Business has a lot of moving parts. To be successful, you need to have them all lined up right and working properly without any kinks in the process. All that machinery – metaphorical and otherwise – can feel so complicated it seems to need constant babysitting. But, in management, there are simpler – and vastly more important – aspects of your business you must attend to.
If that statement seems obvious, then you might be exactly who this article is targeting. When the need to serve a customer becomes “obvious” it can also become commonplace. It can feel routine or seem like a problem. And, problems need solutions. Businesspeople excel at this. Unfortunately, when you begin to see your customers as issues that need sorting or problems that need addressing, you lose the magic that brought the customer to you in the first place.
Instead of trying to find ways of dealing with customers mechanically or “efficiently” change your strategy to treat that customer as if he or she is your last chance at earning a customer … ever. Now, this mindset can go wrong on you. Some people get desperate. They manipulate the customer, trying to force a sale that could have been earned much easier.
But if you can address each customer as if they are your only customer from a relationship-based motivation, then you will achieve a much better result. Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways this mindset will change how you do business.
When every customer connection is an opportunity as opposed to an issue, then you will see it as your chance to make a strong impression and build a lasting relationship. Your customer will not need to be told this, they will feel it in every interaction. They may not even be aware of this feeling, but they will come away feeling both more connected and more motivated to continue that relationship.
When you see every customer interaction as a way to learn more about your customer, you will find new and better ways to connect. As with any relationship, the more you know the better you can connect. If you want to know what someone wants or needs, you have to listen. Sometimes they will tell you. Other times they will just exist and hope you understand. Successfully navigating the latter takes time and work. But the rewards are substantial.
The challenge, of course, is in finding a way to offer this level of service to ALL your customers. You can do it, but it might take a radical rethinking of your customer service protocols. You decide if it’s worth the risk, but you can guarantee your competition is considering this too.
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