When we build relationships in business, it is for a lifetime. Either with clients, or your team, advisers and external suppliers, a relationship built becomes a crucial part of your brand’s reputation. Each of these relationships built needs to be improving and moving forward, to get you prepared for and help you in the long haul. The first requirement for building a strong and productive long-term relationship is to ensure your strategic outcomes are aligned with your target market.
Relationships with clients
Staying humble and grounded is crucial when shaping your business for the long term. Likewise, you should respect the clients that are giving you the opportunity to serve them. Try to develop relationships of mutual benefit, and the way to kick-start this is to offer clients with the right value proposition and then follow through on it. Your clients have chosen your business over others, and have given you their money based on what you have promised to offer them. Hence, meeting these expectations must always be the basis of your relationship with them.
While this is important, it does not guarantee that they will keep coming back. To keep them coming back, you need to go above and beyond what you originally promised to deliver. This entails doing something unexpected (positively) that is of great value to them. Show them that you care and you always do the right thing by them. This is important in sustaining a long-term growth for you and your brand because attracting customers to your business is expensive as well as time-consuming. But once you have done that hard work, it is more profitable and productive to keep these people in your quarters instead of letting them leave and trying to replace them with new customers. Repeat clients and referrals offer much higher returns on investment for your business.
It is easy to tell if you are good at this or not!
Clients who have already handed their money over to you and have had a taste of your products and services serve as a barometer for your customer service systems, and hence, if they come back for more, then it means you are doing something or everything right. However, if they come once and you never see them again, then this side of your business needs work. People want to – and sometimes are desperate to – find service providers that they can deal with consistently; it is easier and provides greater peace of mind. For example, a good mechanic or electrician or accountant is worth their weight in gold.
If you have a problem that needs a good fix and you do not want to face the added hassle of having to look for somebody who can help you or be dealing with a person you do not know. You would love to jump on the phone and put a call through to your regular guy or girl in that aspect because you are sure they will give you just what you need. They will get you from point A to B, seamlessly. This analogy also holds in your customers’ eyes, and this is the reason you need to be their number option. In fact, you should be the only option.
Now ask yourself, what option are you? And who are you the first and only option for?