Building Better Customer Relationships

How to Build Customer Relationships That Get Results

I thought I knew my customers. But in this module of Get Strategic… Get Results, I learned lots of things about my customers that I never knew. Module Four is all about building better customer relationships. As I went through the eight steps of the module, I discovered that there was a lot more I could do to help my customers.

8 Steps to Building Better Customer Relationships

Here are the eight steps I followed in my quest to build deeper relationships with my customers.

Step 1: Start With Who’s Possible.

For this step, I became a private investigator, looking for clues about who my customers are. This would help me build better relationships with the customers I already have. I discovered that my customers fell into natural categories. They included participants in my writing workshops, businesses looking for content, and thesis students who need documents transcribed. You’ll pinpoint your own categories when you do this step for yourself.

Step 2: Who’s Been Buying So Far

In this step, I identified which customers within each category were actually buying and which were the most valuable. Who came back most often? And who brought in the most revenue? It was really heartening to realise that I had customers who appreciate what I do. It’s easy to forget about them when you’re dealing with difficult customers. I will be cultivating those customers in the future.

Step 3. Choose Who Fits Best

Completing this step was a real lightbulb moment. The customer may be right, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for me. These are the customers who value what I do and who are willing to invest in my service. They are the customers who understand that creating content is a partnership and that creativity and quality content are worth paying for. With the knowledge I gained in Step 4.1, I’ll be able to cultivate those customers and build mutually beneficial relationships with them.

Step 4. Get Up Close and Personal

I admit that before I did this step, I thought of customers in terms of obstacles to overcome. The obstacle of winning them over. The obstacle of delivering the service. And the obstacle of keeping them afterwards. Doing this step taught me to see them as people. People with problems that I am capable of solving. If I take the time to get to know them and to discover what their problems are, I’ll be better able to solve them.

Step 5: Know How They Buy

When I was doing this step, I found myself thinking about a bottle of cream liqueur I had bought for a friend for Christmas. I bought it a full two years after I had first come across the liqueur at an in-store demonstration. And I realised that if it had taken me that long to buy something, the same could also be true of my own customers. Now I understand that customers don’t buy straight away. I need to bring them through a process, and this will help them make the decision to buy.

Step 6: What’s Stopping You?

I’ve sometimes found that customers are very enthusiastic, but then disappear without any obvious reason. Completing this step showed me that there’s always a reason. It could be that I’ve made it difficult for them to contact me. Maybe I’m offering a service that they don’t really need. Or maybe my price isn’t right. When I buy, I like it when the business gives me clear contact details, and a big button saying Pay Now. That’s how easy I need to make it for my own customers to buy.

Step 7: Keep Them Close

I find that customers tend to use my services once and then I never see them again. This step showed me how I can keep that relationship going after they’ve worked with me once. The best way to do this is to listen to them and use the information they give me to make my service better. I can keep giving them valuable information, and this makes them more likely to spread the word about my services.

Step 8: Just Ask Them

Sometimes I feel I need psychic powers to figure out what my customers want. But this step showed me that it’s simple – all I need to do is ask them. The step gave me a framework to develop fruitful conversations with my customers. I can ask them what I’m great at and what I can be greater at. This will give my customers a voice, and make them valuable partners in my business. And my services will be more effective as a result.

 

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So, what am I doing differently?

This module which is all about building better customer relationships has given me insights that I can begin acting on straight away.

I Have Created a Customer Log:

I’ve created a log of customers I’ve worked with over the past three years. This has given me great insight into my customers. It tells me who my most valuable customers are, and I can concentrate on nurturing relationships with those customers. It also tells me where my customers come from. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that many of them come through referrals. It was gratifying to realise that people had such faith in me, and that what I have to offer is of value to them.

I Will Create a Sales Process:

Now I know that buying is a process, I’ll be putting a series of steps in place that will make it easier for customers to find my services, and to buy them. Marketers refer to this series of steps as a sales funnel. I’ll be bringing them to me with attractive, valuable content, and will keep offering them useful information. In all my interactions with them, I will explain clearly how they can buy from me. This will take away any barriers to buying.

I Am Networking More:

A lot of my referrals have come about through the networking events I have attended. Since I completed this module, I’ve been going to more networking events. I am also more strategic in my approach at these networking events. I decide in advance how many people I will talk to and the types of people I’m interested in building relationships with. This means I come away from these events with a tangible outcome.

This module has given me an opportunity to really get to know my customers, and I’m delighted about that. I have begun building better customer relationships and am already beginning to see results.

If you want to find out more about the rest of my journey towards creating great marketing for my business, take a look at my other posts on the topic.

  1. Module 1 – Starting Out on the Journey to Great Marketing – Click Here.
  2. Module 2 – How to Make Your Dreams Happen –  Click Here.
  3. Module 3 – How to Make Your Products Remarkable – Click Here.

 

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