Healthy, productive business relationships are built on many of the same traits or characteristics as good relationships with family and friends. High-quality relationships are based on high-quality interactions.
Every interaction with every customer works better when you take into account these five facets of a healthy business relationship.
From a quick email to a potential customer to an in-person dinner with your biggest client, keeping these things in mind will help you make sure you’re always putting customers first.
Every person deserve to be treated respectfully and with dignity. Rather than letting thoughts of financial gain completely control your actions, keeping a humble attitude toward every customer will help you realize that your business needs these people to survive.
Use a customer’s name to show that you remember it and to help you remember that the customer is a real person, not just a wallet. When you show respect for the other person, you also preserve your dignity.
Customers pull away from businesses that don’t care about them, so you can improve your bottom line simply by showing some concern for your customers’ needs.
A large part of showing concern is being accessible. Customers like to know that someone is there to hear concerns and respond when appropriate. Belittling or challenging customers never helps, but some genuine concern can go a long way. Your goal is the same as each customer’s: a pleasant and beneficial transaction.
Since every business makes mistakes, you will eventually have to apologize to a customer — or perhaps many of them at once. If you or someone working on your behalf has makes a mistake, show some humility and admit it.
Sometimes, you even have to apologize when you weren’t in the wrong. If the customer made the error, apologize for his or her inconvenience. You might want to review how the mistake happened to see if you can make the process clearer for future customers.
There’s no reason to make it difficult for customers to get a refund by making them jump through several hoops. If a customer isn’t satisfied with a purchase for whatever reason, the customer has the potential to damage your company by telling friends or blog readers of the bad transaction or even reporting your business to a consumer or regulatory agency.
Whether you think a customer will hold a grudge or not, preserve your company’s integrity by generously refunding those that aren’t happy. Give away gifts and services if necessary to get back in a customer’s good graces.
Showing appreciation when transactions go well and when bad transactions are resolved successfully helps increase bonding with customers.
One of the best ways to make customers feel appreciated is to simply tell them in every email, every call and on every online form how much you appreciate them. As customers see and hear of your appreciation with every contact, they will start to believe that you really do appreciate the opportunity to serve them.
Exclusive offers for repeat customers and other premiums go a long way too.
It’s About Showing Humanity
Perhaps the best way to build healthy business relationships is to show your customers positive human characteristics like respect, concern, humility, generosity and appreciation.
Establishing the right mindset at every level of your business will build a culture of humanity toward customers that will guide every transaction with every customer. This boost to your company’s interactions could help you boost your company’s sales and your customer satisfaction levels.
Good relationships lead to successful businesses, and success should be the goal of any business.