by actively listening to what the other person is saying. Let him know that you heard what he said by rephrasing it and saying it back to him for clarification or confirmation. Take notes when appropriate so you don’t forget the details.
Keep your promises. Often times, a service person will tell you that he will call you back for an update. Many times, that call never comes. Be true to your word whatever that word is! If you gave your client a delivery date, make sure to keep it. Otherwise, inform your client as soon as possible why you can’t deliver as promised and when he can expect you to fulfill your obligation.
Establish a more personal relationship. Remember what your clients like. If you own a café, remember your clients’ names and how they want their coffee prepared. Some client relationships need to be nurtured professionally as well as personally. Just don’t cross the line. Know when you are being thoughtful and when you are starting to become a nuisance to your clients.
Make your presence felt. There are clients whom you rarely see due to the nature of the business. Even so, make sure that you make your presence felt. If you sell someone a product, say a car, the business doesn’t end there. Send an email or drop a line and ask you client how the car is performing. Let him know that if has any concerns, you are ready to assist him. Many smart clients give great importance to after sales service when buying a product.
Go the extra mile. Sometimes, you will be in a situation where what your client is asking for is no longer part of your job description or is not offered by your company. Don’t abruptly say ‘no’ to the request. This is a moment of truth. Assist the client in finding someone else who can help him. He will remember this moment and continue to be a loyal client of your business.
Be sincere and honest. All of the tips above will not establish a long term client relationship if you are not sincere. Your clients can tell when you are only being nice to them because you want to make the sale. If your product cannot be of any value to them, be honest and don’t push it on them.
Building a loyal client relationship is not difficult. In fact, if you sell products or services, it is one of your top responsibilities. Keep your client loyal by keeping their best interests to heart. Doing this guarantees that your business will continue to flourish for a long time. After all, clients remember when they are treated well and when they are being taken for ride.